The reason to assess the caregiver is based on Family systems theory
Care receiver’s ( older client’s )and caregiver’s are a system. Like all systems if you change one part it changes the other part. So if you as a care manager’s repair the caregiver’s problem, like caregiver stress or burnout or no family support from others ,you change the care receiver because they then get better care. The solution a care manager brings to the situation in the form of a care plan- defining the problems and offering solutions almost always involve working with the caregiver to make changes in the situation.
Look at exhausted caregiver Ms. Handy
If a client like our fictitious Mrs. Handy is so burned out from caring for her kids husband and difficult elderly father that she is about to place him you offer coaching to stop that placement. You coach Ms. Handy to ask her family for help. You coach her to be firm about her Dad going to bed earlier not at 1:00 AM when he often wakes her out of an exhausted sleep. How did you the care manager know to do this. You did a caregiver assessment. You fixed both problems with this powerful assessment.
If the problem is that the care receiver can’t remember to take his or her medications, it is usually the family caregiver who either sets up the meds or actually gives them. If those meds involve medications for anxiety on the care receiver’s part this may stop her from calling the family member over and over. So when you the family member tells the care manager that she is being driven crazy by her mother calling over and over, the daughter as caregiver is part of the problem and part of the solution that you as a care manager design. You suggest a medication reminder system and medication reminder service in the mother’s home to solve the problem. You also suggest a call from the daughter to her Mom to assure her she is there.
You are fixing the problem of her mother calling over and over, using the daughter to fix the mother’s problem that then fixes the daughter’s problem (many less calls.)
So using a caregiver assessment has usually a dual result of defining and finding a solution to an interaction between the caregiver and the care receiver.
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