4 Reasons to Hire a Geriatric Care Manager
Mary’s job got outsourced after having worked there for many years. She thought she would retire from that job but suddenly she is looking for work. She gets a couple of job offers and the best one is out-of-town. There are other options but none seems close enough for her to be able to check in on Dad like she wants to. And then there is Joe who is alone now with his two children. His wife used to take care of everything, including his aging mother. Now a widower and single parent, it will be hard enough to take care of his children and his job let alone his mother’s growing needs as she ages.
These stories and many others like them illustrate the problems that many people encounter with aging parents. Even if no big life change has taken place, children and caregivers of the elderly often find themselves overwhelmed by the needs brought on by their parents’ age or illness. Is Mom remembering to take her medications? Can Dad get himself to the doctor as he did in the past? And the biggest question: will they even let you know if they need help?
As more and more people find themselves in similar situations, a need for Geriatric Care Managers has emerged. These professionals come from many backgrounds, including nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, and specialize in aging and elder care.
When to Hire a Geriatric Care Manager
1. Assessment of Required Care - Sometimes it is difficult to know when your loved one needs help or how much help they really need. It’s a good idea to get some direction early on, whether it’s from a paid care manager or your local county’s Office for the Aging.
2. Long Distance Caregiving - When you can’t be there on a daily basis, getting help from a care manager can get your elderly loved one the care they need while easing the worry and guilt of not being around.
3. Homecare - After the assessment, if staying in the home is the preferred option, a care manager can be of great assistance. They can help identify what level of care is needed and offer solutions such as physical therapy, speech therapy, transportation services, and medication management services which include refills and reminders. They can help identify the need for specialized medical equipment and help acquire items such as bedside commodes, shower chairs, handrails, chair lifts, or glucose monitors.
4. Assisted Living or Nursing Care - Having a care manager means having an advocate at care facilities. They can assist in all aspects, from choosing an appropriate facility and helping with the check-in process to advocating for proper care once your loved one is a resident.
You may be thinking "this is too expensive for me" but the cost of a manager might actually save you money by preventing costly mistakes and possibly avoiding hospital stays through proper assessment and a solid medical plan. You may be asking yourself, "where do I find a Geriatric Care Manager?" There are sites for aging individuals that can help you. Let the professionals help you when you need it, it's never too late.