Experts help families solve senior care challenges
Caring for an older adult can be overwhelming, confusing, and incredibly stressful.
To get some help and relief, consider hiring an aging care expert. They’re typically called geriatric care managers (GCMs) or aging life care professionals.
Their experience and knowledge about senior care issues and local resources can be especially helpful when you’ve run into a difficult or complex situation with your older adult.
Even if you don’t need one full-time, a few hours of consultation could make a world of difference in solving a tricky problem.
We share 5 situations where hiring a geriatric care manager could help solve tough problems and get better care for your older adult.
What is a geriatric care manager?
A geriatric care manager (or aging life care professional) is an experienced professional whose goal is to improve your older adult’s quality of life and reduce family stress.
They can help you navigate the senior care system, advise you on caregiving decisions, connect you with helpful resources, supervise your older adult’s care, and help resolve family issues.
5 situations where hiring a geriatric care manager makes sense
1. You need help solving a complex behavior issue
When older adults develop serious behavioral issues (typically in dementia), like constant verbal abuse or physical combativeness, it can be difficult to pinpoint the true cause of the problem.
Unless you have an experienced geriatrician (geriatric doctor) who’s committed to figuring it out, you may need a GCM to connect you with the right specialists who can solve it.
2. You need help solving problems in a senior living community
Caring for an older adult almost often complicated problems. Sometimes, you run into a brick wall trying to solve them.
When that happens, hiring a geriatric care manager can be a big help.
For example, your mom lives in an assisted living community and you feel that she needs more care than their regular staff provides. However, they won’t let you hire a private aide for her. You’ve negotiated and argued with the administrator until you’re blue in the face, but aren’t getting anywhere.
A geriatric care manager understands how these communities really work, what the relevant state laws are, and will negotiate on your behalf. Because they’re industry insiders, they’re more likely to reach a solution that’s in your senior’s best interests.
3. Your older adult refuses to talk with you about their health
Many seniors don’t want to burden adult children with problems or worries.
If you suspect that your older adult is not telling you about things that affect their health or well-being, you could hire a geriatric care manager to check on them.
Some people are more likely to share their concerns with an expert outside the family.
4. You live far away
It’s difficult to manage your older adult’s care when you don’t live near them. There’s no substitute for having someone there in person to make sure they’re well cared for.
When it’s impossible for you to visit frequently, a GCM could supervise their care, alert you to any issues, and work with you when decisions are needed.
5. You’re really not sure what to do
At some point in your older adult’s care, you and your family might feel completely lost and unsure.
If you’re stuck and don’t know what to do, a geriatric care manager can help you understand the available options, tradeoffs, and costs.