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Long Distance Caregiving

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The Geriatric Care Manager

By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 3)

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 uninterrupted.

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.

Costs vary from manager to manager, as well as the detail of service being provided. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover these services, but when considering out of pocket expenses such as these, a caregiver must evaluate both senior and caregiver needs. Overstressed caregivers will require more medical and psychological care of their own. By relieving some of the natural pressure that comes with caring for another, stress levels fall, health levels increase, and doctors’ visits gradually diminish.


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