Informal and formal care infrastructure and perceived need for caregiver training for frail US veterans referred to home and community-based services.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES To describe the informal care network of US veterans referred to home and community-based services (Homemaker Home Health services, H/HHA, or Home-Based Primary Care, HBPC) at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), including: quantity and types of tasks provided and desired content for caregiver training programs. METHODS All primary care patients referred to H/HHA or HBPC during the preceding 3 months were sent questionnaires in May 2007. Additionally, caregivers were sent questionnaires if a patient gave permission. Descriptive statistics and chi-squared tests were performed. RESULTS On average, patients received 5.6 hours of VA care and 47 hours of informal care per week. 26% of patients (38% of patients with caregiver proxy respondents) and 59% of caregivers indicated the caregiver would be interested in participating in a training program by phone or on-site. Significant barriers to participation existed. The most common barriers were: transportation; no time due to caregiving or work demands; caregiver's own health limitations; and no need. CONCLUSIONS Caregiver training needs to be tailored to overcome barriers to participate. Overcoming these barriers may be possible through in-home phone or internet training outside traditional business hours, and by tailoring training to accommodate limiting health problems among caregivers.

DOI: 10.1177/1742395309352694

Cite this paper

@article{Houtven2010InformalAF, title={Informal and formal care infrastructure and perceived need for caregiver training for frail US veterans referred to home and community-based services.}, author={Courtney Van Houtven and Eugene Oddone and Morris Weinberger}, journal={Chronic illness}, year={2010}, volume={6 1}, pages={57-66} }