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In a newly released report entitled Meeting the Needs of Diverse Family Caregivers, AARP explores the unique needs of racially and ethnically diverse family caregivers. According AARP, one out of every five family caregivers is either Hispanic or African American. 

Thus, as an increasing number of family members take on the weighty responsibility of providing care for their loved ones, providers should consider ways to better partner with family caregivers of all racial and ethic backgrounds.

From data collected in focus groups with Hispanic and African American family caregivers and care professionals, some recommendations for improving collaboration and communication between family members and providers emerged:

  • Offer a 24/7 help line for family caregivers.
  • Provide better training and follow-up for family members carrying out difficult hands-on care (like tube feedings).
  • Schedule follow-up appointments prior to discharging patients from care settings (like hospitals or long-term care).
  • Make care coordinators available to patients and family caregivers after hospital discharge.
  • Offer follow-up from social workers after hospital discharge.

Based on this report, Hispanic and African American caregivers are articulating a need for more support as they strive to provide ongoing emotional and medical care for their loved ones. But, the report continues, by reminding readers of the importance of public policy that meets the needs of diverse family caregivers as well.