The number of Americans caring for their elderly family members is estimated to be 34 million and growing. Eighty percent of elderly care is provided by family members – spouses, children, grandchildren and other relatives. Many of these caregivers struggle with the task of caring for their elderly relatives while also addressing the needs of their own families.
You may have noticed your aging parent showing signs that he or she needs help. Simple tasks like climbing stairs, understanding medications and taking them on time, preparing meals, etc. are becoming increasingly challenging. You may see your parent becoming socially isolated, disinterested in activities, confused and even losing his or her appetite. However, it’s difficult for you to accurately assess just how much help and how to access it. Whether you live close by or hours away, putting your finger on the problems that need to be addressed and finding the solutions can be overwhelming.
Orchestrating care for loved ones is not an easy task. Every case and family is unique. There is no “one size fits all” remedy. The big question is, “Who can help you in assessing your loved one’s needs while keeping everyone’s best interests in mind?” That’s where a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) comes in. A GCM provides a comprehensive catalog of services starting with a personalized in-home assessment to address your specific needs, as well as that of your parent.
GCM’s generally follow a four-step process:
- Assessment: Perform initial assessment of the client’s situation.
- Care Plan: Determine goals for client’s care and establish necessary steps needed to reach the goals.
- Implementation: Put steps of care plan into action.
- Monitor: Observe the client and make any necessary plan adjustments.
GCM’s have a background in a number of fields including gerontology, social work, nursing and psychology. The basic service provided is arranging services for clients; whether it’s providing medications and groceries, escort to physician’s appointments, transportation, home repair, socialization and emotional support or arranging 24 hour care. The GCM’s goal is to help the elderly stay as independent as possible.
If you’re struggling with this find a GCM in your area.