Quality of Life of the older client and important to the involved family caregivers. The care manager can assist families by beginning the dialogue to open discussions on preferences and values of the older client and the family. What would give the older person joy in their life? Would it be art, going to baseball games, being in a knitting group, having a tea for friends at their home with the help of a caregiver?
Quality of Life issues that the care manager should assess are: the individual’s need for social interaction or privacy; value of family; proximity to cultural stimulation; and adaptability to change. These are just some of the many quality of life considerations.
When values and preferences differ between individuals,in the family, it is important to identify how the differences may impact all involved in the process. What if the older person wants an electric scooter so she can shop at Safeway, the store she has used since she was a young mother and wife? At the same time what if the adult son or daughter will only shop at organic, health food markets and wants her mother to shop there. On top of that the daughter feels the electric scooter is unsafe and the aging mother feels she is safe. How do you solve this quality of life dilemma?
Religious and Cultural Issues – Expectations based on religious and/or cultural practices, rituals, and differing belief systems between family members all need to be considered in the “ Whole Family Approach “
Are the expectations of the adult children and the parents consistent? Oftentimes, conflicts will emerge due to differing life experiences. As intermarriage becomes more common, the attitudes within the family towards religious and cultural differences have created new challenges, particularly among the different generations.
In our You Tube series on whole family tools cultural issues are key because this Danish born aging mother brings a cultural tradition of the “ “dutiful daughter” with her. This is a long tradition in her homeland where a daughter is chosen to care for the mother until she dies.
This conflicts with the American “here and now” because her 2013 daughter is an attorney with two teenage daughters who cannot exclusively care for her aging mother.
The geriatric care manager http://www.caremanager.org/ is able to assess these cultural differences using the Whole Family approach and find a solution that meet mother and daughter’s needs and get the care the aging mother needs at the same time
PBS series Taking Care – PBS News Hour Series on Long-Term Care in America on caregiving features excellent first segment segment on mothers and daughters showing why the Whole Family Approach is so important in aging. The series is sponsered by the SCAN Foundation a-profit public charity devoted to transforming health care for seniors in ways that encourage independence and preserve dignity.
Here is a follow up to my blog yesterday from the front page of the Wall Street Journal today Memorial Day.
If you work with elders look into the GRECC program . I can’t say enough about the VA once you get there- (a mountain to climb). But at the top is heaven. My Dad and I got the best care in the world. He had a geriatrician who spent an hour with him each visit, all the supplies he needed, psychiatric services, kindness, gentleness, transportation almost door to door and respect for what he had suffered and who he was in the here and now.
I got a geriatric assessment. I teach it, think it, write it but no one ever had the kindness to offer it to me. I found in those few hours with the VA RN and Social Worker what an incomparable tool it really is. Their goal was to tell me my Dad was going to die and help me through it. I wasn’t a geriatric care manager then- I was just who I really am, a daughter, caregiver and human being in pain. They supported me, gave me tools, consoled me ,cradled me.
So I would like to honor the GRECC program on Memorial Day and say it is brilliant, human, kind, and a tool that the VA offers that is life changing to all who use it. It was all that to me and my father- Harry V. Cress pictured above.