Deciding how to organize caregiving responsibilities is something that you and your family should talk about before it is needed and before an emergency. Ideally, a family conversation will take place with elderly individuals while they are still capable of being included. This way a lot of confusion can be avoided in the future by talking through possibilities and organizing a plan. If you are able to involve your loved one in the discussion then their wishes can form the basis for your plan.
Some families may choose to use the services of a geriatric care manager in developing a care plan for their loved one. Professional care managers are usually licensed nurses or social workers who specialize in geriatrics. These individuals can help to assess a parent’s needs and to coordinate care through community resources. These services can be expensive, but they can also be a valuable tool in identifying needs. When interviewing a geriatric care manager you may want to ask:
- Are they licensed?
- Are they a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers?
- How long have they been providing care management services?
- Are they available for emergencies?
- What is the cost?
The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers can help you to find a care manager near your loved one. Information can be found online at www.caremanager.org.