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October 16, 2007

The Needs of Families Caring for Relatives Facing the End of Life

Aloen Townsend
The past decade has produced growing advocacy for improved care for dying individuals, yet little is known about the experiences of family members providing care to those near the end of life.

Aloen L. Townsend, Ph.D., associate professor of social work, led a multidisciplinary team composed of a psychologist, social workers, and nurses (including a hospice administrator) in a project called the “Family Assessment Collaboration to Enhance End-of-Life Support.” The goal was to enhance end-of-life care through improved assessment of family caregivers’ needs and resources. To that end, the research team developed an interview tool to assess the social, financial, physical, emotional, and spiritual strains of family caregivers, as well as their internal and external resources.

Read more about Dr. Townsend's research on end-of-life caregiving, or visit her faculty page.