Thanks to a grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation, RUSH University Medical Center is working in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to integrate Caring for Caregivers (C4C) into Age-Friendly Health Systems and Area Agencies on Aging nationwide. The C4C brochure helps caregivers identify how to care for themselves, as well as support the older adult they care for, in ways related to the 4Ms of an Age-Friendly Health System (What Matters, Medication, Mentation (or Mind), and Mobility).

Click here for English, Spanish, or Chinese copies of the C4C brochure.

Learn more about Age-Friendly Health Systems here.

Page Contents:

We invite you to join us for an introduction to the model and information about getting involved!

All interested staff and leaders are invited to learn more about the Caring for Caregivers Model, including integration of the Caregiver Training codes under the new Physician Fee Schedule, and details about training and support.

Introductory webinars will be held in April, May, and June 2024. To register, click on one of the links below or scan the corresponding QR code. Contact Diane Mariani,, with any questions.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024
9am PT / 10am MT / 11am CT / 12pm ET
C4C Introductory 4.10.24 (30 min)

Thursday, April 25, 2024
11am PT / 12pm MT / 1pm CT / 2pm ET
C4C Introductory 4.25.24 (30 min)

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
10am PT / 11am MT / 12pm CT / 1pm ET
C4C Introductory 5.14.24 (30 min)

Thursday, May 23, 2024
9:30am PT/10:30am MT/11:30am CT/12:30pm ET
C4C Introductory 5.23.24 (30 min)

Wednesday, June 5, 2024
9am PT / 10am MT / 11am CT / 12pm ET
C4C Introductory 6.5.24 (1-hour)

Friday, June 21, 2024
8am PT / 9am MT / 10am CT / 11am ET
C4C Introductory 6.21.24 (30 min)

Caring for Caregivers (C4C) Model Overview

The Caring for Caregivers Model was created to address serious gaps in care provision for adults aged 60 and over related to a lack of identification, understanding and support of family caregivers within health systems.

When the C4C model was implemented at RUSH Medical Center, positive impacts were seen for caregivers of older adults:

  • Reduction in symptoms of anxiety
  • Reduction in symptoms of depression
  • Reductions in levels of caregiver stress

For care recipients who had care at RUSH Medical Center and whose caregivers participated in C4C, we saw:

  • Reductions in number of inpatient stays
  • Reductions in number of days in hospital
  • Reductions in number of Emergency Department visits

C4C is a customizable caregiver centric intervention that begins with an evaluation using validated tools, followed by involvement in any one or more of the following;

Skill-Building Meetings

  • Caregivers learn to provide care in ways that are safe for them and the care recipient
  • Caregivers meet with PTs, OTs, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, dietitians and/or psychologists to learn to care for themselves and their care recipients in ways related to the 4Ms of an Age-Friendly Health System (What Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility)

Planning for What Matters Sessions

  • Caregivers and care recipients (when appropriate) meet with family systems-trained clinicians to discuss What Matters to each
  • Individualized care plans are developed that reflect the values and goals of each person involved
  • Plans are made to expand the care team
  • Caregivers and care recipients commit to mutual support

Care Team Planning Meetings

Caregivers and care recipients become part of the care team and meet to coordinate goals of care and roles with health care personnel, both within and beyond the health system. Meetings include medication coordination among all health care providers and de-prescribing as appropriate.

Follow-up evaluation and outcomes

Follow-up phone evaluations using the tools previously administered take place on a schedule most effective for your health system.

Participation Goals

  • To implement the C4C model customized to fit within your health system or organization to address caregiver needs in conjunction with the Age-Friendly Health Systems framework
  • For your health system or organization to offer caregivers of older adults the individualized education and support they need to provide care congruent with What Matters to them and their care recipients, resulting in improved outcomes for both

RUSH University Medical Center will help accomplish these goals by providing:

  • Training on the C4C Model
  • Learning Communities in which other health systems or community organizations with similar caregiver needs, patient demographics, funding structures and leadership models will be grouped to share targeted information and support
  • Technical assistance on an individual basis to assist with any unique implementation needs

Benefits of Participation

  • Billable services provide sustainability
  • Improved outcomes for caregivers and older adult care recipients
  • Professionals working at top of licenses
  • Reduced penalties for health systems for readmissions, lengths of stay and emergency department visits
  • Connection with peers that are implementing the model in similar settings through participation in training and learning community meetings as well as ongoing consultation with C4C staff as needed, all provided at no charge

Data Collection and Submission

  • For quality improvement as well as clinical purposes, we encourage collecting meaningful data such as screening for depression, anxiety, and caregiver stress—and can recommend processes and tools for this approach.
  • We also encourage each health system to tailor their own approach to quality improvement to what best serves their needs.
  • Deidentified data is requested to be sent to C4C staff to assist with the evaluation


  • Sites implementing the C4C model in their health systems will be recognized as Partners in Caring for Caregivers, and will receive a badge that may be used in any promotional material

Participation Costs

  • There are no fees for participation. Costs incurred include staff and administrative time needed to develop, market and offer the program to caregivers
  • Consultation is provided regarding options for in-house cost coverage

Nutritional Videos

Meeting Caregivers Nutritional Needs

Kristin Gustashaw, a Registered Dietitian at Rush University Medical Center shares a new miniseries for caregivers on tips for quick and healthy eating tips.

Quick and Simple Meatball Recipe for Caregivers

Kristin Gustashaw, RD, shares a quick recipe for meatballs with minimal ingredients and more convenience, a ten-minute prep meal!

Nutrition Tips for Caregivers

Kristin Gustashaw, RD, advises on simple to-go snacks to fuel your body in preparation for a day filled with caregiver duties.

To learn more, please contact:

Diane Mariani, Program Manager, Social Work and Community Health, RUSH University Medical Center,