Next Step in Care: Family Caregivers & Health Care Professionals Working Together

Next Step in Care provides easy-to-use guides to help family caregivers and health care providers work closely together to plan and implement safe and smooth transitions for chronically or seriously ill patients.

Transitions are moves between care settings, for example, hospital to home or rehab facility, or the start or end of home care agency services. Because transitions are often rushed, miscommunication and errors can occur.

Next Step in Care materials emphasize careful planning, clear communication, and ongoing care coordination.

Featured Videos:

Family Caregivers on the Job

More than half of all family caregivers are employed full or part time. In addition to their jobs, many caregivers typically spend at least 20 hours a week caring for a family member with daily needs like bathing, dressing, personal care, and managing medication and other medical nursing tasks.

In this short video, Carol Levine, director of United Hospital Fund’s Families and Health Care Project, talks about the issues and concerns that employers should consider when they have family caregivers on the job.


Caregivers Face Increasing Responsibility with Less Training

In a two-part interview by MD Magazine, Carol Levine, director of the Familes and Health Care Project at United Hospital Fund, discusses the challenges family caregivers face as they assume increasingly demanding "medical/nursing" responsibilities, and she also offers physicians advice on how they can help.

Part 1:

Part 2:

MD Magazine also offers a transcribed and edited version of this interview.

New Videos on Wound Care for Family Caregivers from Home Alone Alliance.

A new series of instructional videos for family caregivers, this time focused on wound care, is now available. The videos were developed by Home Alone Alliance, a partnership of organizations working to improve how health care organizations interface with family caregivers. Home Alone Alliance was co-founded by AARP, The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, Family CAregiver Alliance, and United Hospital Fund.

New York State's CARE Act –
Hospital Toolkit and Caregiver Guides Available Now

New York and over 30 other states have passed versions of the CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable) Act to require hospitals to include family caregivers in discharge planning and give them post-discharge training. To help administrators, nurses, discharge planners, and others to integrate the legislation’s requirements into daily practice, United Hospital Fund has produced Implementing New York State’s CARE Act: A Toolkit for Hospital Staff.

UHF has also prepared guides to the CARE Act for patients and caregivers—explaining what they can expect to be asked by hospital staff and what instructions they are entitled to receive.  The toolkit and the guides have links to user surveys for comments and suggestions. 

Updated Short-Term Rehabilitation Guide

Short-Term Rehabilitation Services in an Inpatient Setting, provides a comprehensive overview of rehab services and settings, including basic facts about what family caregivers can expect. It consolidates the information previously found in several guides into one easy-to-read document. A companion guide, When Short-Term Rehab Turns into a Long-Term Stay, is unchanged.

Assessing Technology as Caregiving Tools

A Family Caregiver's Guide to Electronic Organizers, Monitors, Sensors, and Apps was created for family caregivers who are grappling with issues about technology and how it may help them. The guide presents questions to think about when deciding whether to buy an electronic product or service.

Featured Guide for Providers

What do Family Caregivers Need? was eveloped to help health care providers complete a basic caregiver needs assessment in hospital, nursing home, and home health agencies. A caregiver needs assessment is necessary to create a realistic and sustainable plan for the next step in care (after discharge) so that both family caregivers and health care providers have clear expectations and understanding about the caregiver's ability and training needs regarding the care plan.


Family Caregivers

If you are caring for a family member, click here for information that can help with patient transitions.

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Health Care Providers

If you are a health care provider (doctor, nurse, social worker, or therapist), click here for information that can help you and family caregivers.

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