This symposium champions the vital role care partners play in the rehabilitation process as interdisciplinary care team members. We share reports on both qualitative and quantitative investigations involving care partners of people post-stroke, people living with Parkinson’s disease, and people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. We discuss the importance of care partner involvement and practical strategies and resources to support engagement. Evidence for how improved dyadic patient/caregiver relationships also improve patient outcomes is highlighed. We share numerous moving and insiteful video interviews with care partners to allow their voices speak for themselves. As allied health providers, we need to recognize and take seriously the impact caring has on care partners who are themselves “invisible patients” with physical and mental health care needs of their own. We must strive to meet these many physical, emotional, and social needs and view informal care partners as members of our interdisciplinary teams!
Describe barriers to care partner engagement and suggest means for supporting care partners during the rehabilitation process.
Identify unique needs of care partners both relative to the specific diagnoses of their care receivers as well as needs common to all care partners independent of their care receiver’s diagnosis.
Name challenges experienced by care partners when implementing home rehabilitation programs.
Identify current resources and programs to support care partners.