Updated: Dec 10, 2019
A friend called me the other day asking for advice about his aging mother that lived in another state. He helped with the sale of her home and she now lives in an apartment with part-time care. Time has passed and now he's starting to get the sense that maybe she needed assisted living.
Many caregivers find themselves in a similar logistical predicaments when their loved-ones need additional care. Often times they're are still independent enough to live on their own, but are starting to need help with portions of their life. If you find yourself here as a caregiver and do not live close to the one you love, consider hiring a Geriatric Care Manager.
What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
A Geriatric Care Managers is a licensed nurse or social worker who specializes in geriatrics and works as a sort of “professional relative” who can assist with your loved one with a long term care plan. They can be particularly helpful when live far apart.
Where can I find a Geriatric Care Manager?
What services do they provide?
Make home visits and recommend services
Set appointments with local providers
Support and address emotional concerns
Be the “go-to” person when medical issues arise
Provide caregiver communication
Create short- and long-term care plans
Start difficult conversations regarding care
How can I determine that the caregiver is right for my loved-one?
You're hiring a caregiver to work for you, so it's important to interview them to ensure they're the right fit for you. Some potential questions you can ask them are.
Are you licensed?
How long have you been providing care management services?
Are you available around the clock?
How do you manage communication? Do you prefer email, text?
What are your fees and pricing?
As with everything, it’s always best to get these things in writing prior to starting. This is simply to ensure both parties are certain about what is expected and aren't caught off guard with miscommunication. Consider taking the time to write out a “contract” explicitly stating what you are expecting from them and writing out instructions on what to do in case of an emergency.
How much will I be expected to pay?
As with any service industry, their prices can vary because of a multitude of factors (location, experience, etc.) but expect to pay anywhere from $50-200 an hour.
While medicare and most insurance companies don't cover this cost, don't be scared away by the price and consider the much needed help and expertise they'll offer. Without a local professional on call, you might have to take off work and rearrange your life on a moments notice and having someone there will give you peace of mind which is priceless.
Where can I find more information?
There's lots of information on the Aging Life Care Association website at www.aginglifecare.org.
Or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to walk you through the process and anything else you might need.