Early intervention screening for family caregivers of older relatives in primary care practices: establishing a community health service alliance in rural America.

The Maine Primary Partners in Caregiving project provides a prime example of how disparate community health, social service, and higher education institutions can build a successful rural service alliance for the purposes of screening for family members experiencing stress during the provision of care to impaired older relatives. Community primary care practices are featured as prime sites for the early identification of elder caregivers experiencing stress and burden. Initial project results and implementation challenges as well as recommended strategies for nurturing such community partnerships are presented.