Providing education and support to family caregivers of patients with cancer
The many burdens faced by caregivers of patients with cancer are well documented. Caregivers are asked to perform procedures, make assessments, coordinate care, and communicate with healthcare providers at an increasingly complex level. A caregiver quality improvement project, in the form of a Caregiver Café, was instituted at a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center.OBJECTIVES:
The objectives of the café are to (a) provide respite and a place for caregivers to relax and be nurtured, (b) provide a place for caregivers to meet and support each other, (c) provide answers to caregiver questions, and (d) recommend appropriate caregiver resources.METHODS:
The weekly Caregiver Café is led by an advanced practice nurse, and the format varies depending on the needs of the caregivers who attend.FINDINGS:
Caregivers have verbalized the importance of the café in helping them cope with their loved ones' cancers and treatments, and many attend on a regular basis. The Caregiver Café provides support and information and a place to get away from it all.