Principles

Common Factors in Caregiving Interventions

Providing education for caregivers, other family members, staff members regarding:

  • The care recipient’s illness or disability
  • Typical caregiving stressors and demands
  • The workings of existing systems of care/support, including healthcare, social services, and housing

Encouraging caregivers to solicit support from family members, community members, and healthcare/social service professionals

  • Connecting caregivers with others in similar roles
  • Developing skills for accessing community resources
  • Developing effective strategies for communicating effectively with healthcare professionals

Promoting affective expression and tolerance

  • Enhancing coping with sadness, anger, fear and dread in response to caregiving and care recipient illness
  • Facilitating increased empathy toward and tolerance of care recipient’s emotional and behavioral problems

Enhancing problem-solving skills to address arising challenges related to:

  • Specific problems arising in each caregiving circumstance that must be addressed at a practical level
  • Learning problem-solving skills, or may become involved in designing solutions and tracking the impact of these approaches

Aiding family role-restructuring

  • Facilitating role re-structuring to maximize caregiving effectiveness, caregiver self-care, and implementation of family values
  • Helping family members to adopt a future orientation in order to better anticipate impending transitions

Fostering caregiver self-care

  • Giving explicit permission for self-care
  • Helping caregivers develop positive meanings about caregiving
  • Encouraging the utilization of all available supports as early in the caregiving process as possible
  • Promoting healthful living

Helping agencies and organizations meet caregivers’ needs more effectively. For example, providing consultation to nursing homes, senior centers, rehabilitation centers, residential treatment centers, children’s hospitals, special schools, special needs camps, etc.

Characteristics of Successful Community Caregiver Programs

  • Contact with a helper over time
  • Contact with a helper who has specific intervention protocols to follow
  • Interventions and care plans tailored to the caregiver’s specific needs
  • Multi-component interventions that include a combination of knowledge, skill- building, problem-solving and counseling
  • Interventions with higher intensity
  • Using a combination of home-visiting, telephone follow-up, web-based resources and telehealth technology to deliver education/interventions
  • Programs developed and implemented locally and involving agency collaboration

Source: Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving

Cultural Variations in Interventions