It’s not always possible to be a family caregiver. Maybe you have a strained relationship with your parent, or you live states away. But if you can’t look after them, who will? Coordinating your loved one’s care, let alone finding reliable home care in the first place, is no small task.
The first step you should take when your aging loved one needs more care than you can give is to contact a geriatric care manager. You’re likely wondering, “What is a geriatric care manager?” In this blog, we answer that question and explain how to find a geriatric care manager, so you can finally remove the burden of caregiving from your shoulders.
What Is a Geriatric Care Manager?
Geriatric care managers are specially trained in issues related to aging. They act as a guide for families and an advocate for seniors. A geriatric care manager is dedicated to improving seniors’ quality of life, encouraging independence while ensuring their safety.
Some geriatric care managers are Aging Life Care Professionals® (ALCP) who have expertise in eight knowledge areas:
- Health and disability. ALCPs work with families to navigate the healthcare system. They help determine the type of care older adults need and coordinate those services.
- Financial. ALCPs may connect families with local programs, help them file insurance claims, and consult with an aging adult’s accountant.
- Housing. ALCPs work with families to select the appropriate type of housing for their aging loved one and assist with the relocation process if necessary.
- Families. ALCPs are trained to address familial relationships, such as sibling conflict, and bring everyone to a consensus regarding their loved one’s care.
- Local resources. ALCPs are knowledgeable about local resources for aging adults and their families, such as adult day care.
- Advocacy. ALCPs are strong advocates for senior clients and their families. They ensure a client’s needs are being met, and if not, take action to rectify the situation.
- Legal. ALCPs are not legal professionals, but they do consult legal experts, such as elder law attorneys, giving them insight into various legal issues.
- Crisis intervention. ALCPs intervene during crises, such as hospitalizations. For families that don’t live near their aging loved one, ALCPs become an emergency contact.
Aging Life Care Professionals are members of the Aging Life Care Association® and must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization. Additionally, all ALCPs are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
Now, let’s discuss a few key geriatric care management services.
Geriatric Care Management Services
Elder care management (or geriatric care management) services are meant to serve both older adults and their families. Often, geriatric care managers work closely with adult children of aging parents. Most geriatric care management services fall under an ALCP’s eight areas of knowledge. Here are a few noteworthy services geriatric care managers provide:
- Administer senior care assessments. Senior care assessments are multidimensional evaluations used to test an older adult’s functional ability, physical, emotional, and psychological health, as well as their socioenvironmental circumstances. The purpose of this assessment is to help geriatric care managers develop a holistic care plan that maximizes seniors’ health and well-being.
- Develop care plans. A care plan outlines an aging adult’s present health conditions, individual care needs, and current treatments; it should also explain what needs to be done to meet those care needs, such as in-home care. Various healthcare professionals then execute this plan under the supervision of a geriatric care manager.
- Coordinate senior care. Geriatric care managers don’t provide hands-on care themselves but enlist the services of caregivers to support older adult clients at home. Instead, geriatric care managers work behind the scenes, ensuring healthcare providers follow a senior’s care plan and keeping family members informed every step of the way.
If you’re an adult child wondering how to find a geriatric care manager to help you manage your parent’s care, call Stowell Associates.
How to Find a Geriatric Care Manager
Stowell Associates is proud to be an Aging Life Care Association® member. Our geriatric care managers are registered nurses and masters-level social workers who create tailored care solutions for older adults and their families.
Senior care can be complex, but you don’t have to figure it out alone. The solutions and support our geriatric care managers provide will help you gain clarity, make informed decisions, and experience peace of mind during a challenging time for your family.
“I really appreciate the care manager’s competent and caring communication with the caregivers and the facility and myself as a family member. That really makes me feel confident that my mother is being well taken care of and is a great help for me to make a decision.”