When a Caregiver is so Overwhelmed that A SNF is a Choice but a Very Bad Choice
If the family is so overwhelmed by the care that they are considering placement, this threat should trigger the GCM to do a caregiver assessment immediately, found in the Handbook of Geriatric Care Management If the GCM is called to relocate an older person and the underlying cause seems to be caregiver burnout, this can be another trigger to use this valuable GCM tool. By using a caregiver assessment the geriatric care manager may find that building respite for the caregiver, through other relative or paid caregivers, a caregiver support group, or coaching the caregiver to make changes that make her/ his tasks more bearable and doable and avoid inappropriate placement of the older person
Avoid Elder Physical Abuse Though a Caregiver Assessment
If caregiver abuse is suspected, a caregiver assessment is a critical immediate tool. This is a situation where the GCM must contact Adult Protective Services, following their own state’s laws. Elder abuse can be triggered by caregiver stress in some situations. Depression that reaches a clinical level in a caregiver can be predictive of elder abuse of an elderly client can prompt a GCM to do a caregiver assessment. You should also do a geriatric depression scale at the same time. Use the GDS and the caregiver assessment to help both the caregiver and the care receiver and avoid the risk of physical abuse and prevent involvement of APS making the caregiver and care receiver’s lives even more painful and chaotic and risking placement in a nursing home.
Mrs. Handy has Two Dads in Her Head
Let’s take the example of Mrs. Handy, a caregiver daughter caregiver She calls a GCM as she is about to place her Dad. Besieged by so many other stressors, her own health is deteriorating because she cannot get any sleep, due to her Dad going to bed so late and her inability to rise above her old self when her Dad was 40 and she was 19 and what he said she did. Now he is 70, very impaired with vascular dementia, incontinent and she needs to be who she is in the here and now a woman of 40, caring for an impaired Dad in her 70’s. The care manager coached her to set a new boundary for him to go to bed early. She needs help in getting rid of the old parent in her head and putting the 70-year-old demented incontinent parent before her. In addition, she sees her doctor for depression, joins an online caregiver support group, and asks siblings in other towns to take her Dad once a month for a week. Her Dad is not moved to skilled nursing. This is what a geriatric care manager can do for her to help avoid unnecessary placement.
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