Geriatric Care Managers are trained professionals who help families plan and manage senior care services. At some point in your lifetime, either you or one of your family members or friends may need extra assistance from a trustworthy, knowledgeable person to help them with their health care needs and household management.
Geriatric Care Managers assist seniors through the sometimes rough waters of senior care and map out a plan for the later years in life. Geriatric Care Managers are certified individuals who meet with seniors and their families and assess and then advise as they determine the best path or care or treatments needed. They then organize your life, and bring family members together to form a unit and prepare a plan for the good and bad times to come. This is especially valuable when there are complicated care needs, memory loss or adult children do not live near their parents.
Aging is never easy and many people are not well versed in how to handle this new phase in life. What does Medicare cover? What about Medicaid if you run out of private funds to pay for senior care needs? What if you are diagnosed with memory loss or another age-related illness? Where do you receive the best care and how do you plan for end-of-life care?
A good Geriatric Care Manager can help navigate the way to aging gracefully and enjoying the later years in life which we all work so hard to be able to enjoy. I had the opportunity to work as an aspiring Care Manager with some of the best professionals in senior care as part of a Florida geriatric care management service. I was taken under the wing of a true compassionate real-life miracle worker. She showed me how to work with families and not judge or change what each person wants.
One of the main things I learned is that people have different ideas or what their lives should be and the best way to help them is to ensure they have the proper structures in place to live safely. Last year I was given my very first case with a lovely little woman who had just suffered the loss of her husband of 60 years when he passed away on New Year’s Eve. He had been her caregiver who she had relied on fully as her adult children were living more than one thousand miles away. Her husband’s death was devastating for her but she did not show it on the outside.
The first time I met her she was cheerful and a gracious hostess, offering me frozen chocolate from her freezer and offering me her best wine. It wasn’t until spending the next few weeks with her that I realized just how life-changing losing her husband was for her. While she lived in Florida, her daughter lived a few states north and hired our service to be her Care Manager to help her in this major life transition. Her daughter’s work and family responsibilities prevented her from being able to be present full time and this is another example of when a geriatric care manager can be a valuable service to smooth out transitions as we age and lessen further disruptions to our families.
My sweet little senior lady had secretly stopped showering, was barely eating, and would try to give away everything in her home. This was her way of coping with the loss of her husband. The daughter thought it would be best to move her up north to live with her. So my new task was to help sort out her personal belongings in a non-invasive way, help her pack, organize the travel arrangements for her move, organize medications, set-up insurance and…..facilitate the sale of her husband’s belongings (he was a painter, body builder, wrestler,salesman, and magician!). They had many interesting possessions. In helping with this project I learned all about their life together and had the opportunity to help a family in need. We moved her up north with her daughter after 1 month of working with her and she currently lives there safely with her family.
Geriatric Care Managers are one way to receive assistance from those who have vast experience in senior care and understand both the emotional and physical challenges of aging. They know what works, what doesn’t work, and which course is the best to take. In a way--- hey get you there faster. Senior care options include nursing homes (Medicare only pays for up to 100 days in a nursing home after a major medical event), senior home care and moving to an Assisted Living community. Geriatric Care Managers can assist with all aspects of senior care and also inform families about the financial requirements of each senior care option as well as connect you with the top medical providers in your area.
Guest Blogger: Caregiverlist Sherpa Lauren Tyner. Caregiverlist’s Job Applicant service connects senior care companies with the highest quality professional caregivers, Certified Nursing Aides and Certified Home Health Aides using proprietary technology to deliver efficiencies to the recruitment and hiring process. Caregiverlist’s Sherpas guide senior care companies on the best way to use the interactive hiring tools.
Lauren Tyner is in the photo below next to the Caregiverlist office, just under the real bridge to nowhere with Caregiverlist Sherpas Patrick Welch and Samantha Franklin on each side of her.