What does a geriatric care manager bring to the table? It may seem like an extravagance, but in most situations, having a care manager who can look out for the needs of a loved one is a worthwhile investment. As the baby boomer generation begins to enter its golden years, the role of caretaker gets more convoluted. From adult day care to full-time housing, a care manager knows all the things you don’t about senior services.
Consider some ways having a geriatric care manager makes things better.
What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
Geriatric care management is a specialized field within the larger senior care industry. Professionals in this industry have a working knowledge of the system and of geriatric health care. He or she will examine the dynamics of the situation, the family connections and available social services then present long-term care solutions.
The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers defines the role as a client-centered relationship. These senior care professional don’t work for a particular facility or community; they work for the client and his or her needs.
Why Hire a Geriatric Care Manager?
A few years ago, Jane Gross, a writer for the New York Times, shared the story of her struggle to find an assisted living facility for her mother. Gross and her family had certain expectations, and when a community was unable to handle all the family’s requests, things became difficult.
Gross brought in a geriatric care manager first to offer a consultation and then to work as an advocate for her mother. In that fashion, she was able to design a workable solution that made both parties happy. She also visited Gross’ mother regularly and soon became a much-needed confidant.
What can You Expect from a Geriatric Care Manager?
A professional care manager has one purpose – to help you make choices that maximize the health and quality of life for someone you love. As care manager, he or she does an assessment of a client’s needs and then begins solving problems.
Housing options– The eldercare industry offers various levels of housing for senior citizens. From full service facilities to residential community options, the geriatric care manager has the education to make connections that benefit the client.
Home Care– Home care options give your parent the independence that might be difficult to find in a residential facility. A care manager will know which home care options are the most cost efficient and helpful.
Medical management– Many geriatric care managers are nurses or have worked at some level in the nursing field and often become part of the medical team, attending doctor appointments and monitoring specialized diets and drug therapies.
Communication is the ultimate gift a geriatric care manager offers, professionals that in this field are fluent in the difficult-to-decipher senior care lingo. They understand the medical terminology, network with senior services and have contracts at the right residential facilities.
They are on the front line of the senior care industry.
Are Geriatric Care Managers Just for the Elderly?
As the name would suggest, the majority of the clientele are senior citizens considering long-term care options. Some care managers, however, will also work with clients with disabilities who might be younger individuals facing care challenges due to:
- A physical disability
- A developmental impairment
- A brain injury
- Mental health problems
- Chronic illness
When the caretaker role starts to get overwhelming, it is time to bring in a care manager. You just don’t have the time to research all the available senior services. Maybe you feel talked down to or bullied by the medical team or facility administration. Even if you are just looking for advice, these are all good reasons to ask a geriatric care manager for help.