Family caregivers and Health Care Providers: Developing Partnerships for a Continuum of Care and Support Chapter uri icon


  • Contrary to popular opinion, most American families do not abandon family members with chronic disease and disability to paid professionals and paraprofessionals. Family caregivers “…constitute the largest group of care providers” in the United states (Parish et al., Mental Retardation 41(3):174–187, 2003), and as they provide the majority of long-term care in this country, the market value of their activity far exceeds that spent on formal health care and nursing home care (Vitaliano et al., Current Directions in Psychological Science 13:13–16, 2004). The number of family caregivers will continue to increase as our society changes with an aging populace and an escalating rate of chronic, debilitating health conditions (Carter, Preventing Chronic Disease 5(1):1–2, 2008). As the number of caregivers in society increases and the health of care recipients is dependent upon the ability of the family caregivers to operate competently as de facto health care providers, the health and well-being of family caregivers is a public health priority (Talley and Crews, American Journal of Public Health 97:224–228, 2007). Yet, most health care service delivery systems and practitioners fail to acknowledge and affirm the central role families play in extending health care services.

author list (cited authors)

  • Elliott, T. R., & Parker, M.

editor list (cited editors)

  • Talley, R. C., & Crews, J. E.

Book Title

  • Multiple Dimensions of Caregiving and Disability

publication date

  • January 1, 2012 11:11 AM