(picture from 'caring.com' website)
One position that I have been coming across a lot lately has been the 'Geriatric Care Manager'. I see it a lot in the websites dedicated to elderly parents and caregivers. 'Caring.com' had an interview with Kaaren Boothroyd who is the executive director of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Their NAPGCM site educates consumers on the role of the GCM and how to find one.
The average lifespan in the U.S. is 78.2 years.
On average 10,000 people in the U.S. turn 65 every day.
There are 40 million people – more than 13 percent of the U.S. population – who are 65 years or older.
This role of geriatric care manager came about from the changing family life, where a lot of adult children live away from their parents or have work lives that cut down on the time they can spend taking care of mom and/or dad. Kaaren lists reasons what people should consider before hiring a GCM and what the benefits are to doing this.
What should people consider before hiring a geriatric care manager?
Person has limited or no family support.
**Family has just become involved with helping the individual and needs direction about available services.
**Person has multiple medical or psychological issues.
**Person is unable to live safely in his/her current environment.
**Family is either "burned out" or confused about care solutions.
**Family has limited time and/or expertise in dealing with loved ones' chronic care needs.
**Family is at odds regarding care decisions.
**Person is not pleased with current care providers and requires advocacy.
**Person is confused about his/her own financial and/or legal situation.
**Family needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia.
What are the benefits of hiring a geriatric care manager?
Help meet goals of older adult and all involved.
**A care manager's knowledge, education, training, and experience can objectively help set realistic expectations while addressing obstacles that might be present.
**Often families are overwhelmed with the many options presented. A care manager can efficiently streamline decision making.
**As a neutral third party with knowledge of issues of older adults, a care manager can often help resolve conflicts that a more emotionally involved party can't.
**A care manager can often be a cost-effective alternative to families doing it themselves. Knowledge of entitlement programs, the elimination of often hours of research, reduction of time off from work and crisis-based travel can prove to not only provide positive outcomes but save time and valuable financial resources.
**Avoid problems. The proactive nature of care management can help avoid many of the unfortunate problems that face older adults.
**Supervising caregivers, home safety precautions, and safe financial management can be vital parts of a care manager's role.
**Avoid family conflicts. Having a facilitator to assist with difficult decisions can maintain family stability. Difficult decisions including end of life, driving, and relocation can be addressed in a positive manner.
I would suggest that you could probably talk to your parent's doctor or medical professional, or local social service agency and gather information on a GCM in your area and talk with your family to see if you need one. I have read in other posts that there may be a fee involved - whether it is a one time fee or a fee for each consultation, I do not know. Something else to ask.
Lastly, I just found a section on the 'caremanager.com' site that states that:
Care managers can often help parents who are concerned about a young adult or middle-aged adult child with disabilities. These care managers have experience and credentials to work with all ages. The care manager conducts a comprehensive assessment and helps the family plan for the current and future needs of their adult child.
**Developmental Disabilities, (e.g. Intellectual Disabilities /formerly called Mental Retardation, Down’s Syndrome, Autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome)
**Mental Health Problems
**Chronic or Serious Illnesses of any type
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4 Signs of Caregiving Stress Overload
ElderCarelink email posts 4 signs that should not be overlooked by you, the caregiver, or a close family member or friend. They report that even though the immediate caregiver may not be helping in direct care, the mind is never far from the needs of the older person, thinking about meals, falling, medications. Take the opinion of a family member or friend if they are telling you that you are stressed. Four signs: you skip your own physicals; you isolate yourself from others; you eat and/or drink too much for good health; you are short tempered with the elder, your spouse or your children. If any or all of these sound familiar, take a break no matter how short in order to recharge. For more information on caregiver stress see ElderCarelink
You can check out my ranting and stream of consciousness writing about looking at adult service providers with Will.
A Caregiver's Poem
I was looking through a 'Caregiver's Blog: Senior Care Support' and came across a poem that was shared by a writer, Dana, from the blog. The poem was written by Becky Netherland and Dana's grandmother shared it with her. I thought it was great and there is not much to say about it - just read!!! Enjoy!!
(picture from Caregivers Blog)
I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.
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