Caring for an elderly loved one can be quite a daunting task, particularly if you live far away or have other competing responsibilities, like work or a young family. There are thousands of people in this situation. The media refers to some as the Sandwich Generation, caught between two generations of family that need them. If you are in this predicament, there are professionals available to help you make the important decisions and arrange for the care of your loved one. There are doctors, elder care lawyers, social workers and a relatively new breed of professionals, Geriatric Care Managers. Selecting the best care solution for your loved one is critical and selecting the right Care Manager can help achieve that goal.
What is a Aging Life Care Manager?
An Aging Life Care Manager is an individual who specializes in helping families who are caring for older relatives. These professionals are often trained in other fields like nursing, gerontology, social work, psychology or a more business oriented field, like finances. They apply this background knowledge to issues related to aging and caring for the elderly.
- Aging Life Care Management usually includes the following:
- Assessment of the individual.
- Developing a personalized care plan.
- Arranging for services.
- Monitoring care. Life Care Managers can be hired for a single task, such as arranging a particular service, or they can take on a long term responsibility. For example, an Aging Life Care Manager can oversee the care-giving process for a long-distance caregiver and, since the Aging Life Care Manager is local to the loved one, be available in the event of an emergency. Many Aging Life Care Managers’s also offer customers a financial assessment with regard to care-giving, including finding potential money wasters such as duplication of services.
- You are new to elder care and need advice and guidance.
- You are a long distance caregiver and would like someone close to your loved one that you can count on 24/7.
- Your other responsibilities make it too difficult to provide the desired level of care and attention to your loved one’s needs.
- The issues that you or your loved ones are facing are becoming larger and more complex than you can comfortably manage.
- You have trouble dealing with a family member (whether it is the patient or another relative) and need an unbiased intermediary.
- Referral: Absolutely the best way to find a good professional. Seek out the advice of others that are in similar circumstances, ask a trusted local health professional or consult an elder law attorney.
- Government resources or organization websites:
- Local agencies or hospitals may also provide a list of local professionals.
Trying to make the best decisions about care-giving can be difficult for you and your aging loved one. Asking for help is a big step. There are many organizations and professionals that can help you. A Aging Life Care Manager is just one of your options.