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04.21.16

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Articles in Category: Family Caregivers

Patient and Family Engagement in Chronic Care

Patient and Family Engagement in Chronic Care

Engaged patients, famillies and caregivers can help lower medical costs, reduce hospital admissions, and improve health behaviors. The patients' health has a greater chance for improving when the family and caregivers can better communicate the importance of incorporating a healthier diet, increasing levels of physical activity, and medication compliance for chronic diseases management. However, recent data on health care consumers found that 1 in 3 patients are disengaged in their own care. Meaning that patients did not have a clear understanding of their diagnosis and conditions, and they weren’t actively working towards better self-management and care.

Language, cultural background, and previous experiences in healthcare can have a signficant positive or negative impact on one's approach to health care. With patients, families, their caregivers, and health professionals working in active partnership at various connecting points of care older patients with chronic conditions can have a more positive care experience, and realize reduced risks and complications. For example, during a hospital admission or discharge, providing patients and families with detailed information and walking them through discharge planning throughout the hospital stay can reduce issues post-discharge. Perhaps, more importantly, what really works is improved and ongoing post hospitilization communication that encourages patients and family members to participate as advisors. As the advisor, they become more aware of medication and community resources, recognize and connected with support services and health care professionals as a diversion to readmissio and acute care services?

Family Caregivers Find Relief with Chronic Care Management

Family Caregivers Find Relief with Chronic Care Management

Today, more than 15 million Americans serve as family caregivers for older adults. For older adults with chronic conditions and disabilities family care or “home care” can be substantial in scope, intensity, and duration. The overwhelming majority of family caregivers find great satisfaction and purpose caring for loved ones.  Family caregiversassume day-today responsibilities even though sometimes they may feel unprepared to provide care. Most have limited knowledge related to coordination of care, including management of medication, pain, mobility, and symptoms. Such challenges and responsibilities can leave family caregivers feeling tired, isolated, and stressed.

More than half of family caregivers provide eight hours of care or more every week, and 1 in 5 provides more than 40 hours per week. Four out of ten caregivers spend five or more years providing support, and 2 out of 10 have spent a decade or more of their lives caring for their family member. The family caregiver themselves may be living with one or more chronic illness. The physical and emotional health of family caregivers has the potential to influence the health, welfare and rehabilitation of persons with chronic illness.

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