Understanding How to Support Family Caregivers of Seniors with Complex Needs

Lesley Charles, Suzette Brémault-Phillips, Jasneet Parmar, Melissa Johnson, Lori-Ann Sacrey


Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences and challenges of supporting family caregivers of seniors with complex needs and to outline support strategies and research priorities aimed at supporting them.

Design and Methods

A CIHR-funded, two-day conference entitled “Supporting Family Caregivers of Seniors: Improving Care and Caregiver Outcomes” was held. An integrated knowledge translation approach guided this planning conference. Day 1 included presentations of research evidence, followed by participant engagement Qualitative data was collected regarding facilitators, barriers/gaps, and recommendations for the provision
of caregiver supports. Day 2 focused on determination of research priorities.


Identified facilitators to the provision of caregiver support included accessibility of health-care and community-based resources, availability of well-intended health-care providers, and recognition of caregivers by the system. Barriers/gaps related to challenges with communication, access to information, knowledge of what is needed, system navigation, access to financial resources, and current policies. Recommendations regarding caregiver services and research revolved around assisting caregivers to self-identify and seek support, formalizing caregiver supports, centralizing resources, making system navigation available, and preparing the next generation for caregiving.


A better understanding of the needs of family caregivers and ways to support them is critical to seniors’ health services redesign.


caregivers; seniors; comorbidities

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.20.252


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)