Imagine you live in DC and your aging parent lives alone in Michigan and needs support and resources. You’ve been to visit your parent a few times to help get them set up with services, but you’re finding it more and more difficult to take the time off work and leave your life in DC every month, not to mention that the cost of travel is weighing you down…
AND, when you get to Michigan you have no idea of where to start looking for the resources your aging parent needs.
On the third trip to see your parent, you think you have everything set up, only to return home to DC to discover that there are countless other needs your parent has. You’re in a bind! You can’t take any more time off of work, you have to manage your own needs in DC, and at the same time, you know that your aging parent needs your help!
This is where a Geriatric Care Manager can come in!
In this Blog/Video I am going to walk you through everything you need to know about Geriatric Care Managers!
What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
A Geriatric Care Manager is typically a licensed nurse, social worker, or master’s level gerontologist who specializes in older adults and who is familiar with common needs and concerns older adults and their families are facing.
Geriatric Care Managers are very familiar with the community resources available to support you and your aging parents.
They are specially trained to help find resources to make life for you and your aging parent easier. They also help you plan for what may be in store in the future.
Some people call Geriatric Care Managers a “professional relative” who can help you and your family to identify needs and find ways to meet your needs.
They can be especially helpful if you’re a long-distance caregiver and live far away from your aging parents! Or, if you live near by, but don’t have much time. OR, if you have a super complicated relationship with your parent and it’s healthier for your relationship to hire someone else to help!
Geriatric Care Managers have many names:
- Geriatric Care Manager
- Geriatric Care Consultant
- Geriatric Care Expert
- Aging Life Care Expert
- Aging Life Care Consultant.
And so many others. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll be using the traditional Geriatric Care Manager.
What Do Geriatric Care Managers Actually Do?
Geriatric care managers do a variety of things to help older adults and their families.
As you set out to find a Geriatric Care Manager, you’ll want to ask questions to be clear about exactly what the Geriatric Care Manager you are interviewing does.
Some of their services may include:
- Initial assessment to identify you aging parents needs (this tends to be the most expensive cost and can range from a couple hundred to $1,000)
- Develop and Provide an Aging Care Plan
- Provide education about aging and older adult needs
- Discuss difficult topics and complex issues
- Make home visits and suggesting services
- Assess in-home care needs to help your parents age in place safely
- Provide emotional support
- Help you or your parents to select care staff
- Coordinate medical services
- Evaluate senior housing options
- Provide you with support and reassurance
How Much Does A Geriatric Care Manager Cost?
How Do I Find A Geriatric Care Manager?
- Dementia: Alzheimer’s Association
- Parkinson’s Disease: Parkinson’s Foundation
- Stroke: American Stroke Association
- Heart Disease: American Heart Association
- Diabetes: American Diabetes Association
- Cancer: American Cancer Society
And FINALLY, What Do You Need to Look For in A Geriatric Care Manager?
They also recommend that when you first speak with a Geriatric Care Manager that you ask the following questions:
- What are the primary services provided by your agency/business?
- How many Aging Life Care Professionals are in your agency/business?
- Is there a fee for the initial consultation and, if so, how much?
- What are your professional credentials?
- Are you licensed in your profession?
- How long have you been providing aging life care or care management services?
- Are you available for emergencies?
- Does your company also provide home care services?
- Are you able to help me find senior housing options?
- How will you communicate information with me?
- What are your fees? (These should be provided to the consumer/responsible party in writing prior to services starting.)
- Can you provide me with references? (I suggest that you ask for 3 references)
You can learn more about working with Geriatric Care Managers here, or you can call the Aging Life Care Association directly at 1-520-881-8008.
Lots of love to you and your family! Bye for now!
Dr. Regina Koepp
PS: I have no affiliation with any Geriatric Care Manager or the Aging Life Care Association. I simply wanted to share this information with you so that you have options when it comes to caring for your aging parents!