geriatric care manager, usually a licensed nurse or social worker who specializes in geriatrics, is a sort of "professional relative" who can help you and your family to identify needs and find ways to meet your needs.
These specially trained professionals can help find resources to make your daily life easier. They will work with you to form a long-term care plan and find the services you need.
Geriatric care managers can be especially helpful when family members live far apart. If asked, they will check in with you from time to time to make sure your needs haven't changed.
What Do Geriatric Care Managers Do?
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Geriatric care managers:
- Discuss difficult topics and complex issues
- Make home visits and suggest needed services
- Address emotional concerns
- Make short- and long-term plans
- Evaluate in-home care needs
- Select care personnel
- Coordinate medical services
- Evaluate other living arrangements
- Provide caregiver stress relief
The cost of an initial evaluation varies and may be expensive, but depending on your family circumstances, geriatric care managers might offer a useful service to help family members stay in touch. Geriatric care managers charge by the hour. Most insurance plans don't cover these costs, and Medicare does not pay for this service. You will probably have to pay for this service.
Finding a Geriatric Care Manager
There are organizations that can help you find a care manager near your family member's home. You can also contact the Eldercare Locator for recommendations. In some cases, support groups for diseases related to aging may be able to recommend geriatric care managers who have assisted other families.
When interviewing a geriatric care manager, you might want to ask:
- Are you a licensed geriatric care manager?
- How long have you been providing care management services?
- Are you available for emergencies around the clock?
- Does your company also provide home care services?
- How will you communicate information to me?
- What are your fees? Will you provide information on fees in writing prior to starting services?
- Can you provide references?