Friday, July 13, 2007
This presentation is part of : Models for Sub-Acute Care
Developing and Implementing Caregiver Stress Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines in a Long Term Home Care Setting
Sheryl K. Buckner, RN, MS, College of Nursing, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK, USA and Margo MacRobert, RNC, MS, CNAA, College of Nursing, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Learning Objective #1: describe evidence-based practice guidelines related to caregiver stress in the long term home care setting
Learning Objective #2: describe the process used to develop evidence-based practice guidelines related to caregiver stress

As our society continues to age, many people are faced with providing caregiving to family members.  Caregiving, though, is not without its challenges particularly when caring for those with chronic illnesses or disabilities who choose to reside at home.  The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the process used by case managers in a long term home care setting to develop and implement evidence-based practice guidelines related to caregiver stress. 

Caregivers often have a difficult time evaluating their own situation.  Often they view caregiving as a duty to family or friends but unfortunately do not consider the stress that may be involved in carrying out such a duty.  Clients rely on these caregivers for many of their activities of daily living, therefore, it is imperative that caregivers are able to provide care with as minimal stress as possible.  Caregivers who feel over-burdened with the task of caregiving can pose a danger to their own health and to the health of those for whom they are caregiving.  Therefore, it is important to review the stress level of home-based caregivers on a periodic basis and provide a referral to available resources for caregiver support when possible. 

In a state-wide case management practice, case managers developed a procedure for reviewing caregiver stress based on an established caregiver stress tool.  From this tool, case managers evaluated the level of stress as well as recommended interventions to decrease the level of caregiving stress.  Outcomes from the implementation of these guidelines will be discussed.