UCSF Neuro-Oncology Launches Peer-to-Peer Caregiver Connection Program
This summer, the UCSF Neuro-Oncology Gordon Murray Caregiver Program launched a newly renovated support program for family caregivers of patients with brain tumors.
The Peer-to-Peer Caregiver Connection Program connects family caregivers with another caregiver for peer support. The goal is to pair caregivers with a peer who went through a similar caregiving experience, so that they can offer both emotional and practical support.
Although the Peer-to-Peer Caregiver Connection Program has been available for some time, it was recently revamped with an expanded database of caregiver volunteers. In the last year, the volunteer database has doubled, allowing the program to better identify caregiver matches across a range of demographics. For example, when possible, caregivers are matched based on tumor type, treatment, age, relationship to the patient, and family situation.
The program’s volunteers are former caregivers themselves, and undergo training to provide peer support to current caregivers. Often, these interactions take place over phone or Zoom, and future calls are scheduled depending on the needs of the caregiver. The program was intentionally designed to offer flexibility to both caregivers and volunteers; there are no requirements or set schedules.
"With so many of our patients and their families living at a distance, it can be very isolating and challenging to access supportive care services,” said program manager Marielle Woodall. “This program provides caregivers a unique opportunity to access one-on-one support from wherever they are, and most importantly, from someone who has been in their shoes."
For more information, including how to sign up, contact program manager Marielle Woodall (Marielle.Woodall@ucsf.edu).