FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bonnie Lawrence or Megan Krause
(415) 434-3388 or [email protected]
NEW TOOLKIT HELPS HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICE PROFESSIONALS ASSESS CAREGIVERS’ NEEDS
The National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance has released a new resource to promote the assessment of caregiver needs in health and long-term care settings.
Caregivers Count Too! - A Toolkit to Help Practitioners Assess the Needs of Family Caregivers is for any professional who works with older people and adults with disabilities, whether service is provided in the home, a hospital, a physician’s office or a program in the community. The toolkit provides a compilation of materials and techniques to facilitate the assessment.
Building on the work of the National Consensus Development Conference for Caregiver Assessment convened by FCA in September 2005, Caregivers Count Too! was developed to:
Sharpen health and social service practitioners' awareness of family caregivers as an at-risk population, whose own needs should be determined by an assessment; and
Add to practitioners' knowledge and skills, helping to integrate caregiver assessment into their work with persons with chronic or disabling conditions, and their families.
The toolkit explains the key role of family caregivers and provides a set of fundamental principles and basic guidelines for conducting caregiver assessment resulting from the National Consensus Development Conference. These practice guidelines include recommended topics and questions to include in a caregiver assessment and answers to the “who, when, where and by whom” for implementing a caregiver assessment process.
Lynn Friss Feinberg, Director of this National Consensus Project and Deputy Director of the National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance said, “This step-by-step resource provides a common language for assessing the health status and care needs of family caregivers. Since families, not institutions, provide nearly 80 percent of long-term care, it is essential that we take a family-centered approach in which caregivers are viewed as a critical element of good patient care. But unrelenting stress makes caregivers vulnerable to health problems, depression, and ultimately leads to higher healthcare costs. Caregivers need support and recognition of their own needs in order to continue their important work.”
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided primary support for this project with additional support from the Archstone Foundation and The California Endowment.
To access the Caregivers Count Too! toolkit online visit: http://caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=1695. Two additional reports out of the Consensus Development Conference, Caregiver Assessment: Principles, Guidelines and Strategies for Change and Caregiver Assessment: Voices and Views from the Field are also available on the FCA website at http://caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=1630.
Established in 1977, Family Caregiver Alliance is one of the largest and oldest organizations in the U.S. devoted solely to caregivers. Its pioneering programs—information, education, services, research and advocacy—support and sustain the important work of families and friends caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions. Family Caregiver Alliance offers programs at local, state and national levels. Visit www.caregiver.org or call (800) 445-8106 for more information.
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