Family members who provide care to their loved ones experience changes in their own health. The caregiver health model (CGHM) is a new model that identifies health holistically and identifies four determinant(s) that contribute to the health status of the family caregiver. The purpose is to introduce the CGHM: Hypothesis 1: the determinants of health in the CGHM contribute to the health of the Caregiver, Hypothesis 2: the determinants of health contribute to changes in the caregivers’ health at 8 and 16 weeks, and Hypothesis 3: a change in health occurs from baseline to 8 and 16 weeks. Methods: A descriptive, longitudinal design used three data collection points and five survey instruments. Community recruitment (N = 90) occurred through word of mouth and newspapers. Inclusion criteria consisted of being a family caregiver, living in a rural residence, and providing care to elders with necessary activities of daily living (ADLs) and/or instrumental ADLs (IADLs). Following a participant generated phone call to provide consent, caregivers received an initial study packet, additional packets were sent upon return of the previous packet. Analysis for the three hypotheses included multiple backwards stepwise linear regression, generalized estimating equations (GEE), and analysis of variance (ANOVA) α = 0.05. Results: A significant decrease in mental (p
< 0.01) but not physical health at 8 weeks (p
= 0.38) and 16 weeks (p
= 0.29) occurred over time. Two determinants displayed significant (p
< 0.05 or less) changes in mental and/or physical health at one or more time points. Study limitations include caregiver entry at varying times and self-report of elder nursing needs and medical conditions. Conclusions: Findings support two of the four determinants contributing to caregiver health.
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