Area of Focus:
Family caregivers are often not fully integrated into the patient’s care team, which means that their role, expertise, and needs may not be acknowledged. Caregivers, for their part, may also be unaware of the key role they play and may not self-identify as a “caregiver.”
It is imperative to change the way that hospital care and community services are designed, offered, and evaluated in order to enhance the caregiver experience and optimize health outcomes. With Cultivating Change: The Caregiver Friendly Hospital and Community Hub, Sinai Health System’s Bridgepoint Active Healthcare site and WoodGreen Community Services are proudly partnering with family caregivers to build a caregiver friendly environment that extends broadly from the hospital and into the community.
The caregiver friendly hospital and community hub encompasses both a physical space and a philosophy of care in which caregivers are partners—not visitors. This approach would see family caregivers formally identified, valued for their deep knowledge, and actively listened to in order to assess their unique needs. Through this approach, the partnership will address Changing CARE’s four interconnected themes to drive improvement and innovation.
Most importantly, this project will ensure that family caregivers are fully integrated into the design process. Using a variety of engagement methods, such as caregiver cafés and a “collaboratory” space for co-design activities, Sinai Health System and WoodGreen Community Services will bring together caregivers, patients, clinicians, community leaders, hospital administrators, and health services researchers. These activities will improve the current understanding of the supports and services needed by family caregivers and will assemble a critical mass of hospital and community partners.