Geriatric Care Management may be an ideal solution for anyone charged with the responsibility for ensuring their Senior loved ones are getting the care they need when they themselves cannot do it. Either due to distance or time many people simply cannot get involved with ensuring their Senior family members are seeing doctors, taking medication, eating properly, and so forth.
One of the many entries into the field of Eldercare in recent times is the professional Geriatric Care Manager. As you may already know they can essentially do it all for you, with the added advantage of a professional background in dealing with eldercare. They can assess your Seniors’ situation and recommend a detailed care plan. Typically these plans include a host of needed services, from medical advice and treatment to financial and legal assistance as well as recreational needs. Here are 3 tips you need to know about when arranging for Geriatric Care Management services:
- Evaluate the Care Manager’s background and professional credentials thoroughly.
- Match the care manager’s background to your Seniors’ primary needs.
- Stay involved with the care plan.
First, you need to know not all states have licensing requirements for professional Geriatric Care Managers. Many work for companies that offer a variety of eldercare services, which can be a great advantage. Reputable Geriatric Care Managers generally have educational backgrounds and licensing in nursing, social work, gerontology, and even legal aid. Since the ideal Care Manager will arrange for services to be provided without necessarily providing services themselves, you should look for someone well rounded. Of special importance is someone who is extremely knowledgeable of all resources in your community, especially those that come without cost.
There are two professional organizations for Care Managers, the National Association of
Professional Geriatric Care Managers and the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Both have websites where you can learn a great deal about their standards for membership.
Second, different Seniors have different levels of need and it is a good idea to match what they need the most with the background and expertise of the Care Manager. Seniors in good physical condition have less of a need for a Care Manager with an extensive nursing background. If your Seniors primary need is financial advice and legal assistance, you should select a Care Manager knowledgeable in those areas
Third, you need to stay in frequent contact with the Geriatric Care Manager you select for the entire time the care plan is in effect. If you check the websites of some Care Managers you will see they emphasize the fact they will only contact you at work in the event of an emergency.
Reading between the lines one could assume that some clients prefer to abdicate responsibility for monitoring the effectiveness of the care plan to the Care Manager. In some cases this could lead to reluctance to establish frequent contact with the client. Viewing Geriatric Care Management services as something you can “set and forget” is a mistake.
A well developed care plan for your Seniors should include frequent monitoring and evaluation for potential changes as well as with an eye for the day when an at-home arrangement is no longer viable. Stay involved with your Geriatric Management Care.