Geriatric care managers offer advocacy alternatives for harried caregivers
By Colleen Van Horn, RN, B.S.N, PHN, CCM
According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, an estimated 40-60 million Americans are currently involved in caring for aging loved ones – often without the aid of professional geriatric care managers and, as a result, also facing a unique set of needs and challenges that are predominantly ignored in our current political climate. Yet among the myriad issues raised during recent Occupy protests across the nation, rights for the frail elderly and their caregivers were notably absent. Why? One simple explanation is that caregivers often lack the time, motivation and support necessary to organize on behalf of their peers and aging parents. While there are several groups that do their best to represent caregivers within the political arena, it is often more practical and efficient for individuals struggling with elder care responsibilities to solicit the help of professional caregiving consultants for expert advice and guidance.
Organizations such as the National Family Caregivers Association, the Family Caregiver Alliance and the National Alliance for Caregiving offer support, research and program development on behalf of those working hard to care for aging parents or relatives; but the fact remains that, unlike other advocacy groups (such as those promoting rights and representation for women, minorities or homosexuals), caregivers for the elderly are dealing with a unique perspective. With the exception of siblings and fellow family members, elder care providers lack an immediate support network. In addition, they also lack the time necessary to pursue advocacy in the first place. Finally, they are faced with an inevitable end result for their aging loved one that, in many cases, they may prefer to downplay rather than emphasize for the sake of political action.
Find relief in the hands of expert elder care consultants
Dealing with the illness and eventual death of a parent or spouse is emotionally challenging, physically demanding, and ultimately fleeting: during the process, individuals can become consumed by the task at hand – but they rarely define themselves by the experience for the rest of their lives. Therefore, in most cases, advocacy is an unlikely source of change and support for people dealing with aging family members; and as an alternative, professional elder care consultants can offer information, guidance, and customized assistance to help make the challenges of caregiving easier and more affordable for elders and their families.
At Innovative Healthcare Consultants, our skilled geriatric care management professionals assess each and every client situation to help ease the burden on caregivers while also improving the lifestyle and medical options available to aging loved ones. By providing customized care on an individual level, we give our clients the support and assistance they need – and the comfort of knowing that someone is looking out for them throughout the challenges that come with advanced age. To learn more about our lifetime care programs and specialized elder care support services, visit us online: www.innovativehc.com.
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