Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, sang Paul McCartney. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay. When a health crisis hits your family, are you prepared to meet the challenge? Expert help from a geriatric care manager can help you understand your options and map out a plan.
When life suddenly changes
In a flash, your world is turned upside down when your father has a fatal stroke. Several years ago your mother was diagnosed with dementia. Your dad had been her primary caregiver, helping her with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, getting to the bathroom, preparing meals and managing her medications.
Now what? Does your mother have to move to a nursing home? Do you have to quit your job to care for her?
The right plan makes all the difference
Fortunately, your dad had a good plan in place in case something like this happened. His Last Will and Testament designated you as your mother’s conservator and power of attorney. This gives you the ability to take charge right away. Your family’s estate planning attorney recommends that you consult with the firm’s geriatric care manager. The attorney explains that the geriatric care manager will be able to assess the situation and advise you of the full range of options, including keeping your mother in her home.
You take the attorney’s advice and schedule a home visit from the geriatric care manager.
What does a geriatric care manager do?
During the home visit, the geriatric care manager conducts a comprehensive assessment of your mother’ needs, covering all aspects of her situation including her:
• Support system
• Ability to function
• Psycho-social capabilities
A personal care plan
Based on the assessment, the geriatric care manager recommends a customized plan of care that includes:
• A nurse to set up your mother’s medications each week
• In-home physical therapy to improve her mobility
• A walker to prevent falls
• A live-in aide to assist with her activities of daily living and accompany her to medical appointments
Ongoing role of the geriatric care manager
Fortunately, your dad had purchased a long-term care policy that covers home care. The geriatric care manager hires the caregivers. Her ongoing role will be to:
• Supervise the caregivers
• Facilitate communication with your mother’s physicians
• Act as point person between you, the caregivers and medical providers
• Monitor the situation
• Keep you up to date on your mother’s condition
• Advise you when changes are needed.
With expert advice and the right plan from the geriatric care manager, you can rest easy, knowing your mother will get the help she needs in her own home.