2005 Conference Sets Guidelines to Assess the Needs of Family Caregivers

Conference to create consensus for family caregiving guidelines

The Family Caregiver Alliance held the National Consensus Development Conference for Caregiver Assessment in San Francisco, September 7–9, 2005. The Family Caregiver Alliance, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 to address the needs of people who provide long-term care at home for family members and friends.

Key Results

  • Project staff commissioned four papers to guide discussions at the conference:

    • "Assessment of Family Caregivers: A Practice Perspective."
    • "Assessment of Family Caregivers: A Public Policy Perspective."
    • "Assessment of Family Caregivers: An International Comparison Across Six Countries."
    • "Assessment of Family Caregivers: A Research Perspective."
  • An advisory committee composed of experts in caregiving, health and long-term care issues guided the project. Some 54 stakeholders and recognized experts in care giving, health and long-term care issues attended the conference.

  • Participants agreed on fundamental principles and practice guidelines for caregiver assessment. These were summarized in a two-volume report and a toolkit:

    • Volume I, Principles, Guidelines and Strategies for Change, outlines fundamental principles and practice guidelines that apply to a range of caregivers in a variety of settings.
    • Volume II, Voices and Views from the Field, provides four background papers commissioned for the conference and two personal accounts by people who provide care and support for a family member.
    • An online toolkit for health care practitioners, Caregivers Count Too! It provides practical guidelines and tools for assessing the needs of caregivers.
  • Conference participants reached agreement on the importance of promoting a systematic assessment of caregivers' needs.

  • According to the project director, the conference was the first-ever national consensus conference on developing guidelines for assessing the needs of family caregivers.

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