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

Toolkit: The Basics


Caregiver Identification

Identifying the friends, relatives, spouses, or other unpaid family caregivers (related or not) who do or will do necessary tasks to support the seriously or chronically ill patient.


Identifying the Family Caregiver (includes an easy-to-use script)

Pfizer's Tips for Improving Communication with Your Patients

Points to Consider: Who is the hands-on family caregiver? If there are multiple family caregivers, which ones handle which caregiving tasks? Will this arrangement continue after the patient transitions to the next care setting?

Many family caregivers have never thought of themselves as "caregivers." Recognition of this role can be important for obtaining services, gaining support, and reducing guilt or stress. The First Step in Care: Becoming a Family Caregiver can help.

The LGBT community has a strong, special history of caregiving. Family caregivers may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, or the person receiving care may be. SAGE and Next Step in Care co-authored a guide to LGBT caregiving.

To learn how family caregiver identification was done by health care providers in TC-QuIC, see page 13 of the report.


Needs Assessment

Assisting the identified family caregiver(s) in comprehensively identifying what he/she needs in order to provide care for the patient.


Assessing Family Caregivers:

  • A Guide for Health Care Providers
  • What Do You Need as a Family Caregiver: Training
  • What Do You Need as a Family Caregiver: Availability and Other Responsibilities
  • What Do You Need as a Family Caregiver: About Worries

Brief Assessment Scale of Caregivers of the Medically Ill (Scroll to the last page of the pdf--the appendix on page 254.)

From the try this series: Family Caregiver's Preferences for Involvement in Care of the Hospitalized Elderly (tool and companion video)

AGS's Caregiver Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Supporting Family Caregivers: The Hospital Nurse's Assessment of Family Caregiver Needs (American Journal of Nursing, article and video)

Points to Consider: Has the family caregiver(s) and his/her current role in care been identified? What gaps in care does the needs assessment highlight? How will those gaps be met so that the patient's safety and care are assured?

To learn how family caregiver needs assessment was done by health care providers in TC-QuIC, see page 15 of the report.


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