Have you reached retirement age? Are you helping an older parent or other family member deal with medical care?
If so, you’ve probably come across the term “geriatric care.”
But what is geriatric care? In this blog post, we’ll try to answer that question, and discuss some reasons why you and your family may want to work with a geriatric care manager.
What is geriatric care?
“Geriatric care” is a term that covers two areas: first are doctors known as geriatricians, who provide care for seniors, who tend to have different and more varied and more prevalent health issues than younger people.
The second area is geriatric care management, a field dedicated to helping families caring for elderly relatives, but also helping older people who don’t have support from their families.
Geriatric care managers come from a variety of fields connected to long-term care. They are nurses, social workers, psychologists and case managers, all specializing in issues relating to elder care.
What is a geriatric care manager going to do for my family?
There are a few different ways a geriatric care manager can assist your loved ones.
- Cost savings
It might seem like enlisting a geriatric care manager will take a bite out your parent’s budget. In fact, hiring a care manager can help you develop a plan to avoid unnecessary costs.
The geriatric care manager can also serve as the family’s ambassador to your parent’s elder law attorney and financial planner. When you make the care manager part of your financial operations, they can supervise costs and offer tips for avoiding financial errors.
- Another voice in making decisions
One of the key services a geriatric care manager provides is guidance, whether that’s in determining the appropriate living arrangements or the best method of care.
Once they’ve examined the senior’s health and living situation, the care manager can recommend home modifications to create a better standard of living or help you find the care your loved one requires.
And most caregivers can tell you it’s a role that brings several tough decisions. When should dad stop driving? Does mom need to have someone stay with her full time? A geriatric care manager can help facilitate these difficult discussions and give advice on the best course to take.
- Guidance with medical care
Your mom or dad likely has a lot of doctor’s appointments. A geriatric care manager can attend those appointments, communicate with doctors and make sure orders are carried out. This can help you and your loved ones avoid unnecessary, stressful hospital visits.
- Another advocate for your parent
You want to be your loved one’s advocate, but you might not always be present to provide your voice. A geriatric care manager offers an extra level of support, helping coordinate care or even a move to a care facility. And if you’re unable to visit your loved one, the care manager can make sure they get the care and attention they need.
- It eases your burden
Caring for an elderly parent can feel like a full-time job. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only person responsible for mom or dad, which can make you feel guilty when you can’t do everything.
A geriatric care manager can ease some of this burden, sharing some of your responsibility while also getting answers to questions and providing insights you might not have.
Newman Elder Law is fortunate to have a geriatric care manager on staff. If someone asks us “What is geriatric care,” we can point them to Carole Mancini, who has spent years working and training in the elder care field, having spent seven years with the NJ Office of the Public Guardian before coming to our firm 10 years ago.
Contact us today to learn how she – and we – can help your loved ones.