May is designated as National Geriatric Care Manager month. Though we are always working on eldercare education, May is a special time for us to highlight the benefits of working with a geriatric care manager. At Aging Wisely, we do a lot of outreach to make sure caregiving families know their options and where to turn for help. We invite you to share and spread the word!
As Florida geriatric care managers, we have worked with many families since we began in 1998. Florida has been on the forefront of the “age wave” due to its demographics. For many years, Florida has been a haven for retirees looking for a warm sunny climate and beautiful beaches. St. Petersburg, Clearwater and the many small towns of Pinellas County have attracted many retirees with a laid back beach environment and affordable cost if living. Now, our local towns see many of these retirees aging in place, often far from other relatives and family caregivers.
Over the years, we have worked with many of these Florida retirees who are now in their 80s and 90s. Having a geriatric care manager locally has been a lifeline for many of the family caregivers who are doing their best to provide help from afar.
In case you are in that situation, we’ll share a bit about how geriatric care managers help long-distance caregivers especially (much of which applies if you live close by as well). We encourage you to reach out to talk to a geriatric care manager–you can click here to contact us (phone: 727-447-5845) or visit www.caremanager.org for care managers outside of Tampa Bay.
Geriatric Care Managers give families customized, professional recommendations and one point of contact to get comprehensive advice. What this means is that you can stop the exhausting process of calling around, trying to find sound advice and help from various sources, probably going down the wrong path many times and wasting a lot of time on things that don’t work or don’t apply to your Mom or Dad. This is one of the biggest frustrations that motivates many family caregiver to reach out to a care manager. Family caregivers often spend hours searching the internet and making phone calls from a distance, while at work and balancing other tasks. As geriatric care managers, we make the recommendations we know fit your needs and tell you specific resources to solve your concerns.
Working with a geriatric care manager means knowing your family has an advocate on your side. Families often tell us that one of the biggest benefits to working with a care manager is peace of mind. Doesn’t it sound like a huge relief to know you have a local, knowledgeable person you can contact at any time? You gain a professional “team member” who knows your family, your loved one and the local resource to help…and is hired by you, for you, to get the best results for you.
The process of ongoing, professional evaluation catches issues before they become larger crises and can help increase safety and quality of life. We often say “we’re your eyes and ears locally” but it is more than that…our geriatric care managers have skills and expertise in evaluating elders, which means we often spot issues that even other professionals or family members do not. The combination of personalized service and professional expertise can mean the difference between taking a small preventative step and facing a major medical crisis. It is often these relatively small things that can lead to bigger issues which derail a senior’s and family’s plans and hopes.
If you or someone you know is working hard to take care of Mom or Dad, worrying about an aging loved one or concerned about your own medical and care needs, here are just a few of the many questions we get asked and issues we assist with every day:
- How can I stay in my own home when I start to need some help? How do I find help? What resources are available? How do I make my home safer?
- When (or why) should I consider an Assisted Living Facility? How do I find a good one? What will it cost? Is there financial help available? What are these different “levels of care” and what’s the difference between a nursing home and assisted living?
- How do I know if my Mom can manage her medications? How can I be sure she is handling her medical appointments and following up?
- What do we do if my siblings and I can’t agree? How do we help Mom when we can’t get along? What do I do if I think my brother is taking advantage of Dad?
- What should I be looking for to know if my aunt is still doing okay at home? How do we know when Dad should stop driving? What can I do if I see signs Mom is falling but she refuses to acknowledge it or get help?
- How do I know if I’m on the best Medicare plan? How do I figure out what types of programs could help me? What practical and legal issues should I be thinking about now that I have some medical problems?
These are just a few of the questions we answer and solutions we provide as geriatric care managers. When you’re looking for elder care assistance in the Tampa Bay area, we’re only a phone call away at 727-447-5845.