Aging in Place: Interprofessional Approaches to Empower Informal Caregivers


      • Aging in place allows people to live in their homes and get older.
      • Informal caregivers help people aging in place to meet their complex needs.
      • Person- and family-centered care facilitates caring for the caregiver, the invisible workforce.
      • Nurse practitioners lead the interprofessional team approach to caregiver empowerment.
      • Any health care encounter is an opportunity to identify caregiver distress and promote resilience.


      “Aging in place” allows people to continue living in the familiar places where they spent their young adult life. Aging individuals choose to age in place with support from their families and the community. Informal caregivers play a significant role in aging in place. Caregiving is a complex task with physical, emotional, and economic implications for the caregiver. Adequate preparation and support reduce caregivers’ physical and emotional strain. Caregiver empowerment involves teamwork. Nurse practitioners can lead the interprofessional approach to empower caregivers, prevent caregiver burnout, and promote resilience.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to The Journal for Nurse Practitioners
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • World Health Organization
        UN Decade of Healthy Ageing: plan of action.
        • Binette J.
        • Vasold K.
        Home and community preferences: a national survey of adults age 18-plus. AARP Research.
        (August 2018)
        • University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center and NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
        Rural aging in place toolkit. Rural Health Information Hub.
        Date: 2019
        Date accessed: April 17, 2022
        • Biscontini T.
        Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health, 2020
      1. Reinhard SC, Feinberg LF, Houser A, Choula R, Evans M. Valuing the Invaluable: 2019 Update – Charting a Path Forward. AARP Public Policy Institute; November 2019.

      2. AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving. Caregiving in the United States 2020. AARP; May 2020.

        • Greenwood N.
        • Pound C.
        • Smith R.
        • Brearley S.
        Experiences and support needs of older carers: a focus group study of perceptions from the voluntary and statutory sectors.
        Maturitas. 2019; 123: 40-44
        • Hidalgo-Moreno G.
        • Moya-Albiol L.
        • Romero-Martínez Á
        Neuropsychological consequences of chronic stress: the case of informal caregivers.
        Aging Ment Health. 2020; 24: 259-271
        • Wittenberg-Lyles E.
        • Demiris G.
        • Oliver D.P.
        • Burchett M.
        Exploring aging-related stress among older spousal caregivers.
        J Gerontol Nurs. 2014; 40: 13-16
        • So M.K.P.
        • Yuk H.
        • Tiwari A.
        • Cheung S.T.Y.
        • Chu A.M.Y.
        Predicting the burden of family caregivers from their individual characteristics.
        Inform Health Soc Care. 2022; 47: 211-222
        • Yin X.
        • Xie Q.
        • Huang L.
        • et al.
        Assessment of the psychological burden among family caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease using the Zarit Burden Interview.
        J Alzheimers Dis. 2021; 82: 285-291
        • Schumacher K.L.
        • Stewart B.J.
        • Archbold P.G.
        • Dodd M.J.
        • Dibble S.L.
        Family caregiving skill: development of the concept.
        Res Nurs Health. 2000; 23: 191-203<191::aid-nur3>;2-b
        • Price M.L.
        • Surr C.A.
        • Gough B.
        • Ashley L.
        Experiences and support needs of informal caregivers of people with multimorbidity: a scoping literature review.
        Psychol Health. 2020; 35: 36-69
      3. Reinhard S, Young HM, Levine C, Kelly K, Choula R, Accius J. Home Alone Revisited. AARP Public Policy Institute; April 2019.

        • Lambert S.D.
        • Bowe S.J.
        • Livingston P.M.
        • et al.
        Impact of informal caregiving on older adults’ physical and mental health in low-income and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional, secondary analysis based on the WHO’s Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE).
        BMJ Open. 2017; 7: e017236
        • Blue Cross Blue Shield
        The Health of America. The economic impact of caregiving.
        (November 8, 2021)
        • Parmar J.
        • Anderson S.
        • Duggleby W.
        • Holroyd L.J.
        • Pollard C.
        • Brémault P.S.
        Developing person centered care competencies for the healthcare workforce to support family caregivers: caregiver centered care.
        Health Soc Care Community. 2021; 29: 1327-1338
        • Reinhard S.
        • Ryan E.
        • Young H.M.
        • Choula R.
        The CARE Act Implementation: Progress and Promise. AARP Public Policy Institute Spotlight.
        (March 2019)
        • Bell J.F.
        • Whitney R.L.
        • Young H.M.
        Family caregiving in serious illness in the United States: recommendations to support an invisible workforce.
        J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019; 67: S451-S456
        • Schulz R.
        Eden J, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Families Caring for an Aging America.
        The National Academies Press, 2016
        • Zwicker D.
        Preparedness for caregiving scale. Try this. General Assessment series. From The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing.
        New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing. 2018;
        • Huded J.M.
        • Lee A.
        • Song S.
        • et al.
        Association of a geriatric emergency department program with healthcare outcomes among veterans.
        J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022; 70: 601-608
        • D’Souza M.F.
        • Davagnino J.
        • Hastings S.N.
        • Sloane R.
        • Kamholz B.
        • Twersky J.
        Preliminary data from the Caring for Older Adults and Caregivers at Home (COACH) Program: a care coordination program for home-based dementia care and caregiver support in a Veterans Affairs medical center.
        J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015; 63: 1203-1208
        • Riffin C.
        • Wolff J.L.
        • Estill M.
        • Prabhu S.
        • Pillemer K.A.
        Caregiver needs assessment in primary care: views of clinicians, staff, patients, and caregivers.
        J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020; 68: 1262-1270
        • Ornstein K.A.
        • Schulz R.
        • Meier D.E.
        Families caring for an aging America need palliative care.
        J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017; 65: 877-878
        • ACL Administration for Community Living
        RAISE Family Caregivers Act Initial Report to Congress. RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council.
        (September 2021)
        Date accessed: July 11, 2022


      Letha Mullamkuzhy Joseph, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, is a nurse practitioner in the Community Living Center and the Program Director for the Geriatric and Extended Care NP residency at the Durham VA Healthcare System and a consulting associate at Duke University School of Nursing in Durham, NC and can be contacted at [email protected] .