Services for Seniors and CaregiversLast updated Thursday, September 06, 2012 |
All caregivers are subject to some stress but that stress tends to increase when various environment factors conspire against them. Perhaps most significantly, family caregivers are forced to take on more financial responsibility while typically losing working hours to care tasks. And when challenges arrive, they have only their own wits to fall back on, as well as whatever experience they have had at caring for children.
At Butterfly Effects, we can help families at every stage of the caregiver relationship.
- Educational preparation and training
- Behavior Management
- Respite Care
- Case Coordination
- Oversight and Supervision
PreparationWe can help family caregivers learn what to expect and the things they need to do to prepare for the behavior, medical, and financial, as well as family issues that they will encounter.
This training should include a frank discussion of elder abuse.
Family caregivers need to mindful that it could happen to them unintentionally and be made mindful of the signs and antecedents that can lead to elder abuse.
Behavior Management TrainingThis is the major missing component in most caregiver's tool belt. It's also what we have built our reputation on at Butterfly Effects. Overall, as a nation, we tend to apply a medical model to senior care, even though it is behavior problems that create the most friction and challenges. It is more common to look for medical solutions to behavior problems or just to tolerate those behaviors rather than correct them.
We believe that behavior problems respond best to behavior solutions.
Instead of providing sedatives to an individual who becomes agitated on a regular basis, we look to uncover the reason behind that agitation - and there always is a reason. We then partner with the senior to find a more appropriate way to meet the need behind the reason.
Instead of addressing grooming deficits or elopement, family caregivers are more likely to simply take over the grooming or simply let things go. Instead of understanding what motivates elopement, they eliminate opportunities for it, In the name of safety, they end up making more restrictions that in many instances will spur a stronger desire for independence and elopement. Butterfly Effects consultants, on the other hand, will help motivate the client to be more involved in grooming and look to see if there is a need for freedom or responsibility that is not being met.
We believe that if caregivers at home and in institutions knew how to and were encouraged to and convinced of the effectiveness of applying behavioral interventions, the largest measure of abuse could be stopped.
Most caregivers first ignore a problem behavior.
If the behavior can no longer be tolerated, they look at how to stop the problem behavior instead of meeting the need behind it in a better way. It is then that neglect or emotional abuse and punishment can come into play
Maybe most family caregivers are able to ignore without neglect, restrict without punishment, but they need to recognize that ignoring or restricting in lieu of a structured behavioral response can become the initial steps for those on an uintended path to emotional abuse.
Respite CareRespite care should not be thought of a luxury but as a necessity. Both caregiver and the cared for need to take a break from one another. They need to maintain their individual identities. Furthermore, caregivers need to keep caregiving duties from consuming their entities.
Family caregivers are much more prone to stress related illness and as a rule, do not have the time or energy left to care for their own needs. Physical exhaustion often comes into play. Individuals with dementia can lose touch with their internal clocks and experience very erratic sleep habits making caretaking a true around the clock challenge.
At Butterfly Effects, we can match you with respite care as needed or on a scheduled basis for a few hours, a day, a week, or longer.
Our respite care providers are a cut above, trained in Applied Behavior Analysis and in the needs of the elderly. They will help support any effort to change a challenging behavior. They will also provide the individual with enrichment opportunities rather than serve merely as keepers.
Care CoordinationWe believe that one of the greatest flaws in service delivery is fragmentation: the need to go from provider to provider for each needed service with little coordination and planning among them. Our care coordination services will connect you with occupational, physical, speech, and behavior therapists as needed, as well as mental health counseling.
We can also help you with all that paperwork, managing insurance claims, and applying for needed resources.
When you become a Butterfly Effects client, you gain access to our cutting-edge online platform where you can store essential medical and pharmaceutical records in places that all healthcare providers can access. You will be able to get prompt responses to your questions and concerns, have access to information and online education opportunities. We are members of the CentralReach virtual community - committed to the practice of collaborative, accountable care.
Mental Health CounselingVery few seniors receive needed mental health services. When depression in seniors is treated, it is by physicians and almost never by mental health specialists. Our mental health specialists are trained in cognitive and interpersonal therapies designed to confront and resolve the issues of role change and bereavement that are the most common reasons for elder depression.
We also provide the counseling services that caregivers and their families require individually, as couples, and as groups. Skilled mental health workers with always be on the lookout for the warning signs of potential abuse and will help caregivers express their needs and frustrations before inappropriate reactions occur.
Oversight and SupervisionThe best professional caregivers need supervision and oversight and most agencies require this for good reason. There is no such requirement for family caregivers.
Even if you don't have us provide direct services, we can be there to support and provide direction and strategies.
With good supervision or review, you get two perspectives you might not have otherwise. You will get the advice of an expert and more importantly, you will get your own heightened perspective that emerges when you present your own thoughts organized and reflected upon.
Sometimes when you are too busy, you start reacting rather than take the time to respond. When that happens, old patterns with that relative can emerge unchecked and out of context . . . and you begin to rely on old behaviors rather than what should be your best behaviors.
Issue Education and AdvocacyBusy as you are, you may feel far removed from what goes on in the State House or in Congress. Yet, many actions taken by your representatives have a direct impact on the quality of your life and the quality of care that you can deliver.
This past year, we have seen several states cut back on respite funding. Currently, the status of comprehensive care financing for seniors is being debated on many fronts. Changes in Medicaid and Medicare as well as the status of new healthcare legislation will directly impact your wallet and influence the decision over whether you should care for a loved one or put him or her in a care facility.
At Butterfly Effects, as a rule, we will support improved benefits for family caregivers, respite funding, and efforts to promote behavior therapies for seniors. To this end, we will keep you informed of the legislative landscape and help you know when to make your voice heard.
****A Note on Social Engagement
One of the most significant measures of a healthy care relationship is the level of social engagement maintained by families and seniors. When seniors become more isolated, they tend to spiral downward. Also, individuals who go out in the community are far less likely to receive abuse in private.
At Butterfly Effects, our approaches are always designed to promote community involvement and connection.
Whether you are thinking about providing care for an aging family member, doing well with care needs in the moment, or struggling to provide care, Butterfly Effects can help you find a balanced approach to care that serves the best needs of all involved.
Call us today, even if you just have a question, we are here to support you and will do whatever we can to promote a fresh approach to elder care.
Reinventing Adult Care: A Nation of Caregivers
Research on Behavior and Elder Care
Respite Services Adults and Seniors
Questions about this service or any of the services provided by Butterfly Effects? Call us at (888) 880-9270, contact us - or - leave a comment for our Facebook community below.
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