|DUMONT & DUMONT|
|Guardianship & Elder Care Services|
What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
Geriatric Care Managers provide a variety of services for seniors and caregivers. A Geriatric Care Manager generally provides a home assessment and then creates a senior care plan recommendation based on the interview.
After you receive the Care Plan, You are not obligated to implement any portion of it, but at least you will have the necessary tools to understand
many of the home dynamics that are often over-looked due to being emotionally close to the senior or living too far away.
The Care Manager is also more likely to ask the right questions, resulting in more forthcoming answers than a family member.
This may seem odd at first. But consider that most seniors do not wish to burden their already very busy children or nieces and nephews. Sometimes circumstances can be embarrassing to talk about by a family member. On the other hand, the Geriatric Care Manager is a paid professional, and most people are willing to get their money's worth for paid services.
Why use a Geriatric Care Manager?
Your Geriatric Care Manager can:
Make a professional assessment
Arrange care services
Find community resources
Assist with a residential placement when the time comes
Be a source of information
How can a Geriatric Care Manager help?
Home Geriatric Care Managers generally do the following:
1: Conduct an in-person assessment
Interview questions cover a range of issues relevant to your elder's health and living situation, including everyday activities, nutritional status, safety, memory, depression, finances, insurance, and more.
Interviews between a Geriatric Care Manager and the senior can be done with or without family members present. It is important that the Care Manger have all the information that is necessary to do the best job possible.
2: Make a Care Plan
A Care Plan includes the results of the assessment, recommendations, and referrals for local care options. The Geriatric Care Manager will go into great depth in explaining some of the details of the plan, what led to the recommendations, what you can expect, and prioritize the needs list.
Some things may be immediate and mandatory like monitoring medications that are not being taken properly. Other things like personal hygiene issues and diet are important to health and well-being and therefore need to be monitored closely.
Other things such as comfort issues are a bit further down on the list. The last are things that are not important to life or health but would make life a bit more pleasant. From this list, you and the Geriatric Care Manager will have to determine what can or cannot be handled and how that will be done.
A Care Plan will also include regular reassessments. As we age, so do our capabilities. Capabilities and functions need to be monitored as time goes on with adjustments made for those changes.
A perfect example is memory. A senior may have some moderate memory loss now but nothing that is potentially threatening. Six months later those memory issues may have worsened or be good one day and not the next. In such a case, an assessment should take place to determine the extent of the memory loss, the potential consequences of the loss, and what can be done to compensate for it. Phone call reminders or check lists could be two options.
3: Arrange services
Even when services are not available directly through the Geriatric Care Manager, your Geriatric Care Manager will arrange for the services through other parties.
Geriatric Care Managers are uniquely connected in the community. It's not like hiring the neighbor. Most Geriatric Care Managers have been around for a while, know the right people, and know how to get things done. In many cases they can save you more than their own fees by making the proper connections and knowing who they are hiring.
If you are not living in the same city, or even the same state as your parent, the Geriatric Care Manager is even more beneficial to you. Getting in touch with local service companies and monitoring them is difficult, if not impossible from 1000 miles away. The Geriatric Geriatric Care Manager becomes you for the purposes of establishing and monitoring services and needs. The Geriatric Care Manager will keep you in the loop reporting changes as they develop.
Above all else, stay in contact with your Geriatric Care Manager. Not only does it help you understand what is going on, doing so helps to keep the Geriatric Care Manager updated on anything that you see as an issue. By staying in touch, you also let the Geriatric Care Manager know that you are interested and are paying attention to what they do.
Like any other situation, a Geriatric Care Manager cannot see everything. You have your own perspective and may see things that they don't. SPEAK UP! Don't wait for the Geriatric Care Manager to spot an issue that you already know about. A good Geriatric Care Manager wants you to communicate and will not be offended if you talk with them about issues.
Geriatric Care Managers are at their best when they work in partnership with you, your senior parent, and the service providers.
5. Evaluating the Geriatric Care Manager
Like any other job, everyone needs to be evaluated at some level. That evaluation should be done by you and the determining factors are how well they do their job.
Do they understand the issues? Do they stay on top of things? Do they work well with service providers? Do they communicate well with you and with the senior? Are they on top of issues before they become problems?
If you note a problem, be sure to communicate with the Geriatric Care Manager. Anyone can miss something and remember that you have a unique perspective. However, if they ignore problems, don't communicate back, don't monitor the performance of service providers, or are otherwise inattentive, don't waste any time in replacing them.
There are good Geriatric Care Managers and bad ones and the health and well-being of your senior isn't worth wasting time with someone that isn't doing a good job. A bad Geriatric Care Manager can also be a tremendous waste of precious financial resources. Find another Geriatric Care Manager that has the time and desire to work with you and your senior.
David F. Dumont / Rosalyn Dumont
Professional Legal Guardian
Professional Geriatric Care Manager
Dumont & Dumont, Inc.
PO Box 91806
Lakeland, FL, USA 33804-1806
Degrees: BA, RG
Experience: Assessment, Placement, Education, Advocacy, Consultation, Information/Referral, Care Management, Entitlements, Home Care, Insurance, Guardianship/Conservatorship
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