Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 17(3) October 2014 : 20-23.doi:10.12927/hcq.2014.24015
Special Focus On Family Caregiving

Caring for Caregivers: Facing up to Tough Challenges

A. Paul Williams, Allie Peckham, Jillian Watkins, Natalie Warrick, Tommy Tam, David Rudoler and Karen Spalding

Abstract

This paper, the first in a series of three, sets the stage for two accompanying papers detailing a pair of groundbreaking initiatives to support "at risk" caregivers of high-needs older persons and children in Toronto. Although caregiver burden and stress are often conceptualized primarily as a function of the needs of cared-for persons and the capacity of caregivers, fragmented formal care systems also play a key role. Solutions must take individual-level and system-level factors into account; clarify expectations about what we expect unpaid caregivers to do; redefine the unit of care to include caregivers; and think beyond short-term fixes to mechanisms, such as interdisciplinary teams and integrated care plans, that promote forward planning, accountability, best practices and crisis avoidance.

 

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