Trying to balance your own life while providing care for an aging parent can be difficult and exhausting. Navigating the various government programs and services, managing your time, and making sure your immediate family doesn’t suffer can seem like an impossible task. Working with a Geriatric Care Manager may be the solution to your problem. An Indianapolis elder law attorney at Frank & Kraft explains how a Geriatric Care Manager may be able to help you and your parent.
The Truth about the Cost of Caregiving
For a caregiver, it often feels as though they are the only person in the world going through the trials and tribulations of providing care to an elderly loved one. Emotions run high and may run the gamut from frustration to loneliness and resentment to exhaustion. The truth, however, is that you are not alone as evidenced by the following figures:
- 7 million informal and family caregivers provide care to someone who is ill, disabled, or aged in the U.S.
- Even among the most severely disabled older persons living in the community, about two-thirds rely solely on family members and other informal help, often resulting in great strain for the family caregivers.
- Lost income and benefits over a caregiver’s lifetime are estimated to range from a total of $283,716 for men to $324,044 for women, or an average of $303,880.30.
- 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people suffering from Alzheimer’s each year.
- In 2016, unpaid caregivers provided over 18 billion hours of care, valued at over 230 billion dollars – and those figures are expected to increase every year for the foreseeable future.
What Is a Geriatric Care Manager?
A Geriatric Care Manager represents a growing service offering support to adult children who need outside assistance with care and personal management for their aging parents who live close by or far away. Often, children are still raising their own families and/or dedicated to a career that makes it difficult to also provide consistent care to an aging parent without help. Also referred to as Care Management or Aging Care Management, geriatric care managers are particularly useful in helping aging seniors find their way through the maze of long-term care services and issues.
What Does a Geriatric Care Manager Do?
A Geriatric Care Manager can help in a wide variety of ways. Some common things a Geriatric Care Manager might do for you and your parent include:
- Assess the level and type of care needed and develop a care plan
- Take steps to start the care plan and keep it functioning
- Make sure care is received in a safe and disability friendly environment
- Resolve family conflicts and other family issues relating to long term care
- Become an advocate for the care recipient and the family caregiver
- Manage care for a loved one for out-of-town families
- Conduct ongoing assessments to monitor and implement changes in care
- Oversee and direct care provided at home
- Coordinate the efforts of key support systems
- Provide personal counseling
- Help with Medicaid qualification and application
- Arrange for services of legal and financial advisors
- Manage a conservatorship for a care recipient
- Provide assistance with placement in assisted living facilities or nursing homes
- Monitor the care of a family member in a nursing home or in assisted living
- Assist with the monitoring of medications
- Find appropriate solutions to avoid a crisis
- Coordinate medical appointments and medical information
- Provide transportation to medical appointments
- Assist families in positive decision making
- Develop long-range plans for older loved ones not now needing care
How Can I Find a Geriatric Care Manager?
Finding a geriatric care manager can be accomplished in several ways. One way is to navigate to the National Care Planning Council’s website. The NCPC provides a listing service for families looking for care managers. There is typically a fee for an initial assessment.
Contact Indianapolis Elder Law Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about elder law, contact the experienced Indianapolis elder law attorneys at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.