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.