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United Hospital Fund’s ‘Next Step in Care’ Project

En español | Caring for a chronically ill or disabled family member can be difficult to manage, especially when a crisis happens, such as going to the emergency room. Decisions may be rushed. Worry about a family member’s condition can be distracting. And family caregivers often have jobs and other responsibilities to think about, too. The United Hospital Fund’s Next Step in Care project offers information that can help make those moves smoother.

What Is Next Step in Care?

Next Step in Care provides free guides and checklists for family caregivers on a variety of topics, focusing especially on transitions between care settings.

No matter if you are caring for your spouse, parent, partner or longtime friend, Next Step in Care can help you, the caregiver, know what’s next, what to ask and how to keep it all organized. The guides are in English, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. They can be printed, downloaded and saved, and read on a smartphone or tablet.

Covering each topic with reliable, up-to-date information, the guides are frank about what each transition may mean for you. From coverage and payment to options and questions, Next Step in Care can give you the straight talk about what happens, when, and what the options may be. The materials have been developed with leaders in the field to be clear, comprehensive and accurate.

What Caregiving Topics Are Covered?

Are you managing a family member’s medications? Next Step in Care has a guide to help you learn how to do that, plus a medication list you can fill out by hand or on your computer. Is your family member about to be discharged from a hospital? There is a collection of information on discharge to guide you through. Other topics include:

Whether you are new to caregiving or you’ve been a caregiver for years, Next Step in Care can help you avoid crises and deal with them if they occur.

About Next Step in Care

Next Step in Care is a project of the United Hospital Fund, a nonprofit health services research and philanthropic organization whose primary mission is to shape positive change in health care. Since its founding in 1879, when it focused on organizing charitable support for voluntary, nonprofit hospitals in New York City, the United Hospital Fund has worked to find creative solutions to shared problems. Its groundbreaking initiatives are expanding health insurance coverage and reforming New York’s Medicaid program; improving quality of care and patient safety; better meeting the needs of the aging, the chronically ill and their family caregivers; and identifying and promoting the most promising on-the-ground innovations in health care. While much of the fund’s work focuses on New York, its family caregiving work is national in scope.

AARP contributor and caregiving expert Carol Levine is the director of the United Hospital Fund’s Next Step in Care Project. A former caregiver herself, Carol is a popular author, blogger and bioethicist. She recently completed a book for AARP, Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies, and edited an anthology of caregiving fiction, Living in the Land of Limbo: Fiction and Poetry about Family Caregiving.