“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different. ”
Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gadsby
The normal family is the hand grenade compared to the nuclear blast of the”Rich and famous” dysfunctional family when confronted with aging parent being dependent. Dysfunctional families have many characteristics. They lack the ability to resolve conflicts and have frequent psychosocial blockages that prevent the family from growing emotionally.But the rich and famous dysfunctional family have all this plus, a care manager, can often become a mere servant.
Care Manager’s Claudia Fine and Nick Neucombe warn us in their chapter in Care Manager’s Working With the Aging Family,”Entitlement and the Dysfunctional Family.”
” When these Concierge entitled adult children engage care managers to meet their caregiving needs and the needs of their parent, they do so expecting no involvement in process or outcomes. Further, they hold that paying for services “entitles” them to positive outcomes, as well as, the abject availability, devotion, and attention of the care manager, “their employee”. A sociological/psychological construct of “I pay you, therefore, I own you” is at play in these relationships. Much of the work of with a rich and famous entitled family must focus on maintaining control of the process while allowing these two differing perspectives on the care management relationship and contract to coexist.
Decades later when faced with the dependence of their failed and flawed aging parent, the injured adult child has no idea how to build a loving nest for the disabled Mom or Dad. They have no inclination to even take the steps to care for them.The rich and entitled hire ” servants’ like geriatric care managers to care for the uncaring now old parent. Take the famous case of storied Mrs. Astor who’s unnurtured son, despite inheriting millions, neglected her so badly he went to prison.
The rich and famous, like Sumner Redstone, Harper Lee , 104-year-old heiress Mrs. Astor , and the bizarre centenarian, Hugette Clark, who made her home in a famous New York Hospital for 20 years and then left her fortune to a nurse and the hospital foundation – all became fodder scandal media. But each was alleged or proven elderly scams that opened up front page lawsuits involving uber rich entitled and confused elderly. This brings attention to a huge problem that professionals in aging and care managers see on an increasing basis.
These are tough cases for a social worker or care manager, Sherlock Holmes or his wife Mary Russell.Care managers or geriatric social workers who work with these families need a solid background in family therapy and aging, 5 years of both care management and social work or nursing and a masters’ in their field.They need to be sleuthing, sage experts in the aging dysfunctional family and working with rich entitled families- who can afford them but are such a heavy lift.
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