Senate approves O’Brien’s CARE Act

Senator Margaret O'Brien

Senator Margaret O’Brien

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Thursday approved the CARE Act to help prepare and support in-home caregivers when providing assistance for loved ones after they leave the hospital.

Senate Bill 352, referred to as the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, would provide in-home caregivers, designated by soon-to-be discharged patients, with hospital-provided consultation and instruction for any after-care assistance tasks that do not require a licensed professional once a patient is released. Typical tasks include providing assistance with bathing and dressing, transportation, finances and more complex medical tasks like administering wound care and medication injections.

The training is part of what the legislation calls a discharge plan. Hospitals would work with patients to develop a plan that includes the designation and training of a caregiver for assistance with the basic activities of daily living. Plans must also include a description of all necessary after-care assistance tasks; contact information for any health care, community resources and long-term services and supports that may be needed; and contact information for a hospital employee who may respond to caretaker-related questions.

“Millions of Michigan residents volunteer their time to provide care for their loved ones, and the CARE Act will ensure our caregivers receive the best possible training and support,” said state Senator Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, who introduced the bill last May. “I appreciate the support of my Senate colleagues on this important bill and look forward to working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives.”

According to AARP, family caregiving is increasing in Michigan as baby boomers become older adults. The group’s research suggests Michigan has more than 2 million caregivers at any given time during a calendar year providing 1.4 billion hours of free care to loved ones valued at more than $15.5 billion.

SB 352 now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

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O’Brien applauds new Cyber Operations Squadron at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security Committee Chairwoman Senator Margaret O’Brien on Wednesday applauded the decision by the U.S. Department of Defense to locate a new Cyber Operations Squadron at the Battle Creek Air National Guard base to help detect and protect against cybersecurity threats.

“This is wonderful news for the Michigan Air National Guard and for our state,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “As the world becomes more interconnected and dependent on technology, sophisticated cyber-attacks will continue to increase. It is great to know that Michigan will play a significant role in defending our nation from these threats.”

The 110th Attack Wing was one of four locations selected due to its capability and experience training the military and civilians with strategies to combat cyber threats. According to the report, the new squadron will add 70 jobs to the base.

Last May the Senate adopted O’Brien’s Senate Concurrent Resolution 9 to urge the Missile Defense Agency within the U.S. Department of Defense to select the Fort Custer Training Center for its forthcoming ground-based interceptor ballistic missile defense mission. The ground-based interceptor ballistic missile defense system would provide the capability to engage and destroy limited intermediate and long-range ballistic missile threats in space to protect the United States.

O’Brien said the placement of the ballistic missile defense system near Battle Creek would leverage Fort Custer’s strategic location and security and would benefit from the installation’s stellar environmental record.

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