By John Schall, CEO of Caregiver Action Network, and Joy Yoo (Data Analyst, Houston Methodist Research Institute; Researcher, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
The Key Role of Family Caregivers in Delivering Healthcare
Family caregivers have become an essential key to providing patient care. As Richard Adler & Rajiv Mehta of the National Alliance for Caregiving write:
Millions of Americans are currently providing care for a family member, friend, or neighbor, typically because of illness, injury, or frailty. Their efforts range from providing emotional support and helping with routine household tasks to providing care 24×7 and carrying out complex medical procedures. Though those receiving care are of all ages, the amount of caregiving will certainly rise as our population ages.
Many of the functions that caregivers play are similar to those provided by nurses. It is therefore essential that healthcare professionals work collaboratively with caregivers to ensure that their patients are receiving the optimal care.