I’ll start by introducing myself. I have been a Geriatric Care Manager for over 12 years and worked as a Social Worker in a hospital setting for 3 years. Over the course of those years I have helped families navigate through many different journeys with their loved ones. I have helped families find caregivers, counseled clients through difficult diagnoses, helped transition clients to long term care facilities, connected families with community resources, worked with hospice to coordinate care and have run support groups for caregivers of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
For families that are new to this world, it can be very overwhelming. In today’s society families are often not all located in one place. There are many people caring for their loved one from a distance. For these families having a professional that can coordinate care locally is critical.
One of the most common questions I get is, “How do I know when it is time to place my family member in a long term care facility?” Care managers, whether they are nurses, social workers, a gerontologist, or other human service professional can not only help answer these types of questions, but have knowledge of the different long term facilities in the community.
Finally, when the elder client is resistant to change, whether it be having a new caregiver or transitioning to long term care sometimes the most helpful resource is having an outside professional to offer advice. Oftentimes parents have a difficult time accepting the advice of their adult child, speaking from experience. So it can be helpful to have someone that has knowledge in the field to deliver a difficult message that might not be well received from a family member.
Geriatric Care Managers are caring problem solvers who have the ability to match older people to the appropriate senior services and monitor care along the way. Especially during times of crisis this type of help is invaluable. It is also a good idea to start working with a Care Manager before a crisis. The end goal no matter what the situation is to help provide the best possible quality of life for your aging family member.
Roslyn Paine, MSW, LSW
DignityFirst Health at Home Care Manager