So many adult children are caring for their aging parents today while balancing their own lives. On the other hand, many aging parents are caring for themselves and/or an aging spouse with significant health issues. In any case, aging adults are depending on family and friends to care for them. Many aging parents often deny that they even need assistance with routine activities or managing an illness or stress related to aging. In addition to these factors there are many seniors who have impaired decision making skills or less than adequate coping skills. Yet, they are living day to day without supportive services in their respective urban or rural communities in which they live.
Emerging from the health care crisis in our country where aging parents are often on their own to manage their daily lives, get adequate healthcare, and resume reasonable physical activity is a great need for them to have supportive services in the community where they live. There is even a greater need if their health risk is higher than average. The best place to begin when an aging loved one’s independent functional capacity is in question, is to get help from a local professional geriatric care manager. Also referred to as “G.C.M’s,” professional geriatric care managers are initially hired to do an individualized and comprehensive assessment for an aging or disabled loved one, identifying specific needs particular to the individual. Rarely do physicians take/or have the necessary time to do a full physio-geri-psych-geo-eco-social assessment. “What kind of assessment is that?” you may be asking. That’s very much, the kind of initial and personal assessment that the professional geriatric care manager does. A “G.C.M” being client focused and outcome driven, has the skill set to not only determine an aging or disabled loved one’s needs, but also the professional geriatric care manager comes equipped with elder-care expertise as to how to find the right care at the right place/ask the right questions at the right time/obtain the right options by the right health care providers.
Aging and disables persons come with needs….
- Physio- Physical (General health; head-to-toe assessment)
- Geri- Geriatric (Special needs pertaining to persons 65+ yrs old; the body changes as we age)
- Psych- Psychiatric (Mental coping skill/Behavioral patterns)
- Geo- Geological (Pertaining to local environment or setting in which a person lives)
- Eco- Economical (Pertaining to a person’s financial ability to care for themselves)
- Social- Family/Friends/Community supports available to a person
According to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers hiring care managers is to the benefit of the consumer by personalized services. A positive relationship between a Geriatric Care Manager and a client is obviously vital to successful outcomes, where the key is effective communication
So why not get started with communicating with a local professional geriatric care manager today in advocacy for someone you know!
Article written by Dawn Elledge with Elledge Geriatric Care Management.