Caregiver Tools & Education

Caregiver Tools & Education

Approximately 34.2 million adults in the U.S. annually deliver care to a family member (AARP/National Alliance for Caregiving, 2015). Caring for a loved one is not a role for which most of us are prepared, but a job that nonetheless often becomes part of our future. Family and friend caregivers provide a range of caregiving tasks from occasional transportation and shopping to in the home, round-the-clock skilled care. Health care providers in their professional role often interact with the person with a dementia but may not know about the caregiver’s experience except from “on-the-job” learning by talking with their patients and the persons who care for them. Few in the health care field receive formal training that prepares them for understanding the roles, needs and challenges of caregiving or the effective interventions that might support the caregiver and enhance the quality of life for both the care-recipient and the caregiver.

The Gateway Geriatric Education Center (GEC) has several tools and educational resources especially for family/friend caregivers of people with a dementia. These resources are updated and added to as we learn more about the needs of caregivers. For example, the Caregivers Like Me video supports Latino caregivers in examining ways that health care workers can support the caregiver and the one with a dementia to stay in their home longer if that is their wish. An evidence-based approach, Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST), is also featured on this website and can be used by caregivers and friends to help improve memory and cognitive capability for their loved ones with dementia. Another tool that might be helpful to those working with caregivers is the Training Manual for Facilitators of Family/Friend Caregiver Support Groups, which consists of seven modules that can be used to help caregivers in their journey of caring for one with dementia. This website also includes resources and references on caregiving that provide education for family, caregivers, health care providers and friends so that all involved in this journey better understand the needs and possible ways to make caring better for all involved.

To learn more, please contact: aging@slu.edu

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U1QHP28716 Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program for $843,079. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

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