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The Geriatric Care Management Assessment for Long-Distance Caregivers

geriatric care assessment reportCaring for elderly parents long distance? Aging Wisely conducts Florida geriatric care assessments on behalf of many families who live elsewhere around the country and world and are concerned about their elderly loved ones in Tampa Bay.  Here we will share with you the primary benefits of having a geriatric care management assessment done and the the types of solutions it offers for long-distance caregivers.

Caring for elderly parents long distance poses several major challenges:

  1. Difficulty understanding what is really going on and how your loved one is managing day-to-day: often an elderly parent will rally for your visit (and phone calls) and what you see might not be a true picture of daily functioning. 
  2. When you do not see a loved one frequently, changes may seem drastic.  You don’t see incremental change over time, so when you visit or a crisis occurs it can feel like it came on suddenly.  You may not feel like you have a real baseline of what’s normal for your loved one anymore.
  3. Long-distance caregiving tends to be highly crisis-driven.  You may have already experienced the dreaded “phone call” when something has happened and you find yourself in a panic trying to get to Florida.  You may start to get anxious at the mere sound of the phone ringing.
  4. Your visits often become extremely task-driven and overwhelming.  You probably have limited time and many important things to take care of for your loved one when you’re in town.  You may feel stressed to get everything accomplished, and it can be especially overwhelming for your older loved one.

How does a geriatric care management assessment help you with solutions to these long-distance caregiving issues?

  1. An expert professional paints a clear picture of where things stand for you, outlining various areas of functioning and identifying concerns and resources.  Care managers are specialists in assessing elders.  We know how to see beyond what the client states and observe sometimes subtle signs/symptoms.
  2. We help put changes and issues in to context.  The geriatric assessment also helps you to prioritize concerns and get reassurance about the situation, which provides a lot of peace of mind when caring from long distance. Beyond the initial assessment process and resulting report, regular care management visits also involve assessing ongoing status and spotting changes before they become a problem.
  3. The assessment offers targeted recommendations, to proactively address potential concerns. The assessment is all about prevention and working towards a goal of reducing crisis by better management.  You get tailored recommendations and solutions that can really make a difference to your family.  You also gain a resource you can call upon as things change or issues arise.
  4. We can help you implement recommendations and be your partner in managing care.  Families that we serve have often told us that the best thing about working with a care manager is the freedom it gives them to “be a daughter again” (or son, etc.).  When you have limited time with your elderly parent, that time is precious.  If you are planning a visit, the assessment gives you a starting point and helps you organize tasks better.  We can help take care of things before, during and after your visit.  We don’t take anything away from your role as family caregiver, but we can add to your ability to better manage that role and the many others you are likely juggling.

Are you caring for an elderly parent in Florida long distance?  Contact us at 727-447-5845 for questions or to schedule a geriatric care assessment.  Our Senior Care Consultant, Sue Talbott, is available to talk to you about your assessment needs and long-distance caregiving challenges.

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