Building Better Caregivers (BBC)

Workshops are highly participatory. Mutual support and success build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. Each participant is guided to tailor the workshop content to their own needs.

Older man and women taking selfie


  • Small group workshop
    • 2 1/2 hours per session
    • 1 session per week for 6 weeks
  • Asynchronous small-group internet workshops are available from Canary Peers


Adult informal (family and friends) caregivers caring for adults with memory impairment

  • 8-14 (10 minimum strongly advised) participants per face-to-face workshop
  • 8-12 participants per virtual workshop

Workshop Leaders

  • 2 trained Leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals and are currently or have been caregivers themselves, for both in person and virtual workshops
  • Must be trained by SMRC-certified Master Trainers

Frequently Asked Questions

How was the programs developed?

The Stanford Patient Education Research Center (now SMRC) received a grant from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop and pilot test a program for caregivers of people with brain injury or impairment. Either the caregiver or the care partner were veterans. Using what was learned from our other online studies and information from the VA and caregivers, the online BBC was developed.   Later with funding from the Archstone Foundation the in-person BBC was developed and evaluated.  For many years the asynchronous version of the program has been used nationally by the Veterans Administration Caregiving Services.

How can my facility offer the Program?

All agencies must have at a minimum:

Workshop Topics

Skills that may lead to stress reduction for caregiver and their care partner.

Geriatricians, social workers, registered dietitians, occupational and physical  therapists, and other health professionals all of whom have extensive caregiving experience have reviewed all workshop materials.

Topics include:

  • Self-care methods to improve caregiver’s health
  • Dealing with difficult emotions
  • Managing difficult care partner behaviors
  • Planning for the future
  • Finding resources
  • Improving communication skills with family and friends
  • Family meetings
  • Communicating with health professionals and health care system
  • Action-planning, problem-solving, decision-making

Participant Materials

Language Options

For articles about Building Better Caregivers see the bibliography

The BBC program is approved for Title IIIE funding under the Older American’s Act and is on the list of Best Practice Caregiving for family care givers delivered by the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging and the Family Caregiving Alliance.

Contact us for more information


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