The Caregiver Policy Lens


For explanations of the questions/concepts and questions to consider if applying the Caregiver Policy Lens at the organizational/program levels, click on the corresponding links. At any time, you can click the Calculate and Save Button at the bottom of the page, and your work will be saved. Access Your Previous Selections


Describe the Context

  • Review and comment on the political or organizational context in which the policy/program is operating.
  • Does the organization embrace the concept of caregivers as ‘partners in care’?

Describe the Policy/Program

  • Review the purpose and objective of the policy/program to which the CGPL is being applied.
  • What is the purpose of applying the CGPL (e.g., policy development, program review)?
  • What are the interventions being recommended, implemented or evaluated by the CGPL?
  • What is the expected outcome of the policy/program?


Consider the Caregivers Likely to be Affected by the Policy/Program

  • Who are the caregivers likely to be most affected by the policy/program/practice under discussion (e.g., elderly caregivers, employed caregivers)?
  • Who are they caring for (e.g., rural care recipients, care recipients with a dementia)?
  • Think about both those who are caregivers today and future caregivers.


Think about these caregivers as you respond to each of the CGPL questions.


  • Beside each question in the CGPL check Yes, No, or Not Sure, NA (Not Applicable), according to what you believe your policy or program reflects.
  • Be sure to keep notes as you go about areas where you require more information and your plans for obtaining it.
  • In the online or CD version of the CGPL, each of the question headings is linked to further information at the end of this document; click on them to clarify meaning and for examples of questions to consider in developing/reviewing organizational or program level policies.

Process Factors
Stakeholder Engagement

1. Caregivers Inclusion and Voice

  • Caregivers, caregiver advocates and organizations providing services to caregivers must be engaged in developing, reviewing and evaluating policies and programs that affect them directly or indirectly.
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
1a) Are caregivers affected by the policy/program (directly or indirectly) participants in the policy or program review/development?
1b) Are the general public, caregivers, seniors and their advocates informed in advance about proposed policies and programs (or their review) that affect caregivers?
1c) Are caregivers and their advocates involved in the implementation of the programs and policies that affect them?
1d) Are caregivers and their advocates asked to provide evaluative feedback on policies and programs that affect them?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions

Who needs to be involved?

2. Collaboration

  • A diversity of relevant organizations, advocates, levels of government, and individuals concerned with caregivers must be involved in developing or reviewing the policy or program.
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
2a) Has the policy been developed in collaboration with organizations, levels of government and programs that are concerned with caregivers or those that will be affected by the policy/program?
2b) Does the policy/program emphasize partnership and collaboration?
2c) Are relevant levels of government, non-government/ voluntary/ private organizations informed of proposed policies and programs (or their review) that may affect them?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions

Who else needs to be involved?

3. Evidence Informed

  • All policies and programs should be based on the best available evidence, including the experimental evidence of caregivers and service providers.
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
3a) Is it based on current evidence (including experimental) and/or best practices?
3b) Are measures in place to monitor and evaluate process and outcome?
3c) Are caregivers invited and supported to provide input and to evaluate process and outcome?
3d) Is the policy or program congruent with relevant laws and legislation?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions


Policy/Program Content

4. Respect and Dignity

  • The policy/program must reflect respect for caregivers, value the importance of their contribution, and acknowledge the importance of their relationship with the care recipient.
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
4a) Is positive language used to portray caregivers and the care they provide?
4b) Are the contributions of caregivers formally acknowledged and valued?
4c) Is the need to respect caregivers’ privacy and confidentially identified?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions

5. Diversity and Marginalization

  • The policy or program must acknowledge and demonstrate sensitivity to diversity, and particularly to those who are marginalized.
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
5a) Does the policy or program demonstrate sensitivity to diversity in the use of language?
5b) Is the need to accommodate diverse interests and needs acknowledged?
5c) Are diverse caregivers and those who are marginalized engaged in developing, reviewing and evaluating policies and programs that affect them directly or indirectly?

Consider the unique needs of diverse caregivers who may be marginalized.

  • Does the policy/program promote their well-being?
  • Are they likely to experience inequities or negative impacts resulting from their memberships marginalized groups?
5d) Does this policy/program promote the well-being of, or avoid negative effects, for caregivers who are: Yes No Not Sure N/A
5e) Women
5f) Men
5g) Minorities/Immigrants
5h) Gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered
5i) Low literacy or limited English or French skills
5j) Low-income
5k) Seniors
5l) Parents of dependent children
5m)First Nations, Inuit, Metis
5n) Caring for younger adults
5o) Caring for someone with compromised cognition
5p) Living with the care recipient
5q) Living in rural or remote regions
5r) Caring for someone with challenging behaviours
5s) Employed (paid or volunteer)
Other: ________________

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions


Discussion Notes: How can the policy/program be adapted to address the barriers/challenges that may be experienced by the specific populations of caregivers identified? (Consider information, eligibility, implementation).

6. Choice, Self Determination and Independence

  • The choice to take up the role of a caregiver is the right of each indiviual. Does the policy or program reflect the right of caregivers to determine the parameters of the care they choose to (or not to) provide?
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
6a) Is the right of family members to decline, limit or end caregiving explicitly acknowledged?
6b) Are there prescribed points at which the caregiver’s willingness and capacity to provide care, and the boundaries of their care, must be reviewed?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions


7. Accessibility

  • Does the policy/program facilitate access to the services available to caregivers and make appropriate adaptations to accomodate diverse needs?
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
7a) Is information about the policy readily and easily available in a variety of mediums and formats that reflects the diversity of caregivers (e.g., language, literacy, income, culture, vision, etc.)?
7b) Is an appeal process in place (with assistance as needed) for those who do not, or no longer, meet eligibility requirements?
7c) Are sufficient resources attached to the policy/program in order to ensure services are available in a timely manner?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions


8. Caregiver Assessment

  • Caregivers have the right to have their own needs assessed and addressed, separate from those of the care recipient.
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
8a) Does the policy or program facilitate family/friends identifying as caregivers?
8b) Is the policy/program based on the identified needs of caregivers (separate from those of the care recipient)?
8c) Are policies/programs based on caregivers’ input and feedback about how well their needs are assessed and addressed?
8d) Does the policy or program meet the stated needs of caregivers?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions


9. Sustaining Caregivers

  • Caregivers must be equipped with the necessary information, education, skills, respite and other supports to enable them to carry out their role.
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
9a) Is education available to support caregiving (e.g., about the practical aspects of caregiving such as transferring, nutritional needs, etc.)?
9b) Is information about financial supports for caregivers available and is access to these supports facilitated?
9c) Is legal information and related supports available and accessible?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions


10. Sustaining Systems

  • The system that supports caregivers (directly and indirectly) requires appropriately educated and skilled human resources, and must be organized and resourced to facilitate continuity of care and to avoid crises leading to excess use of services.
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
10a) Are service providers educated about, and sensitive to, the needs of caregivers and how to support them?
10b) Do service providers have the appropriate knowledge, skills and supervision to provide sensitive and competent care to the care recipient?
10c) Is there sufficient system capacity to be proactive and to meet both immediate and urgent needs of caregivers?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions


11. Fairness and Equity

  • Policies and programs must be fair, ethical and equitable, taking into account the current and future health and economic risks of caregiving, and consider the competing needs of other populations.
Ask: Yes No Not Sure N/A
11a) Are the procedures and criteria inherent in the policy/program fair and reasonable.
11b) Does the policy ensure that caregivers do not accumulate disadvantages that will later impose individual or public costs (e.g., increased need for health care or financial support due to negative impacts on health; reduced pensions)?

Click Here for Organizational/Program Policy Questions


1. Summate the columns- How are we doing? Where can we improve?

YES>NO? You are well on your way to a positive policy/program. But look for some ways it could be improved. Go back and determine if there are any changes that will yet increase the number of “Yes” responses.
NO>YES? Your policy/program practice should be re-examined for content and overall intent. Many needs, preferences and concerns of caregivers are not being met. A good source of input is from caregiver themselves- ask them!
NOT SURE> Either YES or NO You need to gather more information before proceeding with your policy/program practice. This will ensure it more comprehensive and holistic.
NOT APPLIC> Either YES or NO Go back and critically examine your policy. Are there really this many categories that do not apply to your policy/program? Or does much of the policy/program not apply to the needs, preferences and concerns of those for whom it is intended?

2. Review your notes and your discussions. Note strengths of the policy/program

3. Identify the individual areas that require improvement and ways that potential negative effects could be addressed or off-set. Note who needs to be involved to make necessary changes, and what information needs to be gathered. Set target dates.

Issues Identified:

Actions/Information Needed:

Who needs to be involved:

Target date:

4. Make a Recommendation

Answer yes or no to whether the policy should be accepted, or accepted as revised, whether there is a need for more information, or if revision is required.

Accepted as revised
Need more information to decide from whom, where
Needs revision

5. Revise
Revise the policy, and re-apply the lens, starting at the beginning. Repeat until the (revised) policy is recommended for acceptance.

6. Date of next review?

We would appreciate your feedback on using the Caregiver Policy Lens. Click  here to complete and submit a brief evaluation form.

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