Overcoming roadblocks to implementing a family caregiver support program
We frequently speak with organizations that implement family caregiver programs, both in the community or at point-of-care, who struggle to drive awareness and adoption. While the programs are designed to meet caregiver needs, earning buy-in from caregivers is never easy. Through these conversations, we’ve identified a few common roadblocks and what organizations can do to overcome them to successfully engage family caregivers.
- Insufficient and Ineffective Marketing
Most often, the staff members responsible for implementing a family caregiver program have clinical or social service backgrounds. Social workers, occupational therapists, and registered nurses generally do not have the experience required to effectively market a program – and the organization often provides limited resources for marketing. This creates a roadblock to implementation because:
- High-quality marketing materials that reflect a program’s credibility can foster trust in potential users and influence future engagement (Ritterband et al., 2009).
- Successful marketing requires skills and resources to create a diverse, multi-channel approach that leverages both print and web materials.
- Staff that don’t hone the marketing message may not effectively convey the program’s potential benefits, which can have a considerable impact on future engagement (Chiu & Eysenbach, 2010)
- Lack of Staff Experience with Program
Although staff may have many duties in addition to program implementation, it is important not to overlook the importance of prioritizing effective implementation techniques. Staff should be thoroughly and properly trained on a program prior to implementing it. Otherwise, the following roadblocks can occur:
- If staff are not highly proficient during program demonstrations, especially when technology is involved, caregivers are likely to perceive the program as too difficult to use, leading to decreased engagement (Chiu & Eysenbach, 2010, Chiu & Eysenbach, 2011)
- If staff are unable to answer questions or clearly articulate the value of the program, they can quickly lose buy-in from a potential user (Ritterband et al., 2009)
- Inadequate Approach to Personalization
All care situations are unique. Caregivers have diverse family histories and dynamics, symptoms to care for, relationships with providers, and socio-economic backgrounds. The importance of personalizing program implementation cannot be overlooked. Missed opportunities to personalize one’s implementation approach can negatively impact a caregiver’s motivation to engage and overall adherence to the program (Morrison, 2015; Beatty & Binion, 2016)
Interested in Learning More? Email Amber Fisher (email@example.com) for a copy of our Caregiver Activation Framework, and to learn more about overcoming these roadblocks.