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The Geriatric Care Manager
by Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer
Families living away from their elders
can utilize a GCM to keep up with their loved one’s
needs, such as regular bill paying, doctor’s visits, and
intervention with community or medical services. The
GCM’s role does not stop at assessment and
recommendation, although it can, if a caregiver desires.
In situations where one parent has a deteriorating
condition, the GCM will assist with helping the
caregiver-parent with much needed advice and social
assistance. Aging parents may be reluctant to move from
their secure environment to live with family. A care
manager can accurately review the current living
conditions, and if needed, act as an intermediary to
discuss realistic living options. In this way, family
members are not seen as removing independence from loved
ones by stepping in to alter their living situation.
In multi-child families, one child may have the role of
caregiver fall to them, with too much or not enough
input on the part of the other siblings. A possible
solution is through geriatric care management. Hiring
professionals to not only evaluate, but channel
information about health and other issues is a clean way
to break from being the sole decision maker.
The many service options offered by GCMs can also
include assistance when a caregiver must relocate to be
closer to the senior, or when the senior must relocate.
This not only includes assisted living or other long
term care, but relocation to the caregiver’s home.
The senior dwelling in Florida must deal with hurricanes
and weather extremes like blistering summer heat. The
old saying of “you can’t change the weather” can stir up
tremendous anxiety in long distance caregivers. Worries
about health and emergency needs amplify, but geriatric
care, once in place, plans for these things, too.
Regardless of where one lives in the state, concerns for
flu season, mosquito transmitted diseases and weather
associated respiratory problems exist. Again, care
management takes these factors into consideration,
developing solutions before problems begin.
Geriatric care professionals are connected by a network
of professional associations, and they can connect the
senior and family with a GCM locally to keep the service
Attorneys, banks, and healthcare providers rely on
geriatric care when there are no family members to step
in. In this way, the client’s affairs are kept in order
according to the law, and the client is kept well
attended. In so many families where time and distance
have separated people beyond reasonable bounds,
geriatric management provides advocacy and consistency
of a senior’s quality of life.