Questions / Answers

Geriatric Care Management

What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
A geriatric care manager is a professional who specializes in assisting older people and their families with long-term care arrangements.  Care managers have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or substantial equivalent training in gerontology, social work, nursing, or counseling.

Geriatric Care  Managers can  help in the following ways:

  • Conduct care-planning assessments to identify problems, eligibility for assistance, and need for services.
  • Screen, arrange, and monitor in-home help or other services.
  • Review financial, legal, or medical issues and offer referrals to geriatric specialists to avoid future problems and conserve assets.
  • Provide crisis intervention.
  • Act as a liaison to families at a distance, making sure things are going well and alerting families to problems.
  • Assist with moving an older person to or from a retirement complex, care home, or nursing home.
  • Provide consumer education and advocacy.
  • Offer counseling and support.

Geriatric care managers have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of services in their community. One call to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and a geriatric care manager will connect you with the services an older person may need.

Credentials.

How can we find a good manager for our elderly parents?
Our mother is in a wheelchair and our father doesn’t have the energy to take care of her growing needs.

We advise contacting the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Make sure the business is a member of this association or the National Association of Social Workers. Pay attention to the scope of the practice, making sure the company offers assessment, plans, and follow-up. A good care manager is going to have a broad network of physicians, attorneys, banking institutions, healthcare professionals, assisted living facilities, hospitals, convalescent centers, hospice, and other services.

Once you’re established the business’s credentials, talk with the owner and see if you feel there is knowledge, capability, and empathy. If you’re not comfortable, keep looking. If, however, things seem okay, consider the following:

  1. Ask to see a list of the staff, including credentials and experience.
  2. Ask for references from past clients.
  3. Ask how the company handles emergencies.
  4. Ask how they will keep you in the loop (phone, eMail, text, etc.)
  5. Ask to see a fee schedule.
  6. Ask about transportation, home care, and other local services.

Isolation.

How isolation threatens safety and well-being

The Sun City area of Arizona often promotes a strong sense of neighborhood as individuals often watch out for one another. The 75-year-old married couple may observe daily to ensure their 85-year-old widowed neighbor with health issues takes in her newspaper daily. Churches and synagogues have also provided a support network.

Often, however, individuals may require more ongoing or specialized care than these support networks can provide. A neighbor may return to the Midwest for the summer and the older individuals are left with no support.

Isolation can also be problematic as the individuals may have been active when initially retiring and moving to Arizona.

Hospice care.

What do you consider the most important aspects of hospice care?

“A good death” is a subjective term used to describe how we all would like to die and be treated at the end of life. The benefits of hospice care include compassion, support, respect, dignity, and the spiritual journey toward end of life. Hospice should never be viewed as a death sentence, but a humane philosophy regarding end of life.

GAMS specializes in full understanding of hospice care with all its ethical, legal, physical, and personal issues.  We want our clients and their families to explore alternatives for care prior to engaging hospice services. There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding hospice services; clients and families need to fully understand their rights regarding care and choice.

Professional Fiduciary Services

What kind of fiduciary services does GAMS offer?

If you need fiduciary services alongside care management, GAMS can help. Along with her case management credentials and experience, owner Pam Braun is a Licensed Professional Fiduciary http://azcourts.gov/cld/FiduciaryLicensingProgram.aspx with the state of Arizona.

GAMS serves as care managers for families and/or responsible parties; in addition, they handle Power of Attorney and court-appointed Guardianship cases.  The requirements for Case Management of social workers and those of a fiduciary both imply a highly ethical relationship of trust. And strong ethics are a significant part of Geriatric Assessment, Management & Solutions.