Caregivers Count Too! Section 3: What Should Family Caregiver Assessments Include?

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While the assessment approach needs to be tailored to your service setting and program, any caregiver assessment should:

  • Identify the primary caregiver and other family and friends who are involved in arranging, coordinating or providing care
  • Approach issues from the caregiver’s perspective
  • Improve caregivers’ understanding of their role and what they need to know to carry out tasks
  • Give practitioners information to develop a care plan with measurable outcomes for caregivers
  • Address services available for the caregiver and provide appropriate and timely referral for services
  • Be no longer than necessary

Experts in serving caregivers and researchers who focus on assessment point to seven categories of information (i.e. the domains or content area) to include in a caregiver assessment:

  1. Background on the caregiver and the caregiving situation
  2. Caregiver’s perception of health and functional status of the care recipient
  3. Caregiver’s values and preferences with respect to everyday living and care provision
  4. Health and well-being of the caregiver
  5. Consequences of caregiving on the caregiver
  6. Care-provision requirements (skills, abilities, knowledge)
  7. Resources to support the caregiver

These categories of information are applicable across settings (e.g., home, hospital, community program) but need not be measured in every assessment. Specific content areas and questions may differ for:

  • Initial assessments compared to reassessments (the latter focus on what has changed over time)
  • New versus continuing care situations
  • An acute episode prompting a change in caregiving versus an ongoing need
  • Type of setting and the focus of services

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Date: 
Saturday, December 13, 2014

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