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Caregivers Count Too! Section 3: Fundamental Principles for Caregiver Assessment

Fundamental Principles for Caregiver Assessment

The National Consensus Development Conference for Caregiver Assessment produced seven fundamental principles to guide caregiver assessment policy and practices:

1. Because family caregivers are a core part of health care and long-term care, it is important to recognize, respect, assess and address their needs.

2. Caregiver assessment should embrace a family-centered perspective, inclusive of the needs and preferences of both the care recipient and the family caregiver.

3. Caregiver assessment should result in a care plan (developed collaboratively with the caregiver), that indicates the provision of services and intended measurable outcomes.

4. Caregiver assessment should be multidimensional in approach and periodically updated.

5. Caregiver assessment should reflect culturally competent practice.

6. Effective caregiver assessment requires assessors to have specialized knowledge and skills. Practitioners and service providers’ education and training should equip them with an understanding of the caregiving process and its impacts, as well as the benefits and elements of an effective caregiver assessment.

7. Government and other third-party payers should recognize and pay for caregiver assessment as a part of care for older people and adults with disabilities.

Source: Family Caregiver Alliance (2006). Caregiver Assessment: Principles and Strategies for Change. Report from a National Consensus Development Conference (Vol. I) San Francisco: Author.

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