From the time we are born, we benefit from the specialties and experience of medical professionals. Children see pediatricians, women consult gynecologists, patients with heart problems go to cardiologists, and so forth. As people get into their golden years, it is also to their benefit to visit physicians with expertise in geriatric care: Doctors specializing in conditions associated with the aging process.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if people prepared for the time when they may no longer be able to care for themselves? It would be helpful to their families if they had written instructions on how to care for their loved ones; how and where they would prefer to live if they needed assistance. Unfortunately, most people don't have the foresight to plan ahead and often the responsibility falls on their family, most often their children.
The task could be overwhelming, particularly when caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's disease. That's when a Geriatric Care Manager could be invaluable. A Geriatric Care Manager can provide guidance and assistance in:
• Managing finances: such as taking care of bill paying, tax information, government programs, and even finding the right accountant.
• Housing: A Geriatric Care Manager can not only help you decide where your loved one would have a better quality of life, but they can also serve as your representative and advocate if a nursing home is your choice.
• Health Care: Geriatric Care Managers can help in choosing the right doctor and often are instrumental in communicating your loved one's needs to their physicians. They can also give valuable advice on home care and hospice.
• Family issues: Geriatric Care Managers can help you resolve family difficulties and disagreements dealing with the proper care of your loved one. They can also help you find the right resources, including legal, Powers of Attorney, and Estate Planning.
If you are concerned about the cost of hiring a Geriatric Care Manager, think of the benefits of having a professional, knowledgeable, caring advocate on your side. With their assistance, you may also be able to avoid other costs, such as unnecessary procedures or hospitalizations.
Your doctor or hospital may be able to refer you to a Geriatric Care Manager. Be sure to ask for referrals and interview a few before you decide on the best one for your family.
Don't be embarrassed to admit you need help managing your loved one's needs; you will both benefit from the assistance of a professional.
Edie J. Adler:
Edie J. is an actress, author and advocate for people who suffer from Alzheimer's and their care givers. She lives in the Valley with her husband Neal and their 5 dogs, 3 and 2/4 cats, 3 birds, 1 turtle, and a kitty angel. Author's website Email the author