Thanksgiving is around the corner and it will have care manager’s cell phones buzzing with desperate dysfunctional aging family members calling.
The ordinary aging processes , like a family rituals ,are made far tougher when a family has a history of dysfunction. Aging professionals, like aging life or geriatric care managers ,have their greatest challenges in working with these “difficult” families.
Dysfunctional families are not able to organize themselves effectively in the face of eldercare challenges and crises.Every holiday becomes a new crisis. They often can’t even cook the turkey or often an aging Mom just burns it. These families are under more stress as they move from long-established roles into uncharted territory.
What if they “cut off” their Dad years ago and now he had a severe stroke-what do they do?? Someone has to take over Mom or Dad’s care and these dysfunctional midlife adult kids are heavy ambivalent or just don’t want to do it.
Now that Thanksgiving is tomorrow – they have the same attitude about attending the family Thanksgiving dinner.
Read Lynn Lynn Hackstaff’s chapter, Difficult Families: Conflict, Dependence, and Mutuality: Care Management with the Difficult Aging Family in the new Handbook of Geriatric Care Management 4th edition
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