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
If Mom in a facility, like a nursing home, here are 10 tips that will make a good mother’s day visit plus guard against future problems
1.) Make contact with staff that cares for her, like the Director of Nursing. Ask for an update on how your Mom is doing and if periodic updates can be sent to you from the facility. If not why???
2) Don’t be reluctant to talk to the aides about care. They are on the front line. Facilities, especially nursing homes, have low staff-to-patient ratios — like 1 aide to 10–15 patients. Things get missed, call lights stay unanswered.
3) Get the business cards of the Social Worker, RN and Administrative staff. Make those contacts and ask for periodic updates or call yourself on a regular basis to all 3. The squeaky wheel gets attention
4) Hire a geriatric care manager to monitor and visit for you weekly or monthly . These professional will give you excellent reporting and can arrange activities to increase Mom’s quality of life.
5) If something is really a serous concern – immediately contact the ombudsman at the facility and introduce yourself. This is a free national Older Americans Act Program that monitors care in nursing homes and other facilities.
6) Your visits, on mother’s day or anytime you are in town) make care better Periodic drop -ins by a long-distant caregiver to a long-term care facility where the care recipient is residing are critical. It is important for the long distance caregiver to establish good contacts with employees (aides, the social worker, the RN charge nurse, the director), and let the contact person at the facility know that the long distance caregiver appreciates what they’re doing.
7) Eat a meal while you are there. Check out the quality of the food and the presentation. Remember, this is your relative’s house. They deserve a great kitchen. Is the place spotless? They deserve a clean home.
8)Talk to other residents and ask what they think of the care. Are there religious services, people talking, activities that are more than numb TV? Are people calling for their mother endlessly?
9) Bring a gift to enhance Mom’s life in a nursing home- bring your family and have them there. Make a banner that says happy mother’s day for her room. Get a gift certificate to have her hair done if it an extra expense at the facility, Bring a gift of a new set of clothes, Try CEIVA a digital photo frame. You can automatically update the pictures from your computer as can the rest of your long distance family. Or try these 10 other gift ideas for a Mom in a facility
10) Make arrangements to have one of Mom’s friends, old or new, go by and visit, and let you know how things are going. In a facility the squeaky wheel is often the only voice heard. Make it heard.
Care Plans Need to be acceptable. Sometimes the client, family or third party may SIMPLY REJECT your care plan intervention.Let’s try an example and see what to do.Here is your intervention for Mr. Jefferson and Sally Hemingway to improve their communications with their families and their are issues -see You-Tube about Mr. Jefferson
1. Improve Communication with Mr. Jefferson’s out of town family. GCM or aging professional ‘s goal is to be to have Tom Jefferson and Sally Hemingway able to use Skype on the computer to videoconference with Mr. Jefferson’s out of town children and Sally’s out of town family.
a. GCM to bring over different styles of headphones to try with Mr. Jefferson’s s hearing aid
b. GCM to give the recommendations to long distance daughter Alice to purchase through her discount at work.
c. GCM to arrange for computer consultant Pleasure Point Computer to come to house to set up Skype, enlarge the fonts and icons on computer on both Sally and Mr. Roosevelt’s computers and teach them how to use the program.
d. GCM to email out of town children to explain the plan and give the requirements (, install Skype) Have out of town children also sign up, as it is free.
e. GCM to arrange with children and Mr. Jefferson a regular time to talk on Skype k. (I.e. Sunday at 11 am)
f. GCM to ask Sally arranges time to “Skype” with her children and grandchildren allowing more opportunities to connect with her family.
As a GCM or an aging professional you arrange all this BUT Mr. Jefferson rejects it saying it is too hard to adapt to new technology. Also one of his son’s who is says he is a technophobic refuses to agree
So your care plan intervention is rejected .
However Sally accepts this and starts using Skype with good result, helping her feel closer to her grandchildren.
You decide it better to come up with a new care plan intervention for Mr. Jefferson with a telephone conference with his adult children, which he accepts this new intervention.