HealthcarePapers 15(1) April 2015 : 40-46.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2015.24397

Caring for the Family Caregiver: Lessons Learned in Child Health

Krista Keilty and Eyal Cohen


Policy to support informal caregivers is a critical health policy issue in Canada. Lessons may be learned from the perspectives and experience in the child health field with applicability for all cared-for persons and their informal caregivers. Family-centred care addresses the centrality of the family caregiver in the design and delivery of health services. A life course approach focuses on key periods of transition and downstream effects facing caregivers over their lifetime. The medical home model where care delivery is more coordinated offers potential direct cost savings for both family caregivers and the healthcare system. Models of pediatric home care that focus on promoting caregiver capacity and integration of unregulated providers show the promise of being acceptable and sustainable solutions to increasing demands for caregiver respite. Finally, a number of assumptions that are somewhat unique to the pediatric caregiver experience are explored and/or challenged. These lessons and assumptions may provide insight for policymakers in the development of systems and supports for all cared-for persons and their caregivers in Canada.



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