Improving Care at Home: Challenges and Opportunities

by Dr. Kathy Raffel | School of Nursing and Health Professions

Unpaid and low-paid caregivers provide up to 90% of the care provided to people who are ill or disabled but living at home. By some estimates, 65 million individuals provide unpaid care worth up to 470 billion dollars, more than all Medicaid spending.

Often, these caregivers receive little or no training about the medical tasks they are called on to provide. In addition, caregiving takes a significant toll on those providing care — physically, emotionally and financially. As our population ages and more care is provided in the home rather than in medical facilities, these problems are expected to increase. But, currently, we do a poor job of supporting these “invisible” members of the healthcare team.

To address this challenge, the School of Nursing and Health Professions is holding a half day conference, Improving Care at Home: Challenges and Opportunities. The program has been developed in partnership with the Gerontology Minor, Family Caregiver Alliance, SF In Home Supportive Services Public Authority, and USF's Beta Gamma Nursing Honor Society. Conference attendees will learn about the spectrum of caregiving experiences, gaps in current services, effective methods for partnering with caregivers, and the potential for new technologies to assist in making care at home easier and safer.

Improving Care at Home: Challenges and Opportunities will be held on Saturday, October 24th from 8:30 until 1:30 in Fromm Hall on the University of San Francisco campus. This conference is free to currently registered students and $25.00 for all others. Registration includes a light breakfast and box lunch. Community professionals, policy makers, and caregivers are encouraged to attend.

If you have questions about conference content, please contact Kathy Raffel ( If you have questions about registration, please contact Michelle Wylie (