The phrase “foreign territory” brings to mind a place that is difficult to navigate because it is unknown to you. That is an apt description of entering the world of home care for the first time. Unknown terminology, strange health care systems, insurance regulations and state and federal laws can make it daunting to find your way around senior care in order to find the care and support that you need. Thankfully, geriatric care managers can help you. They are trained to be your tour guide and can provide a roadmap through the foreign territory of senior care. They can help you arrive at your desired destination successfully.
Think of geriatric care managers as your travel agency.
Instead of handling the logistics of plane tickets, transfers, hotel accommodations and tours, they handle the myriad details that come with arranging senior care. Together you will be able to organize your loved one’s needs and then create a Plan of Care that addresses them. With the help of a geriatric care manager, you will be able to access the services necessary to provide care in a timely manner.
Geriatric care managers are excellent guides because they are experienced in senior care.
Some are nurses and some are social workers. They understand the intricate healthcare system and how it interacts with many different human services. They know how providers of healthcare interact with one another and can advise you on insurance and legal matters. Just as you would prepare for a trip to a foreign country with a detailed plan and the advice of a tour guide, it is best to approach senior care with the same strategy.
Some of the issues that geriatric care managers address include:
- Evaluating the physical, mental, and medical needs of your loved one.
- Finding available senior housing, and long-term care facilities.
- Helping the senior move into a new living environment including nursing home, Alzheimer’s or memory care unit or assisted living.
- Navigating family dynamics and discord so that members can discuss options and make decision collaboratively.
- Selecting, hiring and monitoring in-home care professionals.
- Coordinating care and communication between family members, hospital and physician care teams, specialists, and professional caregivers.
- Discussing financial, medical and/or legal problems with families to navigate difficulties and prevent them from worsening. Alerting families to these issues t to avoid difficulties.
A geriatric care manager can also help to reduce the stress of caregiving often placed on family members.
Caregiving can exact a heavy toll and the emotional and mental stress of caregiving can lead to caregiver burnout and illness. Many times the burden of caregiving can adversely impact the caregiver’s ability to work, causing interruptions, days off and distraction. When a care manager organizes care and all the details surrounding it, family members are free to pay attention to their work, avoiding lost time and problems with their employer.
If you are responsible for a senior loved one, consider LivHOME’s geriatric care management program to help guide you through the maze of details, systems and issues that you will face. You and your senior may experience better health and less stress because of it and you will know that you have found the best services for your loved one.