Family caregivers across the country provide care for individuals with complex health needs, including frail older adults, people living with dementia, and people with disabilities. Caregivers are often involved with transitional care or discharge planning after hospitalization of their family member. In the home, family caregivers typically take on medical tasks otherwise performed by nurses or other clinical staff, such as complex medication management, wound care, and assisting safely with mobility.
Family caregivers often do not receive adequate training or support in performing these complex medical tasks, which can lead to poor outcomes for both care recipients and caregivers. However, with the passage of the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable Act in many states, and increased national attention on the important role of caregiving, more health systems are thinking about strategies to support family caregivers.
Health care stakeholders can use this Playbook Collection to understand recent evidence behind programs that support family caregivers and explore practical tools and case studies to learn considerations for better supporting caregivers providing complex care.
What works in supporting family caregivers?
Following are summaries of peer-reviewed research, evaluations, and reports on programs that support family caregivers. Many of these programs have demonstrated positive results, such as improved quality of life for patients and their caregivers as well as reduced acute care use and costs.
What do these models look like in practice?
Below find on-the-ground perspectives on programs and policies that support family caregivers providing complex care. Case studies outline details that may be useful for organizations interested in implementing these or similar models.
How can my organization implement this approach?
Following are practical tools and strategies that health systems, providers, and payers can use when seeking to create or improve family caregiver supports in complex care programs.