Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Title: Care for the Caregiver: A Rural Perspective
Background: Informal caregivers in rural communities have multiple challenges. First, they have limited access to caregiving training yet are expected to perform tasks at skilled levels (Morelli, Barello, Mayan, & Graffigna, 2019). Second, they have limited access to supportive services, such as respite, which keeps them on-call 24 hours a day (Pfankuch, 2018). Finally, this continual status of caregiving around the clock encroaches on their own engagement in personal health management (Hewitt & McNiesh, 2019).
Purpose: The product of this scholarly project is an interprofessional (IP) telehealth wellness program for informal caregivers residing in a rural community. The purpose is to support wellness among informal caregivers through engagement in occupation-based group sessions that support health management in their natural environments. The use of telehealth helps the caregivers overcome rural barriers, such as lack of access to healthcare and supportive resources.
Methodology: A thorough literature review was completed through the following databases: American Journal of Occupational Therapy, CINHAL, University of North Dakota Scholarly Commons, Google Scholar, and PubMed. To guide the creation of this product, the Ecology of Human Performance (EHP) model (Dunn, 2017), the framework of Cole’s Seven Steps (Cole, 2018), and the teaching and learning theory Geragogy (Bastable, Myers, & Arnaud, 2020) were used.
Conclusion: Care for the Caregiver was created to fill the gap that exists with informal caregivers and the lack of access to healthcare in rural communities. The emphasis is placed on health management and how rural access to healthcare can affect quality of life and the tasks related to caregiving. The use of this program via telehealth and supplemental material helps the caregivers overcome rural barriers, such as lack of access to healthcare and supportive resources.
Gerving, Michaela Claire, "CARE FOR THE CAREGIVER: A RURAL PERSPECTIVE" (2022). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 507.