The Caring for Caregivers Program: Practical Approaches for Improving Caregiver and Patient Outcomes

June 2024

Date and Time: June 20, 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Family and other unpaid caregivers for older adults often shoulder a complex set of responsibilities in the home, including tasks typically handled by clinical professionals, such as managing complex medications and addressing a myriad of symptoms. Despite their complex role, caregivers often receive minimal training, leading to immense burden, as well as neglect of their own emotional and physical well-being. Consequently, both caregivers and care recipients may have poor health outcomes.

The Caring for Caregivers (C4C) model, developed by Rush University Medical Center, applies evidence-based strategies to address caregiver burden and improve care for older adults and caregivers through education, resources, and support. The model focuses on what matters to the caregiver by creating a plan for the caregiver’s physical and emotional health and well-being that incorporates the care needs and preferences of the older adult. Preliminary data of the C4C approach demonstrates improved outcomes for caregivers (i.e., reductions in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and burden) and for care recipients (i.e., fewer visits to the emergency department, fewer hospitalizations, and shorter lengths of stay).

While few health systems have implemented caregiver programs like C4C, there are emerging opportunities to support these approaches. Under the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, health systems can be reimbursed by Medicare for new eligible caregiver training services as of January 2024. In addition, in July 2024 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will launch the Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) Model which offers new opportunities to support people living with dementia and their unpaid caregivers.

This webinar, made possible through the Seven Foundation Collaborative, will feature presenters with experience implementing the C4C model from Rush University Medical Center and Grady Health in Atlanta, including a family caregiver. It will focus on:

  • Key C4C program elements including team roles and training;
  • Program outcomes, including experiences of caregivers participating in C4C;
  • Lessons for how to tailor and implement caregiver programs within the context of health system and community-based partner needs and capacities; and
  • Considerations for financing and sustaining caregiver programs.

Presenters will include Robyn Golden, Vivien Lamadrid, and Diane Mariani, Rush University Medical Center; Gabriela Cohen, Grady Health System; and a caregiver participating in the program. Rani Snyder of The John A. Hartford Foundation will provide introductory remarks.

This webinar is part of the Better Care Playbook Implementation Lab series. These sessions explore implementation strategies for specific models or tools with demonstrated evidence. Ample opportunities will be available for participants to ask questions to help further their understanding of moving evidence to practice.

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