Who Is the Family Caregiver?
Generally, the family caregiver is a spouse, partner, child, or other relative who provides a range of assistance for an elderly or disabled person. They can be primary caregivers or secondary caregivers who give direct care or supervise the care given by someone else.
Most are middle aged, and their ages range from 35–64 years old. Ethnicity varies but 21% are both white and African-American, 18% Asian, and 18% Hispanic.
One out of two caregivers are women. Typically, the family caregiver is a daughter or daughter-in-law, but men are becoming increasingly involved. For some elders (about 20%), friends and neighbors fill this role.
What do they have in common- they are all unpaid, do it for love, face their own mortality for providing stressful free care and are bridging burn out? They need respite.
That ‘s why you need a caregiver assessment
Areas to Cover in Whole Family Assessment- Past History /Trauma
Geriatric Care Managers and Aging Professionals doing a “ Whole Family Assessment “ must ask themselves “why now”, and what has changed in the family unit that has created the need for the family to take action at this point in time.
Past History /Trauma – It is important for the Geriatric care manager or aging professional to identify critical events in the senior and family’s history, including psychiatric, health, family, and other life changing events. Wartime experiences, political upheaval and displacement, childhood abuse, neglect, and abandonment are just some of the issues, which may influence the family caregiver’s response.
Using the whole family approach with an aging family means doing a psychosocial assessment. In this approach you are generally focusing on two or more people in the family- your elderly client and their primary caretaker (whether doing hands on care or managing the caregiving). What are the areas you must probe in this psychosocial assessment of a whole family ?
•Past trauma– family history
•Sandwich Generation issues
•Religious and cultural issues
•End of life issues
•Quality of Life issues –
•Relationship to money