a health and human services specialist who helps families who are caring for older relatives. The GCM is trained and experienced in any of several fields related to care management, including, but not limited to nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.
A recent New York Times article reminded me of the many ways in which these professionals help my clients.
1. When my clients (or their children) say "what can be done to keep me at home as long as possible" I will recommend that they have a GCM come out and do an evaluation of the home, to make sure it is safe. Often, a fall at home can spiral into more and more medical problems, necessitating nursing home care on a short or long term basis. Preventing slips and falls can keep someone out of a nursing home.
2. When my clients are thinking about moving in with their children, a GCM can meet with the family and talk to them about what to expect, how to best set up the home, and how to plan for regular breaks for the care-giver so they don't get overwhelmed.
3. When my clients are thinking of moving to an assisted living facility and want some assistance choosing the right facility, a geriatric care manager can help. GCM's are generally familiar with the facilities in their area, and can offer their experiences with previous clients who may have been residents there. A GCM can also visit the facility with someone to make sure the right questions are asked.
4. When my clients need more assistance at home from a personal care attendant, visiting nurse, non-medical companion, or a combination - the GCM can oversee the team, making sure there are no duplications of services, and no holes.
5. A GCM can also talk to an older person about stopping driving, or to allowing more help into the home, when the client's child has difficulty broaching these subjects with their parents.
6. If family members can't agree on what to do with a parent who can no longer make decisions for themselves and who should play what role, a GCM can attend family meetings to help iron out these decisions.
7. Adult children who live far away will often hire a GCM to be their eyes and ears on the ground - accompanying their parent to medical appointments, overseeing the care givers in the home, and alerting the child to changes the parents might not bring up.
GCM's can be an integral part of the elder care team. They work hard to make sure that there is a good fit between the care manager and the client. And they can be hired for a one-time project, or take on a complex case for the long haul. Whether you are a current client of mine, or have just started looking for assistance for yourself or your aging parents, I can provide you with a referral to a GCM. Just call my office at 781-749-2284.
Estate Planning, Probate and Trusts involve complex areas of law. Individual circumstances must be considered before any advice can be given. The general information above is not to be construed as legal advice, which can only be given after consideration of the unique facts of each matter. Please seek the advice or counsel of your attorney, financial advisor or CPA as it may be appropriate.