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When adult children are faced with the prospect of caring for aging parents there is a whole new world of long term assistance and services waiting to be discovered. With the vast amount of information available one could easily spend days, if not weeks, sorting through the variety of options let alone making a decision about which ones are best for their relative. This is where the services of a Geriatric Care Manager and Geriatric Care Management become important.
Care managers offer a vital bridge of support between the families and the long term care system. With their expertise, knowledge, and connections within the system they are able to give insight and direction about which type of care and services are available as well as make recommendations.
Although this list is not exhaustive, some of the services provided by a Geriatric Care Manager include:
- Crisis Intervention in emergency situations such as a fall which results in a broken hip
- Provide assessments to determine problems related to cognitive functioning. A good care manager will also consider the medications the person is taking to be sure that a bad combination or excessive dosage is not the cause of any diminished capacities.
- Assist with the selection and monitoring of home health aides. This is beneficial if family members live in a different area than the elderly person.
- Provide counseling for bereavement. Some care managers may have professional backgrounds in psychology, nursing, or gerontology.
- Work with the relative to encourage a positive transition if it is determined that it's time for them to move from their house into an assisted living home or other long term care facility.
- Provide a referral to geriatric specialists that can properly diagnose specific conditions that arise.
- Provide information about community resources that are available.
Interviewing Geriatric Care Managers will give you an opportunity to learn about their background, which services they provide, and their rates. You may need them for an occasional consultation, or on a more regular basis. The needs of the family will determine the level of involvement required by a Care Manager.
Use our #2 Advisors For Seniors section to easily find a Geriatric Care Manager in your area!