Hope is the Best Tool on the Holidays
During Christmas and Hannaka family caregivers, especially in the dysfunctional family can be drinking or numbing themselves from the pain of caregiving. They will ruin the holiday celebration one way or another. Maybe they are drugging themselves with the telly or abusing prescription drugs. Depression and anxiety ( rife among caregivers) are predictors of increased alcohol use. Social isolation, which is experienced by some caregivers, is also predictive of increased alcohol use.
How do you as a geriatric care manager change the script for these aging dysfunctional families – family caregivers and older members who are supposed to care for but can’t. How does a professional GCM make the characters transform?
It’s actually simple –but loaded with skill- give them hope. You need to and use yourself to give them hope that things will change. It’s the best tool a geriatric care manager toolbox- especially on and after the dreaded holidays.
Use of Self
The use of Self is perhaps the most powerful tool for geriatric care managers. The use of Self provides families with guarded optimism. GCM’s have to offer a vision of the future that is based not only on a desire for hopeful outcomes. This has come from our own clinical knowledge and belief that change to their nasty crippled, family system is indeed possible.
By being direct, empathetic, and nonjudgmental, we become a holding bay for stressed caregivers, creating a place of safety, confidentiality, consistency, and support. Finally, GCM’s offer our clients a model of perseverance. By not giving up on the possibility of positive change and by exploring all options, the GCM enables families to feel that, regardless of the outcome, they have done all that they can to support the older adult.
Be like Judy Garland on the holiday offering hope
Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light
From now on
our troubles will be out of sight
Give the” Merry Christmas – next year
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