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Caregiver-Centered Care Education: Education for Health and Social Care Providers about Person-Centered Care for Family Caregivers

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Do you work with family caregivers? Do you want to learn more about person-centered care for family caregivers? Our competency-based Caregiver-Centered Care Education is Free online www.caregivercare.ca. Each module takes 45-60 minutes to complete. You receive a continuing competency certificate on completion.

What do learners say about the Caregiver-Centered Care Education?

Foundational Education: It was a great course to draw my attention towards how important of a role the caregivers play in successful patient experience.

Advanced Education: Honestly, I’ve had years of experience working with caregivers in a Home Care environment and in the child protection system, and I still found these courses helpful. Helpful in that it cues you to slow down a bit and be present, even when our caseloads are nuts, no matter how experienced you are. I really liked the teaching about communication, open-ended questions, curious discovery, etc. in each module.

Why Education about Family Caregivers for Health and Social Care Providers?

Family caregivers (also carers, care-partners, caregivers) are Canada's largest care workforce[1]. One in five (22.1%, 6.8 million) Canadians is a caregiver. Canadian caregivers provide 5.7 billion hours of unpaid care yearly. It would take at least $97.1 BILLION and 2.8 million full-time employees to replace the 5.7 billion hours of care family caregivers provide. $97.1 Billion is over 3 times the national expenditures on home, community & long-term care[1].

Family caregivers provide 90% of the care for people living in the community and assist with 15 to 30% of the care for Canadians living in lodges, assisted living, or long-term care[2,3]. They assist family members, friends and neighbours with long-term health problems, disabilities, or functional limitations. We define family caregiver broadly as any person who takes on an unpaid caring role providing health, social, emotional, and practical support for people with mental or physical illness, disability, or frailty from aging. Health providers rely heavily on caregivers to carry out care plans and discharge recommendations, reduce the length of hospitalizations, and reduce emergency and acute care wait times [2,3].  

Caregiving trajectories are now much longer and more challenging because of advancements in medicine, longer lifespans, and health and community cost-cutting measures that shift care responsibilities onto families. Caregivers shoulder not only personal care and extended activities of daily living, but also medical and nursing duties traditionally done by regulated health professionals. In our siloed health and community care systems, family Caregivers are also the de facto care coordinators. In 2017, they spent 15 to 50% of their time determining what support they needed, and then finding, determining eligibility, coordinating, and accessing services and supports[4] Time spent caregiving and navigating reduces caregivers' opportunities for education and employment, connecting with family and friends and maintaining their own well-being.

Without systematic support, family caregiver distress rates are soaring. Statistics Canada reported 44% of family caregivers were distressed in July-August 2022[5][7]. Much of family caregiver burden is related to interactions with health providers and the health system[6-8]. American caregivers of older adults who helped with medical appointments or coordinated care between providers were significantly more likely to report burden compared to those who did not assist with these health care interactions.[8,9] A recent study involving Canadian employees (automotive, manufacturing, insurance, research and development, health and social services, municipal government), highlighted that the number of hours spent organizing and coordinating healthcare tasks was associated with increased family-work conflict, NOT other family care tasks like housework [10].

It is essential that health care systems and providers determine ways to make health care interactions less burdensome for family caregivers.


1.           Fast, J.; Duncan, K.A.; Keating, N.C.; Kim, C. Valuing the Contributions of Family Caregivers to the Care Economy. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 2023, doi:10.1007/s10834-023-09899-8

2.           Griffin, J.M.; Kaufman, B.G.; Bangerter, L.; Holland, D.E.; Vanderboom, C.E.; Ingram, C.; Wild, E.M.; Dose, A.M.; Stiles, C.; Thompson, V.H. Improving Transitions in Care for Patients and Family Caregivers Living in Rural and Underserved Areas: The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act. Journal of Aging and Social Policy 2022, doi:10.1080/08959420.2022.2029272.

3.           Schulz, R.; Czaja, S.J. Family Caregiving: A Vision for the Future. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2018, 26, 358-363, doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2017.06.023.

4.           Hopps, M.; Iadeluca, L.; McDonald, M.; Makinson, G.T. The burden of family caregiving in the United States: Work productivity, health care resource utilization, and mental health among employed adults. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 2017, 10, 437-444, doi:10.2147/JMDH.S135372.

5.           Statscan. More than half of women provide care to children and care-dependent adults in Canada, 2022. 2022, 11, 08.

6.           Schulz, R.; Beach, S.R.; Friedman, E.M.; Martsolf, G.R.; Rodakowski, J.; Everette James, A. Changing Structures and Processes to Support Family Caregivers of Seriously Ill Patients. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2018, 21, S36-S42, doi:10.1089/jpm.2017.0437.

7.           Bosco, N. Caring for carers. Implications and repercussions of reduced attention to family caregivers on individual health and collective wellbeing. Sociologia del Lavoro 2018, 120-135, doi:10.3280/SL2018-150007.

8.           Mueller, A.; Beach, S.R.; Bowers, B.J.; Fields, B. Relationship Between Health Care Interactions and Care Partner Burden. Families, Systems and Health 2022, 40, 225-231, doi:10.1037/fsh0000675.

9.           Semere, W.; Makaroun, L.K.; Beach, S.; Schillinger, D.; Rosland, A.M. Family Caregivers Navigating the Health Care System: Evolving Roles During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Families, Systems and Health 2022, 40, 268-273, doi:10.1037/fsh0000688.

10.         Beauchamp Legault, M.È.; Chênevert, D.; Maisonneuve, F.; Mansour, S. How do Informal Caregivers of Seniors' Tasks Lead to Presenteeism and Absenteeism Behaviors? A Canadian Quantitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2023, 20, doi:10.3390/ijerph20075392.

  • By

    Dr. Jasneet Parmar, Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UofA

  • Published

    Nov 28, 2023

  • Subject Area
    • Mental Health and Wellness
    • Social Connectedness / Social Isolation
    • Education, Recreation, & Arts
    • Information, Referral, & Advocacy
    • Caregiving & Caregiver Support
    • General Health and Wellness
    • Age-friendly Communities
  • Audience
    • Service Providers (Non-profits, Community Organizations, Local government)
    • Caregivers, Seniors & Volunteers
    • Health Authorities
  • Category
    • Rural & Remote Communities
    • Training & Capacity Building
    • Provincial Resources
    • Research & Evidence
    • CBSS Supports & Services
    • Best Practices
    • Policy, Planning, & Procedures
    • Advocacy
    • Partnerships
    • First Nations/Aboriginal Communities
    • Leadership & Development


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