Supporting the Family Caregiver: The Burden of Serious Illness

Last Reviewed: March 10, 2016

What You’ll Learn

  1. Acknowledge the discrepancy between what is expected of family caregivers of people with serious illness and the resources provided to them in today’s health care system
  2. Recognize the multiple roles filled by family caregivers across the disease trajectory
  3. Identify common precipitants of burden experienced by family caregivers
  4. Recognize the critical role that all providers play in assessing and supporting caregivers from the first point of contact and across the illness trajectory

What You’ll Earn

CAPC members can earn the following free continuing education credits:

  • Case Management: 1.00 CE
  • Licensed Professional Counselors: 1.00 CE
  • Medicine: 0.75 CME
  • Nursing: 1.00 CNE
  • Social Work: 1.00 CE (NYSED)
  • Social Work: 1.00 CE (NASW)

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Tools & Resources

Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI-12)

Last Updated: October 23, 2019

Self-reported caregiver assessment.


The Loneliness of the Long-Term Care Giver

Last Updated: February 13, 2020

Seminal article on the experience of caregiving. New England Journal of Medicine, 1999.


References: Supporting the Family Caregiver - The Burden of Serious Illness

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

Course citations. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2016.


The Invisible Millions: Supporting Family Caregivers

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

CAPC National Seminar Intensive Session, 2016.

Atlas of Caregiving Tool

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

Tool used to draw a family care map to visually depict all of the people involved with the caregiver.


Get Palliative Care

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

Information for patients and families about palliative care.


National Alliance for Caregivers Resources

Last Updated: January 29, 2019

The National Alliance for Caregiving offers a variety of materials to support family caregivers, ranging from booklets and tip sheets to webcasts and conference materials.


Andrew E. Esch, MD, MBA. Consultant, Center to Advance Palliative Care.

Philip Higgins, PhD, LICSW. President, Lighthouse Counseling of Salem, Inc.

Elizabeth Mann, MD. Fellow, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Contact information: For technical questions about online activity or continuing education credits, contact or 212-201-2674.

Provided by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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