Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care

Family Caregiver Alliance  -  Kathy Kelly, Executive Director

Home Alone:  Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care is the title of a new study released today that profiles the results of a population-based survey on the type of nursing/medical tasks performed in the home by family caregivers.   The study–one of the first of its kind–surveys families to ask what type of tasks are regularly performed in the home, what type of training they received, the level of support provided by healthcare professionals and how these tasks impacted their lives.  The report provides recommendations for future actions.

A few key highlights include:

  • Almost half of family caregivers performed medical/nursing tasks for care recipients with multiple chronic physical and cognitive conditions
  • Three out of four family caregivers that are providing medical tasks are managing medications, including administering intravenous fluids and injections
  • More than half of family caregivers who provided medical tasks said that they did not feel that they had a choice because there was no one else to do it or insurance wouldn’t cover a professional’s help
  • Most family caregivers who provided help with five or more medical/nursing tasks believed they were helping their family member avoid institutionalization.

The report is a joint effort between AARP and the United Hospital Fund funded by the John A Hartford Foundation.  The press release and link to the report can be found on the United Hospital Fund site:  http://www.uhfnyc.org/news/880854

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