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 Formalizing Family Involvement

The Family Involvement in Care (FIC) intervention program, created by the University of Iowa Geriatric Education Center, is aimed at enabling families and staff to continually negotiate and clarify their expectations about care for the resident in order to establish mutually satisfactory roles and relationships.
 
Providers and families are asked to negotiate a Partnership Agreement, a form developed as part of the program that outlines how family members and staff intend to perform specific activities with the resident. The form, which is signed by both the family member and a staff member, is negotiated and agreed upon when the resident enters a facility.
 
Another component of FIC is the establishment of a formal care provider to act as a nurse care manager (NCM). The NCM visits with families to identify the primary family caregivers and gives them a tour of the care environment, where philosophies and policies are reviewed and expectations and concerns are discussed.

Bring Families Into The Loop

Educating family members about the general principles of caregiving is also an important part of the FIC partnership agreement.
 
When negotiating and forming a partnership with families, there should be a mutual agreement between family members and staff about goals and approaches to care for the person with dementia.
 
According to the FIC framework, in order for families and staff to form successful involvement in care partnerships, vital information about the person with dementia should always be shared among the family caregivers and the formal care provider.
--Meg LaPorte
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