Tucson, AZ (PRWEB) July 30, 2012
A recent survey titled Women and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Caregiver’s Crisis conducted by Working Mother Research, sponsored by GE and with input from the Alzheimer’s Association, revealed that 82% of current Alzheimer’s caregivers are keeping aging family members at home or in the patient’s home. The survey also found that 49% of caregivers have reported feeling overwhelmed and 36% feel depressed. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers is concerned about helping caregivers cope with the challenges faced by caregivers and their families.
Helen always promised her dad that she would never place him in a nursing home. But, what she didn’t realize is that Alzheimer’s disease is a game changer. Rather than go against her dad’s wishes, Helen hired caregivers to attend to her dad and keep him at home. Before long, dad’s resources were evaporating. When the geriatric care manager was finally called in to assess the situation, the remaining choices were disappearing as quickly as his resources.
When a family receives the dreaded news that a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, they are typically in a state of disbelief. Although suspicions arise long before an official diagnosis, hearing these dreaded words sends families into a tailspin. And there are good reasons for fear and terror. Alzheimer’s disease is currently incurable and fatal. Individuals face certain deterioration and currently, according to the Alzheimer’s Association Factsheet, the direct costs of caring for those with Alzheimer’s to American society will total an estimated $200 billion dollars in 2012.
In Helen’s case, if a geriatric care manager had been called in earlier to conduct a care plan, the care manager could have connected the family with community resources that cost significantly less than home care. The family would have also learned that their dad qualified for benefits as a veteran. Finally, Helen and her family could have been counseled to consider modifying their expectations and in understanding how fragile resources require management with a clear vision moving along the continuum of care.
There is no way to mitigate the toll that Alzheimer’s disease places on families. But, with the support of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, there is an opportunity to empower families with an advocate who can plan, inform, guide, and light the way.
To locate a professional geriatric care manager in your local area, please visit http://www.caremanager.org
The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) was formed in 1985 to advance dignified care for older adults and their families. Geriatric Care Managers are professionals who have extensive training and experience working with older people, people with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. They assist older adults, who wish to remain in their homes, or can help families in the search for a suitable nursing home placement or extended care if the need occurs. The practice of geriatric care management and the role of care providers have captured a national spotlight, as generations of Baby Boomers age in the United States and abroad.
A Geriatric Care Manager is a health and human services expert, such as a social worker, counselor, gerontologist or nurse, with a specialized body of knowledge and experience related to aging and care issues. A Geriatric Care Manager assists older adults and persons with disabilities in addressing issues related to their health, psychological, functional and legal/financial status. In addition, the GCM coordinates ongoing care and serves as an experienced guide and resource for families of older adults and others with chronic needs. The -GCM respects the autonomy of the individual, services with sensitivity and supports the dignity of each individual.
Geriatric care managers who are members of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) are committed to adhering to the NAPGCM Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. For more information or to access a nationwide directory of professional geriatric care managers, please visit http://www.caremanager.org
Ann Krauss at 520.331.2327 or annkrausspr(at)gmail(dot)com