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What to do About Mom or Dad
Find the Expertise You Need in a
Professional Geriatric Care Manager

by Cheryl Smith, MA
(Page 2 of 4)

Sidestep Complicated Family Dynamics

If you’re finding it a frustrating task to talk to your parent about closing off the upstairs of their home to prevent falls, installing bath safety equipment, giving up the car keys, or wearing an ID bracelet for those walks around the block, you’re not alone. Elderly parents often find it humiliating to transition to receiving advice, direction or physical care from their own children. But in the same arena, a professional outsider can step up to the plate and do it with panache.

A professional starts with a level playing field that creates a feeling of equality for the elderly. Your parent may feel more comfortable speaking of sensitive areas with someone outside of family dynamics. At the very least, the elderly are more likely to accept suggestions from a third party with a listening ear. To your benefit, the geriatric care manager will present a view to your parent that is unbiased by your personal stress, emotionally-charged worry, and any unconscious agendas. 

When Kansas City business owner Betsy Stewart’s elderly dad suffered a stroke two years ago and returned to his own home, she was worried about his safety. But when she tried to talk to him about it or make suggestions, he brushed off her concerns.

 “To him, I was just his child and not someone he was going to take advice from,” said Stewart.

 Stewart sought the help of a geriatric care manager and was amazed at the difference.

“Having an outsider be the one to make recommendations and talk to my dad about potential safety issues was instrumental in getting my dad to cooperate. The care manager built trust and established a rapport with him and got him laughing right off the bat. By the end, he trusted her judgment and cooperated with all her recommendations. Additionally, the care manager pointed things out to me that I hadn’t thought about – such as potential safety hazards in the home – and provided information on valuable resources.”

 

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