When should you consider using a Geriatric Care Manager

 

When a family begins to notice changes in their elderly loved one it would be beneficial for them to know what resources are available, how much they would cost, how to access these resources and what options are available. This is the job of a professional geriatric care manager (GCM). Some of the key points a care manager helps with are:

  • What is adult day care?
  • What is “respite” and where might it be available? Who pays for it?
  • What kind of care and how much care can be provided at home?
  • Who pays for what services? 
  • What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
  • What does insurance, either medical or long-term care, actually pay for?
  • What happens at the end of a hospitalization when discharge is scheduled?  Who does what?
  • Is the health care proxy in place, appropriately witnessed and current? Is there a power of attorney?
  • With a long-term care insurance policy, what is required for the policy to begin coverage?
  • What resources are available to pay for services? How much can the family afford? And who is going to pay for what?

Long distance caregiving is another situation where the services of a GCM would be very valuable!

When adult children do not live close to aging parents, it is important to have eyes and ears available locally.  Even as in-touch as we are with cell phones, text messaging and video conferences it is not easy to manage a loved ones care from a distance.  Having a care manager in your senior loved ones local area monitor the situation on an ongoing basis is crucial.

A relationship with a professional geriatric care manager can allow the children of the elderly person to be children rather than the caregivers, while someone else manages the situation. When a son or daughter is providing the hands-on care to the parent, the quality time they have to be there with their parent is limited.  A care manager can handle the difficult interpersonal issues, address immediate problems, remain connected once the crisis passes and get back involved as the situation requires it.  A care manager can closely monitor the situation, and keep all the interested parties up to date.

Published on May 7, 2012.