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The Geriatric Care Manager

By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 3)

Care managers may also find services that are low or no cost (such as respite care), that will reduce or eliminate the need for paying for companions or aides. The ability to “find money” is part of a geriatric care manager’s skills. They reduce the time expenditure in trying to find particular services, which also helps with caregiver stress.

Evaluating a care manager involves cost per hour, but only in part. Years in the field, degrees currently held (LPN, RN or higher degree), and any additional specialty credentials (finance management or paralegal training) should be considered. Caregivers must also be comfortable and able to communicate with the manager, because this is where information of all types can be obtained. If the ability of the care manager to communicate with effectiveness and compassion is not present, it would be better to continue interviewing others, regardless of any credentials. This individual will be a caregiver’s first line of hope, and help.

Rather than viewing a care manager as someone who takes the family out of the senior care equation, they should be seen as a resource of information about the individual needing care. Regular contact with the care manager creates a feeling of well-being within the family structure because the constant anxiety of questioning how the senior is doing is subtracted.

When a care manager steps in to assist client and family, a new dimension opens up in the relationship between senior and caregiver. The deeper bonds of relationship are no longer submerged beneath stress, tension and fear of “doing the wrong thing.” True feelings of love and compassion are free to surface. Health of both senior and caregiver can improve dramatically when the right changes are made.

One person is no longer “in charge” of another, and the feelings of resentment and/or guilt that can breed between caregiver and elder dissipate. Individuals move to a new level of relating to one another, and the geriatric care manager can also guide this journey, too.

Caregiver and senior may have to adjust to new circumstances, but their relationship ultimately becomes renewed.

To find a Geriatric Care Professional near you, visit the National Association’s website at: http://www.caremanager.org/

 

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