An extensive body of research conducted over the past several decades has documented that family or other unpaid caregivers provide the majority of care to people who need assistance because of functional limitations or multiple and complex chronic conditions. Families play a central role not only in assisting impaired family members with personal care needs, but also in helping them coordinate health care and supportive services, and, increasingly, providing and/or supervising home-based medical care. This paper presents background information on family caregiving, briefly describes federal programs that provide direct assistance to caregivers, and discusses possible future policy and practice directions.
O'Shaughnessy, Carol, "Family Caregivers: The Primary Providers of Assistance to People with Functional Limitations and Chronic Impairments" (2013). National Health Policy Forum. Paper 264.