Caregivers Count Too! Section 2: Why Assess the Needs of Family Caregivers?

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Assessment builds caregiver morale and capacity:

  • Caregivers who have their needs assessed feel acknowledged, valued, and better understood by practitioners.
  • Caregivers gain a better grasp of their role and the abilities required to carry out tasks.
  • If the physical, emotional and financial strains on family caregivers become too great, care in the home may be seriously jeopardized.

It’s the key to care planning:

  • Identifying service needs and unresolved problems is fundamental to a plan that supports and strengthens the family as a whole, where most care is given and received.
  • Caregiver strain and health risks can impede the caregiver’s ability to provide care, lead to higher health care costs, and affect the quality of life for caregivers and those for whom they care.
  • The well-being of the family caregiver is often key to the care recipient’s getting the help needed at home or in the community—rather than placement in a nursing home.

It opens doors for the caregiver and the care recipient:

  • Assessment can establish eligibility for useful services, supporting the caregiver and the care recipient.
  • Knowing caregiver needs and preferences triggers timely referrals.

It’s a way to monitor program effectiveness and to inform policy:

  • Information from caregivers reveals what works and what does not.
  • Caregiver feedback helps assure quality of care.
  • Patterns seen across caregivers and over time reveal gaps and priorities for new programs and better policies.
   
Date: 
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

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