The Caregiver Toolkit

The Caregiver Toolkit is designed to provide people caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness with resources and support in navigating the complexities of caregiving. The Toolkit series is built on an occupational therapy foundation and addresses a range of topics that caregivers may find useful in their journey. 

Before you explore The Caregiver Toolkit topics below, watch this short video for an introduction to the series. 

About the Author and The Caregiver Toolkit

Gillian Fanney, a graduate student attending Wingate University’s Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program, created The Caregiver Toolkit Program for her Doctoral Capstone. Gillian’s goal is to empower caregivers with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of caregiving more effectively. From practical resources, strategies, to emotional support, Gillian aims to assist caregivers every step of the way. Gillian believes that by coming together as a community, we can create a supportive network that enriches the caregiving experience for all.

This program is built on an occupational therapy foundation. The essence of occupational therapy is the “belief that active engagement in occupation promotes, facilitates, supports and maintains health and participation” (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2020). Occupations help to shape clients’ identities and promote overall health and wellbeing. Health management, including physical and mental health management, is an important occupation for clients within the domain of occupational therapy (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2020). Since caregivers are at risk for decreased health and quality of life due to the stress and demands of caregiving, occupational therapists can promote positive mental health through competence enhancement strategies, such as skill development, environmental supports, and adaptations of tasks.