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The Savvy Caregiver® Program

Originally developed in 2002, Savvy Caregiver is recognized nationally as a leading evidence-based dementia family caregiver training program.

Savvy Caregiver was originally developed and validated for in-person, community-based delivery in 6 weekly sessions (12 hours), but many programs are now also delivered virtually over video conferencing. Savvy expands family caregivers’ knowledge, skills, and mastery related to dementia caregiving while also promoting caregiver self-care.


University of Minnesota, Emory University, and Savvy Systems, LLC.

How does it work?

The Savvy Caregiver is a 12-hour training program delivered in 2-hour sessions over a 6-week period. Curriculum materials include a detailed trainer’s manual, a caregiver’s manual, course videos, trainer’s PowerPoint, and participant handouts.

Savvy content focuses on knowledge of dementia diseases, elements of cognition, the role of confusion in dementia, caregiver self-care, identifying the person’s current stage of disease, strategies for providing appropriate structure and support of daily activities, decision making, and expanding family support and community resources. Through weekly sessions, interactive activities, group discussions, and at-home practice, caregivers apply their new skills to meet their family’s specific needs and situation.

Adapted Versions of Savvy Caregiver

Additional versions of the program have been adapted and replicated to meet the needs of specific populations. These include:

  • Savvy Caregiver® Express (3 sessions)
  • Savvy Caregiver® Advanced (follow-up program to the 6 session program focused on advanced dementia and end-of-life issues)
  • Savvy Caregiver® Tele-Savvy (for expanded, virtual delivery)
  • Savvy Caregiver® Express in Spanish and Mandarin
  • Savvy Caregiver® for African American communities
  • Savvy Caregiver® for Native Hawaiians
  • Savvy Caregiver® in Indian Country

Why is it successful?

In multiple research evaluations since 2002, nearly all respondents reported increased skill, knowledge, and confidence, and would recommend the program to others. Caregivers also reported reduced caregiver burden, depression, and distress.


If you are a family member, Savvy Caregiver is typically provided free of charge. Email us at info@savvycaregiver.com for a location near you.

If you are an organization wishing to offer Savvy Caregiver, it is a copyrighted and trademarked program that must be used under license.

For more information: www.savvycaregiver.com