Ronald Fatoullah & Associates - Elder Law

New York Senate and Assembly Pass the CARE Act


By Ronald A. Fatoullah and Stacey Meshnick, Esq.

{3:20 minutes to read} Governor Cuomo has signed the CARE Act into law in New York State. Although it is law, it will become effective on April 1, 2016. Aimed at supporting caregivers of aging relatives who require care at home, this legislation is an effort to assist hospitalized patients by ensuring that their loved ones are able to provide the necessary care after discharge. The CARE Act:

  • Requires hospitals to provide caregivers with instructions and demonstrations of the tasks required to care for a sick relative, including wound care, the operation of medical equipment, and administration of medication.
  • Requires that hospitals identify caregivers and include their names in the record so that they may be notified prior to a transfer or discharge.

Unfortunately, we often hear of elderly patients being discharged from a hospital into the community without proper support in place. Caring for an ailing relative can be demanding and stressful for the caregiver. It is not uncommon for the caregiver to become ill as a result of the stress. The CARE Act is another step in recognizing the role of caregivers and the challenges facing ailing seniors and their loved ones.

Providing caregivers with the necessary information to assist sick loved ones will help keep seniors at home and healthy, ideally preventing hospital readmission and, presumably, at a lower cost. It may also help prevent institutionalization, which is often paid for by government benefits, thereby reducing taxpayer liability.

Caregivers must not only be familiar with medical tasks but often need to handle legal and financial issues on behalf of an ailing loved one. It is important for caregivers to seek the advice of an elder care attorney who can help the family devise an appropriate plan tailored to the needs of the senior. Such plans typically depend on factors including age, health and family structure. Having both a medical and legal/financial plan in place can ease the burden on the family tremendously.

Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. is the principal of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a law firm that concentrates in elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships, estate administration, trusts, wills, and real estate. This article was co-written by Stacey Meshnick, Esq., senior staff attorney at the firm who has chaired the firm's Medicaid department for over 15 years. The law firm can be reached at 718-261-1700, 516-466-4422, or toll-free at 1-877-ELDER-LAW or 1-877-ESTATES. Mr. Fatoullah is also the co-founder of JR Wealth Advisors, LLC. The wealth management firm can be reached at 516-466-3300 or 800-353-3775.

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