Bridging the Family Care Gap: Chapter 1 - Public health perspectives on the family care gap

Elsevier, Bridging the Family Care Gap 2021, Pages 3-41
Erin D. Bouldin, Elena M. Andresen, Valerie J. Edwards, Justin P. Kearley, Nia Reed, Lisa C. McGuire

Caregivers provide a critical source of care for people living with disabilities and chronic conditions. They improve health outcomes among care recipients while risking negative health consequences themselves. Nevertheless, the need for more caregivers is substantial. Therefore, caregiving is a public health concern. Public health seeks to improve the health of populations in an equitable way. This chapter illustrates a public health approach to supporting caregivers of people with dementia using the Healthy Brain Initiative: State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia, the 2018–2023 Road Map. It is framed using essential public health services and identifies 25 strategies for public health action to support caregivers. The Road Map could serve as a template for supporting caregivers more broadly. Addressing the anticipated family care gap requires that public health systems collaborate to collect data and equitably implement evidence-based policies and programs that support people providing care in their communities.