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Hospitals helping family caregiver popul

Health outcomes improve

when the hospital care team includes family members

Supporting and educating family caregivers improves health outcomes

Hospitals, health plans, and clinicians have an existing, free resource that improves patient outcomes: the family caregiver.

More than 1 in 5 Americans is a family caregiver — an individual who helps a family member manage medical care and more, without being paid.

See the data 

Studies show that health outcomes improve when the hospital care team includes the patient’s family members. Improved outcomes can mean fewer hospital days, emergency room visits, and preventable readmissions, plus enhanced patient experience and satisfaction metrics.

Drive clinician engagement and whole-person care


Family caregivers can support the whole-person approach to medical care delivery, help clinicians understand patient quality-of-life goals, and help patients make sound care utilization decisions.

See new ways hospitals prepare family caregivers for postdischarge care

Beth Suereth, CEO of Caregiving Pathways, co-authored a series of publications with AARP Public Policy Institute that shares how hospitals across the country are supporting and educating family caregivers after their state passed the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act

The publication series, Supporting Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care, offers emerging themes, practices, examples, and vignettes for hospitals as they work to improve patient and family engagement by supporting family caregivers.

Beth was also a member of the team that produced Home Alone Revisited: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care, the 2019 AARP Public Policy Institute report that took a national look at how family caregivers are managing medical/nursing tasks — such as administering medications and changing wound dressings — at home.


In the past, these tasks were performed by trained professionals in hospitals. Now they are now routinely performed by family members at home, often without adequate preparation before discharge. 

What's your organization's family caregiver strategy?

Find out how Caregiving Pathways can help your organization create a family caregiver strategy that supports your existing business goals. 

Our approach to helping organizations better support family caregivers is accretive, not disruptive. Many enhancements are inexpensive and easy to implement. Some help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on family caregivers, patients, and staff.


Rather than introduce new workflows, products, or services, we help refine or standardize existing processes. Some changes are as simple as placing family caregiving content into existing patient and staff communication channels.  



Offer our programs to your staff


Choose a patient population to study. Provide programs or consultative services to your staff, patient families, or both. See how outcomes change.

We customize our programs to meet the needs of your organization. 

The Family Caregiver Advantage 


We teach family caregivers:


  • What to expect in the hospital

  • How to coordinate and get the best care for a family member during a hospital stay

  • How to plan for appropriate care after discharge to prevent readmission

The Artful Clinician  


We teach hospital and practice staff:


  • Easy ways to help family caregivers improve patient outcomes — without disrupting care delivery

  • Simple techniques for including family caregivers in preadmission, admission, transitions, and discharge​

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Offer our classes to your family caregivers


Choose a patient population to study. See how outcomes change after you engage and educate your family caregivers. Beth Suereth teaches family caregiving classes through The Caregiving Years Training Academy.

1. How to Help Your Loved One in the Hospital  You Can Make a Difference


When a loved one is in the hospital, there’s a lot to manage. And it feels overwhelming. Get practical tips and tricks for managing the hospital experience and understanding the importance of the family caregiver.

Hear about Beth’s caregiving experience and learn:

  • What to expect in the hospital

  • How to keep track of the details to prevent common hospital mistakes

  • How to prepare for care at home after the hospital stay and keep a loved one from going back

2. When the Care Plan Becomes an End-of-Life Plan


It’s difficult to think clearly during the emotional stress of the end of life. Making an end-of-life plan in advance helps families understand a loved one’s wishes and avoid conflict during the final days. When you and your family know what to expect, you can keep the focus on bringing comfort to your loved one. Preparation will make it easier to handle your feelings, your family members, and the way you care for your loved one physically, spiritually, and emotionally. 

Hear Beth’s story about her father’s last days and learn about:


  • When and how to ask about geriatric specialists, palliative care, and hospice (the doctor may not mention these)

  • Making the most of the time that’s left to minimize regret in the future

  • Finding out what’s important to your loved one at this stage of life — it may be something you wouldn’t imagine!

New laws require hospitals to request family caregiver contact information

Forty-five U.S. states and territories have passed the Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act, legislation that requires hospitals to collect family caregiver data. Our goal is to work with hospitals as they create a cycle of teaching family caregivers how to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs, then measuring and improving healthcare utilization and related success metrics.


As you identify family caregivers, hand each individual a guide — and a name tag that tells hospital staff to include this family member as part of the care team.

This version of our family caregiver guide to managing the hospital stay is written in the voice of the hospital. You can order this off the shelf or customize or co-brand it to promote patient- and family-centered care and help differentiate your organization.

Hospital guide to give to family caregiv
Family caregiver name tag

See data: How family caregivers improve patient outcomes

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