In the halls of the nation’s businesses, the hushed whispers which were
once reserved for gossip and Monday morning quarterbacking now echo the
despair stressed out women are feeling in their role as caregivers.
While men do represent a growing percentage of today’s caregivers, the
role is still largely filled by women. In what could be considered the
new “female problem” in the workplace, male management does not have the
tools to adequately discuss and remedy this female ailment.
Caregiver Stress Defined
An individual’s face may not readily give away clues that they
are suffering from caregiver stress, but a quick look at their
employee attendance record will reveal absenteeism due to their
work as a caregiver for an aging loved one. The fact that this
individual has a higher utilization of the healthcare benefits
and increased prescription plan participation for stress-related
disorders may also warrant their classification as a caregiver.
Stressed out caregivers are susceptible to a whole host of
problems as their immune system becomes compromised under the
weight and associated guilt of caregiving. Migraine headaches
and GI disorders are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes
to the impact caregiver stress has on individuals. Caregivers
overwhelmed by stress are also highly susceptible to depression.
Individuals need to learn to recognize when their caregiving
duties are getting the best of them. Identifying community
resources that offer services to caregivers and their loved ones
can be just the prescription needed to bounce back.
Businesses and the overall economy are negatively impacted by
caregivers who are emotionally drained by the burden of their
role. The financial component of caregiver stress is far more
reaching than that individual’s wallet. The trickle down effect
of the disorder hurts all of our pockets as it robs employers of
nearly $ 33.6 billion.
The Role of a Geriatric Care Manager
A GCM is a professional with expertise in geriatric or aging
issues. They are a local resource with firsthand knowledge of
the services available in your community. Boomers living
at a great distance who are concerned if their parent is safe in
their own home can avail themselves of geriatric care management
services for peace of mind with ease. Often the task of
navigating the maze of senior housing and financial options
associated with eldercare can put a strain on the parent-child
relationship. A GCM can bridge the gap and facilitate discussion
that leads to decision-making.
Geriatric care managers can assess, facilitate and
coordinate placement while providing family members the
education they need to make informed decisions. This
education not only gives individuals a better understanding of
the process, but it enables them to overcome the guilt and
stress they may be carrying. Professional geriatric care
managers consult with the family members and take into
consideration their psycho-social and clinical needs, financial
concerns and geographical desires.
Focus on Funding
Gaining an understanding of the finances associated with
eldercare can cause a caregiver’s stress to reach an all- time
high level. Working with a geriatric care manager can put
the funding solution you were looking for right at your
fingertips. Aging specialists are experts on the VA Aid and
Attendance bill as well as astute in Medicare and Medicaid
issues. Certified geriatric care managers can dispel any
funding myth you may have heard and give you an indication of
your eligibility for assistance.
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