Aging is a family affair. The aging process does not only affect the older adult, but it ping-pongs through the entire family system. Family members, friends, neighbors, involved professionals, as well as the community at large are all affected. Family caregivers take the brunt of the stress of managing the needs of an aging senior. A substantial body of research shows that family members who provide care to individuals with chronic or disabling conditions are themselves at risk. Emotional, mental, and physical health problems arise from complex caregiving situations and the strains of caring for frail or disabled relatives.
The whole family approach… As Steve Barlam and Bunni Dybnis say in their chapter, Tools to Support the Family Caregiver in the book Care Manager’s Working With the Aging Family, if a stone is thrown into the center of a pond, ripples would emanate from the point where the stone first touched the water. Consider that touch spot as the senior with care needs. The perceived ripples are the effects of those care needs on the family caregivers close to the center all the way to the greater society towards the edge of the pond. From the onset, investing in understanding the impact of the senior’s needs on the family affords the care manager the ability to create more sustainable plans that help balance the needs of the senior and family caregivers. That is why a care manager needs to take a whole family approach to care management.
Care managers need to understand the changing needs of the older client as they impact those of the family. With this understanding, care managers can use care management tools to create successful interventions to help not only the senior but the entire family system.
But to work with the entire aging family, the care manager must have tools and great expertise to use those tools.These tools include assessment of the older client and assessment of the caregiver, care planning. implemneting a care plan using CORE skills, and resources from the local continuum of care, without these tools and the expertise to use them like a skilled carpenter, you cannot remodel an aging family to get care for an older person.
Bunni Dybnis MA, LMFT, CMC Director of Professional Services LivHome, LA
and Steve Barlam Chief Professional Officer, Co-Founder LivHome
MSW, LCSW, CMC, both highly expert care managers, created a seminal chapter on the Tools that a care manager or geriatric social worker need to work with aging families in my book Care Manager’s Working With the Aging Family. they cover these CORE skills in that chapter.
This is the only textbook out that focuses on care management tools needed to work with the aging family. The text addresses the unmet needs of care managers working with aging clients as well as the client’s entire family. With its in-depth focus on the “ aging family system,” this book fills a gap for medical case managers and geriatric care managers, giving them tools to better meet the treatment goals of aging clients and their families, as the older clients move through the continuum of care in institutional based settings or community-based settings.It is now available for a reduced price through Jones and Publisher
Geriatric care management tools or an aging professional’s tools fill up an entire toolbox. They are like tools in a carpenter’s tool box- a hammer, drill, saw and architectural plans. One of those tools, a very potent one that will make your care plan hold up, is the “Whole Family Approach”. Learn more on this YouTube from my Geriatric Care Management channel.