Family caregivers and health practitioners nationwide will benefit from a new, first-of-its-kind academic institute dedicated to supporting those caring for family members and loved ones at home. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis is creating the Family Caregiving Institute, where nurse leaders will develop systems and tools that train and support family caregivers in their role as caregivers, including how best to manage and deliver complex nursing tasks.
One in five American households is involved in a wide range of caregiving activities that vary in their intensity from checking on aging parents to providing total care to a disabled family member. In early 2015, AARP conducted a national survey of family caregiving and identified that many family caregivers struggle with tasks that nurses typically perform, referred to as “medical/nursing tasks.” These include management of medications, administering injections, dressing wounds and more. Through the Home Alone Alliance, AARP, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and others, have created a series of educational videos to help family caregivers with some of these tasks. See the videos, produced in English and Spanish, here.
The Family Caregiving Institute will help family caregivers by equipping them with knowledge and tools to deliver quality care. Another goal of the institute is to improve abilities of health care professionals to partner with and support family caregivers. For example, nurse leaders at the school will work to develop resources for practicing health professionals that will equip them to be more effective in anticipating and meeting the needs of caregivers.
“The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is built on a foundation of advancing traditional hospital and systems-based solutions to meet the needs and demands for care in the community,” said Janet Corrigan, chief program officer of patient care at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “The Family Caregiving Institute will further that goal by including family caregivers as essential members of a person’s care team, training them to perform tasks traditionally performed by clinicians and providing tools to support the basic needs of caring for someone in the home.”
Support for the Family Caregiving Institute aligns with the work of our Patient Care Program in serious illness care and patient safety, which is seeking to improve the experience and outcomes of patient care at the community level, including in the home.