Have you noticed your parent or senior loved one needs more care than they’re currently receiving? Or perhaps need help scheduling appointments and driving to those appointments. Figuring out what to do next can be overwhelming and confusing. What are their true health and day-to-day needs? Who can help provide care? A geriatric care manager can help you sort through all of these options and be that one contact person for all parties involved.
What are Geriatric Care Managers?
Care Managers, or Geriatric Care Managers, also known as an Elder Care or Aging Care Managers, represent a growing trend to help family caregivers provide care for loved ones living close by or living far away. Often times, we see senior living alone with some or very limited support. Their family may be far away, a spouse may have passed, and friends may not be local or in well enough to take over. Unfortunately, if a senior has been living alone and isolated for too long, their mental and even physical state can begin to decline rapidly.
Care managers are particularly useful in helping family members and seniors find the right services along with organizing all doctor visits, medication management, and other health-related aids.
Care managers should be something every family takes advantage of, but in reality, very few families know to use them. Sadly, it’s is not talked about in the range of health care services. Many doctors do not know to recommend to families and even though it’s a growing trend, we are still quite away from where we should be.
Why Work with a Geriatric Care Manager?
A care manager has knowledge of the framework of the senior care industry and access to the resources that will be needed to solve a problem quickly and efficiently. Working with a care manager allows the family member to resume the role of a son, daughter, or spouse and provides a knowledgeable advocate for the family.
- Assess individual needs and abilities, create care plans, and help families to navigate through healthcare systems and services.
- Provide direction and recommend appropriate services and residential transitions based on individual needs. We monitor and evaluate those services and make proper adjustments as needs change.
- Provide support to caregivers to help decrease and alleviate some of the stress associated with being a family caregiver.
- Coordinate care, act as an advocate, maintain communication with providers, monitor medical treatment compliance, provide medication management, and assure that scheduled appointments are kept.
- Provide ongoing supervision and maintain communication with families to give them peace of mind.
- Manage crises, safety concerns, and conflicts.
What’s the Difference Between a Care Manager, Guardian, and POA?
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document giving one person the power to act for another person. It may grant the authority to make legal decisions about another person’s property, finances, or medical care.
A guardian is court-appointed once a child or adult is deemed incapacitated to make their own decisions and given the legal responsibility to care for them. The appointed individual may be responsible for both the care of the ward (the child or incapable adult) and that person’s affairs.
A care manager can also become a guardian or a POA but usually doesn’t have to assume this responsibility and coordinates care between the care resources which usually includes someone, often a family member, who acts as a Power of Attorney and other care resources. An effective care management relationship can prevent a guardianship as well.
When Should You Consider Hiring a Care Manager?
It may be time to consider hiring a geriatric care manager when caregiving for a family member or loved one becomes overwhelming. You should also consider hiring a care manager if you aren’t available to oversee the needs of an aging parent because you live out of state or have too many commitments in your own life. It is best to hire a care manager BEFORE a crisis occurs.
Here are some examples to help decide when an individual may need a care manager:
- multiple medical or psychological issues
- is not able to live safely in their current environment
- has concerns with current care providers and need advocacy
- is confused about or needs assistance with their own financial and/or legal situation
- has limited or no support from family or friends
Or if your family:
- has just become involved with caring for the individual and needs direction about available services
- is overwhelmed or “burned out”
- does not have time-limited or expertise in dealing with the individual’s care needs and does not live close by
- is not in agreement about care decisions
- needs education or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia or chronic illnesses.
What are the Benefits of Care Management?
A reputable care manager has a vast knowledge of the senior care system through experience and access to resources that the family doesn’t. They can assist with:
- Obtaining objective assessments of client needs
- Individualized care plans and services
- Navigating and recommending community resources.
- Contributing to peace of mind for family members
- Care coordination and communication between family members, doctors, and other professionals, and service providers.
- Preventing and managing crises
- Avoid inappropriate placements, duplication of services, and unnecessary hospitalizations.
Creating a care management relationship creates an efficient strategy to tackle tough problems and to implement a plan so that these situations do not create a crisis.
How Much Does a Geriatric Care Manager Cost?
Geriatric Care Managers charge clients in a variety of ways, but typically it is an hourly rate between $50-$200 /hr. Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover these costs. Long term care insurance might, but most often this is an out-of-pocket cost.
However, Care Managers usually save families money despite being an out-of-pocket cost because their needs assessments align an individual’s present condition with only those services that are necessary at that point in time.
What Can A North Star Cares Professional Care Manager Do for Your Family?
A detailed consultation will be performed by one of our Care Managers outlining a tailored care plan. Conducted Virtually or In-Person
HOME SAFETY EVALUATIONS
There are many unrecognized hazards in the home. Our Care Manager will help identify these to help prevent hazards such as falls. Conducted in Person Only
Serve as your parent or loved one’s personal, health, and medical care advocate. Conducted Virtually or In-Person
When you need it most, one of our Care Managers will be there if a crisis were to occur and will keep the family informed. Conducted Virtually or In-Person
Our Nurse Care Manager will conduct a head to toe clinical assessment. Conducted in Person Only
Improper or poor medication management is the #1 reason for medical complications and re-hospitalizations. Conducted in Person Only
ACCOMPANY YOU TO APPOINTMENTS
Have a Care Manager accompany you to your appointments and act as your advocate. Conducted in-Person or Virtually via Telehealth.
MEDICAL CARE COORDINATION
Conducted Virtually or In-Person
ASSISTANCE, COORDINATION & OVERSIGHT WITH:
- Legal Affairs
- Financial Affairs (Including Bill Pay)
- Insurance Appeals
- Downsizing and Move Management
- Liaison between care providers including physicians, home health, and private duty
THROUGH OUR SENIOR PLACEMENT SERVICE, WE WILL HELP WITH TRANSITIONS TO OR FROM:
- Assisted Living
- Memory Care
- Skilled Care Facilities & Nursing Homes or in-person
Care managers should be something every family takes advantage of, but in reality, very few families know to use them. Sadly, it’s is not talked about in the range of health care services. Many doctors do not know to recommend to families and even though it’s a growing trend, we are still quite away from where it should be.
That is why North Star Cares is here for you. We know there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to caring. Our dedicated team of compassionate and experienced care managers wants to help you through the aging process!
Learn more about North Star Cares here. There, you can fill out a form to have an experienced care manager call you at your convenience or you may reach us directly at 407-796-1582.