Why Use A Family Or Elder Care Manager
What is a Personal Geriatric Care Transition Manager?
A geriatric care transition provider is a professional who specializes in assisting older persons and their families in meeting their long-term care needs. Geriatric Care Managers, or GCMs, assist families who are providing care to elderly family members. A geriatric care manager offers private case management, including care planning and coordination, as well as guidance and other resources.
Geriatric Care Managers assist individuals and families in making educated care transition choices by sharing their personal experience, training, relationships, and resources in the local health care industry. Care managers generally specialize in gerontology, social work, nursing, and/or counseling. They have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of services in their communities.
We assess your parents’ health and safety at home and coordinate services. Our goal is to help the elderly maintain quality of life in their own homes as long as possible.
Geriatric Care Managers help families adjust and cope with the challenges of aging.
Why Use A Family or Elder Care Manager?
The irony of not using a Care Manager is that most families, given the opportunity to use the Care Manager, think they can do it themselves and will not pay the money. Yet the services of a Care Manager will probably save them considerably more money then do-it-yourself. The cost of the Care Manager might be only a fraction of the savings the Care Manager could produce. Care manager services can also greatly reduce family and caregiver stress and help eliminate family disputes and disagreements.
Let’s look at a hypothetical examples to see how a Care Manager could be invaluable.
DO ANY OF THESE APPLY TO YOUR SITUATION?
Mary is taking care of her aging husband at home. He has diabetes and is overweight. Because of the diabetes her husband has severe neuropathy in his legs and feet and it is difficult for him to walk. He also has diabetic retinopathy and cannot see very well. She has to be careful that he does not injure his feet since the last time that happened he was in the hospital for four weeks with a severe infection. She is having difficulty helping him out of bed and with dressing and using the bathroom. She relies heavily on her son who lives nearby to help her manage her husband’s care.
On the advice of a friend Mary is told about a care manager, Michael Roberts, who helped the friend’s family cope with the care of a loved one. The cost of an initial assessment and care plan from the care manager is $300.00. Mary thinks she has the situation under control and $300.00 for someone from the outside to come in and tell her how to deal with her situation seems ridiculous.
One day Mary is trying to lift her husband and injures her back severely. She is bedridden and cannot care for her husband. Her son, who works fulltime, now has two parents to care for. On the advice of the same friend he decides to bring in Michael Roberts and pay her fee himself.
Michael does a thorough assessment of the family’s needs. He arranges for Mary’s doctor to order Medicare home care during Mary’s recovery. Therapists come in and help Mary with exercises and advice on lifting. Michael advertises for and finds a private individual who is willing to live in the home for a period of time to help Mary with her recovery and watch over her husband. Michael makes sure the new caregiver is reliable and honest and that taxes are paid for the employment. Michael enlists the support of the local area agency on aging and makes sure all services available are provided for the family. Michael also calls a meeting with Mary’s family and explains to them the care needs and how they need to commit to help with those needs. Michael makes arrangements to purchase medical equipment for lifting, moving and easier use of the bathroom facilities. Medicare will pay much of this cost.
Michael suggests using a geriatric care Physician she works closely with to help Mary in the care of her husband. The geriatrician meets with Mary and her husband and spends a great deal of time explaining the proper treatment and care of elderly with diabetes. He rearranges medications and puts Mary’s husband on a new insulin regimen to better control his blood sugar. He starts a strict diet and insists on weight loss and exercise. The previous doctor seemed more interested in treating symptoms than in changing lifestyles. Besides, many Physicians reason that the elderly are going to die from one thing or another so there’s no sense in trying to bring about a cure. The inevitable outcome of old age is death. In contrast to this philosophy, the geriatric Physician feels that Mary’s husband has a chance of improving his health with proper treatment.
Michael also works closely with an elder law attorney and a financial planner who specializes in the elderly. The attorney prepares documents for the family including powers of attorney, a living will and advice on preserving Mary’s remaining assets. The financial planner recommends a reverse mortgage specialist to help Mary and her husband tap unused assets in their home’s equity. In addition, an income vehicle is put into place to convert assets into income in order to provide for Mary for her life when her husband is gone.
With the help of the care manager, Mary’s life and future have been significantly improved. Her husband as well, if he adheres to the care plan, may end up having a better quality of life for his remaining years.