Welcome to day 2 of the Embracing Caregivers Challenge!
Today, formally identify the family caregiver. This is step one of a successful caregiver needs assessment. At this point, you’ve had time to observe the interactions between the patient and visitors. Now it’s time to hone in on the support person.
Ask the patient, or the family members or friends present, who provides the most care at home, manages doctor’s appointments, and administers medications. If it’s a team of people, or the person has not visited the hospital, ask for names and contact information.
Almost 3 in 10 unpaid caregivers surveyed feel their role as a caregiver is unrecognized by their healthcare system. It’s important to be as straightforward as possible when talking to the patient, especially when the support person is not obvious. Use this script as a guide:
Hello, I am (your name). We start planning for discharge early on and it is important that we work together with the people who help you most and care for you at home. Who is that person or people, and how I can contact them?
For more help with identifying the family caregiver, work with your hospital’s discharge planners and/or social workers, and use these resources for extra guidance:
- Identifying the Family Caregiver: Guide for Healthcare Providers
- “Am I a Caregiver” Questionnaire
- Caregiving: Who are Caregivers?
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