Managing the care of an aging loved one can often feel like a full time job, especially if family members live far away, or an illness or complex health condition is in the mix. The support of a geriatric care manager can be extremely helpful in taking the stress off family caregivers, helping solve problems, and ensuring your loved is getting the best care possible.
Care managers typically oversee any or all aspects of an older adult’s care while helping families identify and meet their aging loved one’s needs.
So how do you know if it might be time to hire a geriatric care manager? Read five reasons why Seniors At Home clients call us and how care managers can help:
- I’m concerned about the safety and health of my aging loved one.
Care managers work like a concierge – they coordinate your loved one’s care, help solve problems, communicate with physicians and family, and can help them manage all aspects of their life. With a professional background in social work or gerontology, a care manager is an expert in seeing the big picture and will be looking ahead to ensure that if and when needs change that your family will have the services and information necessary so nothing falls through the cracks.
- I am overwhelmed and/or confused about navigating the healthcare system.
Medical appointments, diagnoses, prescriptions, Medicare…handling an aging loved one’s health care can feel like a juggling act. Care managers understand the complexities of the healthcare system and can offer much-needed guidance and support.
Gwen Harris, MA, Geriatric Care Manager at Seniors At Home, says, “Our role is to facilitate communication, ensure the best course of treatment, and advocate for the person in our care.”
It is normal for older adults to be under the supervision of several physicians with different specialties, who may not communicate with each other frequently. Care managers keep careful treatment records and can attend doctor’s appointments with you or your loved one to help you communicate with your physician so everyone leaves understanding the doctor’s orders.
- I want to know about helpful resources that might benefit my aging loved one.
A wide array of supportive services and community programs exist to help older adults age happily and safely from transportation, meals, and social activities to financial assistance and counseling. Sadly, many older adults are unable to find or access these services on their own—especially those who are less comfortable using the internet. Care managers have deep knowledge of these community resources and will readily connect you or your loved one to the support you need.
- I don’t know if my loved one is safe. I really worry about accidents or falls.
There are some hidden dangers in our homes that are particularly unsafe for older adults who are at greater risk of developing complications from an accident or a fall. A care manager can do a thorough assessment of your loved one’s home and help make sure it is as safe as possible.
As Gwen points out, “San Francisco can be an especially difficult place to age in place where houses often have long staircases, narrow hallways, and multiple floors.” Whether it’s securing loose carpets, throwing away expired food, adding handrails in the bathroom, or recommending larger-scale changes, care managers make important safety recommendations to help seniors who want to age in place do so safely.
- I want to prepare for my loved one’s changing needs with our family.
Especially for seniors who have a serious or chronic condition or day-to-day care needs, a care manager can help you plan for their care now and in the future. Care managers can help set up home care or orchestrate a move to an assisted living community, and can even oversee your loved one’s daily care.
Creating a care plan with a care manager also encourages necessary communication within the family unit. This means you can address what’s next openly, and avoid having to make plans hastily after an emergency situation.
Gwen says, “Our goal is to help families anticipate possible needs in the future so that everyone feels supported and better prepared.”
Whether you need a one-time consultation or ongoing care management, Seniors At Home care managers work with you to create and implement a personalized care plan that fits your family’s needs.
To learn more about Care Management or to schedule a consultation, call Seniors At Home at 415-449-3700 or contact us online.