Supporting Family Caregivers of Seniors Within Acute and Continuing Care Systems


  • Jasneet Parmar University of Alberta; Grey Nuns Community Hospital
  • Jacqueline Torti University of Alberta
  • Suzette Brémault-Phillips University of Alberta
  • Lesley Charles University of Alberta
  • Karenn Chan University of Alberta
  • Peter George J. Tian University of Alberta



family caregivers, seniors, acute care, continuing care, health care



Family caregivers who provide care to seniors at no cost to the healthcare system are an integral part of the healthcare system. Caregiving, however, can cause significant emotional, physical and financial burden. We held a one-day symposium on how to best involve and support family caregivers in the healthcare system. The symposium brought together caregiv-ers, healthcare providers, administrators and policy-makers to identify needs and make recommendations to address these issues.


Participants engaged in conversation circles which were audio-recorded and transcribed. Data were qualitatively analyzed alongside written notes provided by participants.


Symposium participants identified a lack of both orientation and education for healthcare providers about family caregivers and standardized processes for assessing caregiver burden. They highlighted a need to ensure that the family experience is captured and included as an essential component of care, foster a culture of collaboration, expand the notion of the healthcare team to include family caregivers, provide more integrated palliative care, and enhance policies and programs to acknowledge family caregivers.


There is a need to recognize the essential role of family caregivers in seniors’ health and well-being, and to take on a more comprehensive approach to patient care.


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How to Cite

Parmar J, Torti J, Brémault-Phillips S, Charles L, Chan K, Tian PGJ. Supporting Family Caregivers of Seniors Within Acute and Continuing Care Systems. Can Geriatr J [Internet]. 2018 Dec. 10 [cited 2023 Nov. 29];21(4):292-6. Available from:



Original Research