Abstract

Unpaid caregivers are often expected to help family members or friends overcome activity limitations and participation restrictions to successfully age in place. Caregivers assume multiple responsibilities, such as managing their own physical and psychosocial needs and navigating a complex health care system, and many feel ill equipped to fulfill the necessary health care responsibilities for their care recipients. Underprepared caregivers may cause poor outcomes for care recipients. Federal and state policy proposals call attention to the need to better support caregivers, especially as their numbers increase. Occupational therapy practitioners are well positioned to effectively engage caregivers as they navigate the health care system. The occupational therapy process looks broadly at the functional abilities, environmental contexts, and occupational demands that play a pivotal role in successful aging in place for clients and better outcomes for their caregivers. Now is the time to define occupational therapy’s distinct value to this area.

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