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What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager

By Jessica Deng

Is your parent or a loved one having trouble with activities of daily living? Is it your responsibility to care for a loved one that’s becoming frail and overwhelmed?You are not alone, as it is normal to encounter medical, legal, financial, and psychological complications related to aging that eventually point you in the direction of arranging home care services for your elderly parents or considering hiring an aging care expert, typically called geriatric care managers.

A geriatric care manager (GCM) is a professional who specializes in helping older people and their families with long-term care arrangements. GCMs often have nursing, social work, gerontology, or counseling training. They can act as a “professional relative” and voice of neutrality, leading families through difficult, emotionally charged discussions. GCMs can:

  • Provide a comprehensive assessment and care management plan.
  • Recommend physicians, and specialists, and personally accompany a senior to medical appointments.
  • Handle medication management (RNs) – organize and instruct client/caregiver on proper administration.
  • Provide support, advocacy, and liaison services between family and medical providers.
  • Face-to-face check-ups at home or in a medical facility and timely phone and e-mail updates to family members
  • Assist in crisis intervention and support – many Care Managers are available for emergencies 24/7 basis.
  • Coordinate with multiple medical specialists to minimize potential drug interactions and negative side effects.

When should families consider hiring a geriatric care manager? We would like to share 5 situations where hiring geriatric care managers could help if you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed.

  • You’re concerned about the safety of an aging loved one.
    • Care managers are like concierges – they coordinate your loved one’s care, help solve problems, communicate with physicians and family, and help manage aspects of all aspects of their life. A care manager is an expert in seeing the bigger picture and willing be looking ahead to ensure that if needs change your family will have the services and information necessary, so nothing slips through the cracks.
  • Your loved one refuses to talk about their health.
    • Many seniors don’t want to burden adult children with problems or worries. If your suspect that your older adult is not telling you about things that may affect their health or well-being, you could hire a GCM to check on them.
  • New Diagnosis
    • When someone gets a new diagnosis, it’s as if their world gets turned upside down. Having a certified geriatric care manager, or Aging Life Care Professional, close at hand can be tremendous comfort, providing not only emotional support but also a professional perspective to help process the news.
  • Cognitive Decline
    • Caring for an elderly loved one with impaired cognition creates unique challenges for family members when they are not able to be active partners in the process. Problems can arise such as lacking the ability to help if necessary or making plans and decisions about the care.
  • You’re overwhelmed and/or confused about navigating through the healthcare system
    • Medical appointments, diagnoses, prescriptions, insurance, and handling an aging loved one’s health care can be overwhelming. Care managers understand the complexities of the healthcare system and can offer much-needed guidance and support.
  • Caregiver Burnout
    • Caring for an elderly loved one isn’t easy. If you’re an adult child, you may find it challenging to balance your elderly parent’s care the needs of your own family, and your job. GCMs can alleviate caregiver burnout because they focus on solutions that benefit the senior and involved family members, as well. A GCM can also access other supportive resources, such as support groups and counselors.

How Can LifeWorx Help You?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of geriatric care, it may be time to hire a geriatric care manager who can help you cut through the confusion and regain peace of mind. It is important to take the time to find the right geriatric care manager for your loved one and family.  Once you have chosen a geriatric care manager for your family, it is important to make sure that you make the most of your relationship with them.

We encourage families to contact us for more information on geriatric care managers or regarding the services we provide specifically. Our team of trained elder care professionals is equipped and ready to serve you and your family.

Explore LifeWorx’ in-home elder care services.