What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
While many adult children end up caring for their elderly parents who have health or mobility issues, it is not without its challenges. Many of these caregivers have children of their own, which makes it difficult to juggle child care, work and caring for their parents. From medical care to financial planning to estate planning, there are so many elements to take into consideration when it comes to geriatric care management. That’s why many people hire a geriatric care manager. Geriatric care managers are people who are knowledgeable about the elder care field and can help you navigate through the caregiving process. They have a background in gerontology, psychology, nursing and social work. They are specially trained in assessing a person’s needs, particularly when it comes to medical care and living situation. They can help with navigating the medical system and planning care.
The focus of geriatric care managers is to improve their patients’ quality of life and help them stay independent for as long as possible. In a nutshell, they serve as an advocate for the elderly.
Specific Tasks of Geriatric Care Managers
If you’re considering caring for your loved one, or have already started the process but are feeling overwhelmed, you may find it helpful to hire a geriatric care manager. They can help with a variety of tasks, such as assessing care requirements and creating and executing a care plan. They can help you get in-home care by screening and arranging applicants. If you live far away, a geriatric care manager can also act as your liaison.
Geriatric care managers visit clients regularly to make sure they are doing well. They make sure they are taking medications and eating well. They may take even clients to medical appointments. They assist with medical, legal and financial issues and can recommend experts, if necessary. They may even monitor finances and assist with paying bills if the client cannot do so.
If your loved one is living at home and suffers a decline in health that requires a move to another facility, a geriatric care manager can help him or her with the move. They can provide education to the client and family and identify services that the client can benefit from.
Benefits of Using a Geriatric Care Manager
- Better decision making. When it’s time to start caring for your loved one, will you know exactly what to do? Let’s face it: chances are, you won’t. You’ll make decisions based on what you think is best, but geriatric care managers can help you make the right choices. They can assist with transitions such as moving to a new facility or making modifications to the home. Should your family member be driving? A geriatric care manager can help with this assessment. By hiring one, you can face your loved one’s medical and mobility issues head on and stop being in denial.
- Less money spent on unnecessary services. Geriatric care managers can actually help you save money because they help you locate services you do need so you don’t have to waste money on unnecessary ones. They can also help with medical insurance and other benefits.
- Help with navigating the medical system. A relationship with a geriatric care manager can help you take better care of your loved one. With multiple doctors to keep track of, a geriatric care manager can attend appointments and help with communication. If your loved one isn’t getting the right care, a geriatric care manager can help you find a specialist.
- Assistance with care. A geriatric care manager can visit facilities and check on your loved one. He or she can also provide regular communication and updates for you and other family members.
- Support through the caregiving process. A geriatric care manager can stop you from overburdening yourself. They can recommend caregiver support so you can learn to focus on your own needs.