by JANE FARRELL
If you’re suddenly faced with the need to care for an aging loved one, the decisions you’re required to make will seem overwhelming.
In cases like these, a good geriatric care manager, usually a licensed nurse or social worker who specializes in geriatrics, may help. Although they are not covered by Medicare, a geriatric care manager’s services can be invaluable, especially for long-distance caregivers. A geriatric care manager can help:
Discuss difficult topics and complex issues
Make home visits and suggest needed services
Address emotional concerns
Make short- and long-term plans
Evaluate in-home care needs
Select care personnel
Coordinate medical services
Evaluate other living arrangements
Provide caregiver stress relief
Before deciding on a manager, though, be sure to ask him or her the following questions:
Are you a licensed geriatric care manager?
Can you provide references?
How long have you been providing care management services?
Are you available for emergencies around the clock?
Does your company also provide home care services?
How will you communicate information to me?
What are your fees? Ask for fees to be put in writing before services start.
For more information about geriatric care managers, visit the National Institute on Aging here. Contact the eldercare locator, a service from the U.S. Administration on Aging. Click here to visit their website or call 1-800-677-1116. You can also look the Aging Life Care Association’s website here or call 1-520-881-8008.