The First Step in Family Caregiver Integration: Identifying and Recording Information on Family CaregiversAs we discussed in this post, it’s not always easy for healthcare providers and organizations to identify and recognize family caregivers, in part because neither those receiving care nor their family members may identify family as “caregivers.” We are, after all, first and foremost, family who see ourselves as daughters and sons, caring for the person who cared for us. For health care professionals, it may also not yet be routine to ask a patient if there is someone who helps with their daily care. The passage of the CARE Act (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act in 40 states has helped propel discussions, as hospitals and other organizations in these states are now asking questions to help identify family caregivers and ensure their inclusion in the appropriate health care records. Best practices include making the following activities part of routine interactions with patients and their families:
- Asking patients for permission to talk to family members to learn about caregiving needs and routine.
- Incorporating a caregiver assessment to ensure providers understand what a family caregiver is able and willing to do.
- Asking which family members should be involved in advanced care planning conversations.
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