How A Geriatric Care Manager Can Help Family Caregivers
Extended or even immediate families often shared the job of tending to their senior loved ones. Oftentimes, families may live farther apart, and the responsibility for care can fall on one overwhelmed family member who is not close by.
The good news is that there are geriatric care managers who can help!
What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
Care Managers, or a Geriatric Care Manager, also known as 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. 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 instrumental in helping family members and seniors find the right services along with organizing all doctor visits, medication management, and other health-related aids.
People 65 and older now make up about 16 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Population Reference Bureau. By 2060, that share is expected to rise to 23 percent, and the number of seniors is projected to nearly double to 95 million, in part because people are living longer.
How can Care Managers help your family?
Care managers help family members find better and more efficient ways of providing care for a loved one. The concept is simple. The family hires a professional adviser to act as a guide through the maze of long-term care services and providers. The care manager visits as many times as they need. The initial visit is typically the longest as the care manager performs a thorough assessment to include but not limited to: inspection of the home to make sure the senior is in a safe living environment, accurate medications or to set up additional services like home health if needed.
At North Star Cares, we can also assist in locating senior living options such as an assisted living or memory care if the senior is no longer safe living by themselves. We will explain the different options that are available to you to ensure your loved one is receiving the care best suited for them. 24/7 home care can also be an option; however, this tends to add up very quickly upwards to $13k or more each month while the average cost for assisted living starts closer to $3500/month.
Having one individual be the point of contact for all health-related services is a real life-saver for many families. It eliminates most of that confusion when trying to keep up with several phone numbers of different companies. Family members have peace of mind that one individual is ensuring their senior loved one is being taken care of, whether it is through home health services, home safety evals, accurate medication management, or companionship.
A Geriatric Care Manager can also assist Caregivers from afar or locally as well by:
- Making referrals to financial, legal or medical professionals and suggesting ways to avert problems.
- Explaining complex or difficult topics with the recipient of care or family members.
- Creating short- and long-term care plans that could include other living arrangements.
- Acting as a liaison to families who may be hundreds of miles away.
- Answering questions and addressing emotional concerns of caregivers and their loved ones.
- Arranging for relief or respite care for stressed-out caregivers if needed.
Make sure to check references and credentials
Unlike medical doctors and registered nurses, geriatric care managers don’t have to have state-level license requirements nor are they regulated.
But because many care managers started in health care, they often continue to keep their certifications in their original field.
Two organizations — the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and the National Academy of Certified Case Managers (NACCM) in Tucson — offer certification programs. Both organizations require specialized degrees, experience and successful completion of an examination.
North Star Cares only hires Care Managers who are certified as a Care Manager, Certified (CMC) along with several years of experience. We even take it a step further and have Registered Nurses on Staff as well as certify all employees as Certified Dementia Practitioners (CDP).
Questions to ask before you hire a Care Manager
Be clear about your expectations. That starts with asking a prospective care-management provider the right questions.
- Resources: What are your business’s main services, and do they include in-home care?
2. Size: How many geriatric care managers do you have on staff?
3. Qualifications: What credentials and professional licenses do you and your managers have?
4. Longevity: How many years have you been providing care-management services?
5. Initial costs: What fee, if any, do you charge for a consultation?
6. Continuing costs: What are your ongoing fees, and may I get them in writing?
7. Communication: How will you keep in contact with us?
8. Flexibility: What happens if my family has an emergency — will you be available?
9. References: Who has used your services, and may I contact them?
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
We know there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to caring for a senior loved one. Our dedicated team of compassionate and experienced care managers is here 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 a requested call back time or you may reach us directly at 407-796-1582.