Making Life Transitions Easier with a Geriatric Care Manager

Many people live busy lives with full schedules that include caring for their family and working at their jobs. But, when a family member such as a parent becomes ill or not so well all of the sudden, you become responsible for their well-being. I have seen families experience this situation and voicing frustrations due to being overwhelmed with duties of caring for their loved one. This is where a geriatric care manager steps in.
There are families in similar situations, but do not realize they can get professional assistance in making important elder care decisions. The concept of working with professional of this caliber is fairly new to people, but I have worked with experienced care managers for years and feel families can benefit well from their services. Since the aging network is fairly complex, it helps to learn more options in how to ensure your loved one gets the care they need and deserve.

What Role Does a Geriatric Care Manager Play in Helping Families?

Care managers provide a wide range of assistance in relation to elder care options. They help families find compassionate and strategic solutions based on the needs of their loved one. They can step in to make sure care is provided when a family member is unable to do so due to other obligations, lack of time, or even distance if they live far away from their loved one.
Many families I have worked with are surprised to learn they can get help on things they did not know they can get help with. Working with an experienced geriatric care professional can help solve common problems and concerns families face when making decisions about proper care for their loved one. The manager acts as a liaison or advocate for the elderly individual receiving care, while offering comprehensive support in walking the family through their options during periods of transition.

What Are Their Responsibilities and Duties?

While geriatric care managers provide assistance during elder care transition, they are problem solvers who help families make important decisions. Care managers have a great deal of responsibility in helping families with various tasks including:
  • Form care plans and help coordinate care needed with other involved parties such as elder care lawyer, physician, health care facility, and family members.
  • Assess living situation of elder care recipient.
  • Attend doctor visits or follow up with elder care recipient to learn about changes regarding their care and how to move forward.
  • Give quality referrals for necessary services.
  • Review and discuss available care options such as VA Benefits, hospice, physical therapy, Medicare services, power of attorney, living will, and more.
  • Provide crisis care intervention and lend support during critical times such as hospitalization, loss of a loved one (become a widow), terminal diagnosis, or moving from one healthcare facility to another.
Care managers who work in the field bring a significant amount of experience that families will find valuable. They are able to provide assistance in various areas since few bring multi-disciplined backgrounds with former healthcare roles and connections within the field. Families with communication issues (such as tension or sibling rivalries) may benefit since the manager can help moderate, neutralize, and alleviate uncomfortable situations.

Getting Transitional Help Sooner than Later

Many are surprised to learn that you don’t have to wait until a situation arises to get a plan in place. I talk with families who wonder about when is the best time to consider working with a care manager professional. Adult children may work with a manager when the need arises for their elderly loved one, but they may want to consider planning ahead for their own senior living needs.
Even if you have an elderly loved one who likes to maintain their privacy or doesn’t want outside help may benefit. It is a matter of establishing trust and respect overtime. They may be more open to the idea if a recommendation is made from someone they know. Finding a geriatric care manager can be done through a number of options such as by physician referral or an elder care attorney such as me.

Learn More about Care Managers

Whether you want to learn about how your loved one can benefit from professional assistance or you want to learn how you can start planning ahead for senior living, for further in-depth details I encourage you to listen to the following podcast:
If you live in the Glenview, IL area and would like more information please call the Heartland Law Firm at 847-729-3300.

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