Nursing homes are become more specialized when it comes to senior care. In fact, many have employed the help of a geriatric care manager to look after their residents’ needs.
Are you responsible for the care and keeping of an elderly loved one? As much as you may care for your loved one, unless you are a medical professional, you may not be able to understand or provide for his or her every need. If you feel like you could use a little help, consider hiring a geriatric care manager – keep reading to learn more.
What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
The field of geriatrics is a branch of medicine that deals with the health and care of older adults. A doctor who specializes in geriatrics is called a geriatrician and he has special training to evaluate and manage the unique healthcare needs as well as the treatment preferences of the elderly. It is not just doctors who can specialize in geriatrics, however – nurses, social workers, and physical therapists can also train for a geriatric specialty. Another healthcare profession that focuses particularly on the care of older adults is geriatric care management.
A geriatric care manager typically has a background in nursing, social work, psychology, or gerontology and specializes in elder care issues. They are also trained to help family care givers in the following ways:
- Assessing the individual needs of the family, including the necessarily level of care as well as the living situation of the patient.
- Helping the family navigate the healthcare system.
- Planning and supervising the care of the patient, as well as other services.
Having a geriatric care manager can be a great help for families but, unfortunately, many people do not realize that such a caregiver exists. Keep reading to learn more about why and how to hire a geriatric care manager.
Related: How To Find a Geriatrician
Should You Consider Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager?
You can find a geriatric care manager by contacting your county’s Office for Aging or through the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Before you do, however, consider whether or not it is the best option – here are some of the benefits of hiring a geriatric care manager:
- It could save you money. It might sound like the opposite would be true, but if you hire a geriatric care manager to assess your loved one and to create a care plan, it could save you the expense and hassle of making big decisions down the line.
- It may help you make smarter decisions. A geriatric care manager specializes in the needs of older adults, so they can provide recommendations for modifications to make your loved one’s home life easier as well as other changes that could be beneficial.
- It might help you navigate the healthcare system. A geriatric care manager will come to your loved one’s doctor appointments with you and help you to understand and follow the doctor’s orders. They may also be able to tell you what services typically are and are not covered by insurance.
- It may provide your loved one with an advocate. If your loved one needs to move to a facility, your geriatric care manager will help to supervise his or her care and will act as an advocate as well.
- It may give you some much-needed support. Being a caregiver for someone with significant medical needs can be draining but having a geriatric care manager may help to share the burden of making big decisions so you can care for yourself as well as your loved one.
Though there are many good reasons to hire a geriatric care manager, it may not be the right choice in every situation. Not all insurance plans will cover the cost of a geriatric care manager, so think about whether you can really afford it. If you can’t, there are free alternatives available such as services and support offered by your local Office for the Aging.
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