Summer is here and many midlife siblings and their own family of young siblings are bound for Grandma ‘s house. Before you go over the river and through the woods, call a geriatric care manager in their area. You can find one of the National Geriatric Care Management site by just adding your Mom’s zip code. Make an appointment to go to their office and meet with them, during the visit to your aging parents. Most GCM’s will see you to discuss their services at no charge. You can shop around and interview a few if you wish.
Why do that before you go over the river. Well there just may be a flood in your future and a wolf in your woods. Calling a geriatric care manager is a preventative and prudent step. If you to have a geriatric care manager in the town where your older relative resides, they build dams and scare off those wolves.
If there is a crisis with grandma, it is cheaper to have a local geriatric care manager solve the problem. When you get the dreaded call about a fall or hospitalization, you have to fly or drive to grandmas. The geriatric care manager is minutes away and can get there immediately- like a first responder in an ambulance. In an urgent situation, they can go to the hospital or emergency room. This is more sane and cost effective than you getting on last minute, expensive flights or driving hundreds of exhausting miles. You can still go to grandpa or grandmas but the geriatric care manager can immediately be there to deal with the crisis. They are good insurance.
Before any crisis, ever occurs you can have the GCM do an initial assessment and visit your older relative periodically (once a month, once every two months). This is preventative. That way they are there for you when you need them and have all the information to solve the problem. Think of them the way you do one of those blow-up beds. You can pump them up when you need them in a crisis—perhaps avoid that crisis, and you yourself can sleep more soundly and with more peace of mind in your own bed. Some of the things a geriatric care manager can do for you are:
1.Save you money by helping keep your parent out of the hospital and you off emergency long distance flights.
2.Facilitate a family discussion of needs, resources, and division of labor among friends family
3. Recommend ways to proactively prepare and plan for a parent’s possible health care crisis.
4.Work on family cooperation to formulate realistic parent-care plan.
5.Assess strengths and weaknesses of all of the potential caregivers
6. Help adult siblings resolve conflicts about care decisions.
7.Help siblings act together in the best interest of the parent
8.Decrease the tension between hometown and long distance siblings
9. Help the long-distance care provider deal with guilt and frustration that may result from their inability to provide more of the day-to-day care.
10.Locate aging resources (both no -cost trough the older Americans Act) in your aging parents area quickly and without you having to do it
So before the family reunion, your, summer vacation, or labor day come and go- call a geriatric care manager so that your Mom or Dad are have a geriatric care manager to stave off or solve any crisis, so you don’t have to face a bigger messier problem your aging parent is safe, and you have PEACE OF MIND.