Do You Need a Geriatric Care Manager?

Do You Need a Geriatric Care Manager?

It’s hard enough to deliver the care a senior loved one needs, managing the many moving pieces involved in delivering that care is a whole job unto itself. It is one that many families turn to a Geriatric Care Manager or Aging Life Care Professional for help. Geriatric care managers work with seniors and their families to coordinate and oversee care. Often they work with families to direct the care of a senior who does not have loved ones in the same geographic area or whose responsibilities at work or in their own home prevent them from providing the needed level of oversight. Typically, Geriatric Care Managers focus on a few important and specific goals:

• Allowing the senior to have as much independence as possible

• Ensuring the senior’s quality of life

• Coordinating long-term care as the senior ages

•Helping to alleviate stress for everyone involved in their care

A geriatric care manager helps create a plan of care with the caregiver and other family members. They would evaluate the care needs of the senior and assess how well those are being met, working with the family to provide solutions within a senior’s budget to augment or complement the care currently being provided.

What Does a Geriatric Care Manager Do?

Most geriatric care managers offer a variety of services, including:

• Evaluating a patient’s living arrangements for safety and overall comfort. This includes visiting at home or in care facilities to check the patient’s health and care.

• Checking on the patient’s diet and nutritional needs and assisting with adjusting their diet when needed.

• Coordinating medical services for the patient. The geriatric care manager can even select and oversee healthcare personnel for the patient.

• Checking outside resources that offer needed financial or healthcare assistance. This might include charities, church groups, or local volunteers.

• Considering the patient’s long-term needs, including eventual nursing home or hospice care.

• Addressing family situations, especially those that create stress or emotional concerns for the patient and caregivers.

• Assisting with family communication, notifying family members of changes in the patient’s care or condition, and acting as a liaison for long-distance family members.

A geriatric care manager will also offer a wealth of other services according to the patient’s and caregiver’s needs. These might include finding a senior daycare center for when the caregiver needs respite or other options that may maximize care given a family’s budget. A manager oversees the senior’s care plan, providing necessary resources and guiding the family and individual in decision-making.

Why Choose a Geriatric Care Manager?

Adult children often find caring for an aging parent or other loved one challenging, even in the best circumstances. However, that care becomes more stressful when an adult child lives at distance or works outside the home, has underage children still needing care, struggles with health issues of their own, or lacks outside support.

Also, some caregivers might find aspects of caring for an elderly parent beyond their abilities. For instance, they might not know how to find a qualified lawyer to manage the legal aspects of that parent’s care or estate. In addition, a caregiver might not know how to evaluate a nursing home properly or find a visiting nurse to assist with medical care.

An experienced geriatric care manager can oversee a patient’s needs. The adult child can then concentrate on providing everyday support for their loved ones. The senior care manager’s services also alleviate stress for everyone involved. Lastly, the caregiver is less likely to overlook some aspects of the patient’s needs, such as monitoring their diet or making long-term plans for an eventual nursing home stay.

Challenges a Geriatric Care Manager Handles

  1. If you live far from the senior living facility, a geriatric care manager can alert you to changes and guide decision-making as issues arise.

2. Sometimes, older adults dislike discussing their health and giving family insight into their care. A care manager can serve as a liaison and regularly check in on the person to discuss their health.

3. If you encounter an issue with the staff or facility at a senior care facility, a geriatric care manager can step in. They are familiar with laws and how senior communities work to advocate on your behalf.

If you struggle with managing the care of senior loved and wonder whether a Geriatric Care Manager might be a good resource for you, or if you need help finding a care manager that would be a good match contact Oasis Senior Advisors by filling out our online form or calling us at 914.356.1901 or 475.619.4123 to find out more.