What Role Can Family Play in Chronic Illness Care?

What Role Can Family Play in Chronic Illness Care?

 

While having health care insurance plays a major role in helping people successfully manage or recover from chronic illness or disease, having the support of family
members also plays a valuable and crucial role. Family may be one’s spouse, or children or other relatives who many live nearby or far away in another state or country. Regardless, a variety of family intervention programs are available. The California HealthCare Foundation recently published a report that draws together a broad range of research findings, case studies, and resources to assist patients, their families, and health care providers to maximize the benefits of family involvement in chronic care support.
The report highlights 3 examples of such family intervention programs:
• A couple-oriented education and support program focused on setting goals for osteoarthritis self-help and care;
• A program that covers communication techniques to support the autonomy of patients with heart failure; and
• A technology-enabled program for people with heart failure that helps distant family members monitor their relative’s symptoms and test results.
These programs are a sampling of strategies for handling challenges, improving communications, and maximizing the benefits of family involvement in chronic illness care.
Click here to download the report.

While having health care insurance, such as Medicare, plays a major role in helping people successfully manage or recover from chronic illness or disease, having the support of family members also plays a valuable and crucial role. Family may be one’s spouse, or children or other relatives who many live nearby or far away in another state or country. Regardless, a variety of family intervention programs are available. The California HealthCare Foundation recently published a report that draws together a broad range of research findings, case studies, and resources to assist patients, their families, and health care providers to maximize the benefits of family involvement in chronic care support.

The report highlights 3 examples of such family intervention programs:

  • A couple-oriented education and support program focused on setting goals for osteoarthritis self-help and care;
  • A program that covers communication techniques to support the autonomy of patients with heart failure; and
  • A technology-enabled program for people with heart failure that helps distant family members monitor their relative’s symptoms and test results.

These programs are a sampling of strategies for handling challenges, improving communications, and maximizing the benefits of family involvement in chronic illness care.

Click here to download the report (pdf).

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.