There are not on only ethical issues to be solved about a caregiver assessment but a management issue. The caregiver assessment concept brings care managers back to an age-old question. Just who is my client? Is the care receiver your client or is the caregiver your client? For care managers and all professional in aging to see the caregiver, as a client is a major challenge. The focus as care managers and aging professionals has always been on the care recipient as the client.
The National Center for Caregiving suggests that the professional in any agency to see both the caregiver and care receiver as client, a shift must take place in the entire agency. Both administration and front line care managers need to build a consensus that the caregiver is a client as well.
If a geriatric care manager practice is in a solo practice, there are few problems.However in larger agencies like non –profits, area agencies on aging ,for profit agencies like home health or private duty home care, the administration must create a consensus that will include the caregiver as a client so that front line care managers get the necessary support. Questions like, will the care givers have their own records and what will be the budgetary impacts and pressure on staff to be inclusive, will have to be answered.
Concerns may come up with other staff like more paperwork, taking time away from the care receiver, lack of resources in the community to meet the caregiver and the caregiver’s reluctance to share the information.