Family members often have many questions about what to expect when working with a geriatric care manager and what the case management process involves. Making the decision to get help is often stressful. It can be precipitated by an aging family member’s chronic health condition, a hospitalization, or worrisome symptoms such as increased confusion and signs of dementia. Whatever the reason, an experienced geriatric care manager, also sometimes called an Aging Life Care Manager™, can provide guidance and hands-on services to help with all aspects and challenges of aging.
The case management process begins with a thorough face-to-face assessment of the individual’s needs, including medical, legal, financial, social, and safety needs. The care manager looks at the whole picture, including the following:
- How well can the person complete the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, etc.?
- How safe is the environment? Is there a need for adaptive devices or modifications? Or is a move to a different environment, such as assisted living, appropriate?
- What is the person’s medical history, what medications does he/she take, and who are the healthcare providers involved in the person’s care?
- What are the person’s social supports?
- Are there legal or financial concerns?
- What community resources are available?
Based on the assessment, the care manager will prepare a report with specific recommendations and a plan of care. Referrals to various professionals, services, and programs are included as necessary. The care manager can also provide assistance with implementing these recommendations.
For example, the care manager may recommend homemaker/companion or home health aide services for the aging adult. The care manager can monitor these services, provide ongoing visits, and coordinate care with other providers, including accompanying the older adult to medical appointments. The focus is on helping the aging adult live with as much independence as possible, with his/her health, safety, and social needs adequately met.
The care manager can also address family concerns about long term care needs, educate families on what to expect with chronic illnesses and dementia, and assist with locating state and federal entitlement and benefits programs. In long-distance caregiving situations, a local care manager can serve as the “eyes and ears” for the family, and ensure that the aging person receives the right level of care.
If you need the help of a geriatric care manager in the Tallahassee / Big Bend, Florida area, we are available. We have decades of experience helping seniors and their families meet the challenges they face. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone us at 850-894-6720, and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs to see if we can help.
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