Managing and organizing the care of older adults and staying inclusive of physically or mentally impaired patients can be challenging for patients and their loved ones. You want to provide your loved one with the proper care and services; however, work, family, and taking care of yourself can reduce the time for caregiving. It can be overwhelming, and you may feel you’re not doing enough.
What Is Geriatric Care Management?
Geriatric care management involves the planning and coordinating care of the elderly and others who are physically or mentally impaired to meet their long-term care needs, improve their quality of life, and maintain their independence. It involves working with older people and their families to manage, provide, and refer to several health and social care services.
Geriatric care managers do this by integrating their expertise in health and psychology, human development, family dynamics, public and private resources, including funding sources, and advocating for their clients across the entire spectrum of care. For instance, they may help families of older adults and others with chronic conditions like those with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
Sixty-five years old is the required age for people in the geriatric age group. Geriatric care will remain an essential resource for families because, by 2050, 83.7 million Americans will be over 65 years old, almost doubling in size from 2012. In 2030, the United States will record more citizens over 65 than children under five.
Benefits Of Having A Geriatric Care Manager
There are several benefits of having a geriatric Care Manager, some of which include:
1. Helps To Navigate Complex Care Management Process
Geriatric care managers are guides that help navigate the complex care management process. It’s similar to a first-timer who needs a guide in climbing a mountain to navigate the rugged terrain.
2. They Are Professional Buffers And Offer Decision-Making Support
Geriatric care managers, as a “professional buffer,” help to facilitate challenging discussions and address complex issues during complex or emotional situations concerning your patient and their family. An impartial and knowledgeable third party is beneficial in the decision-making process, eliminating familial bias and easing conflict.
3. Offer Detailed Care Management And Relieve Stress
The geriatric care manager is beyond home aid by providing personalized options and ensuring consistent care management. They develop and adopt a care management plan specific to your patient’s medical needs, including assisting them to maintain their pride and independence. Their functions help relieve familial caregivers, which reduces the emotional, physical, and mental stress that comes with geriatric care.
Where Can You Find A Geriatric Care Manager?
Many resources are available to help your patient locate the right local geriatric care manager. Don’t forget to inform your patient to request credentials when interviewing potential care managers, and ensure they are licensed and certified. Some organizations that can help you get a care manager include AARP, Aging Care, Eldercare Locator, Aging Life Care Association, etc.
What Insurance Options Cover Geriatric Care?
Although most insurance options do not cover geriatric care management, few options are available for your patients to get financial assistance. If a long-term care insurance plan already covers your patient, their carrier might fund their care management.
Some insurance options that can help your patient cover their care expenses include traditional insurance, Medigap insurance, life insurance, and VA health benefits.
You should ensure your patient checks with their employer or employee benefits representative since most employers are providing employee assistance programs that can cover a portion of or all of their care management expenses.
When a family member is responsible for caring for an older patient, they can usually request a significant period of leave from work to focus on their loved one. Employers want to reduce the stress and minimize the time spent away from work, so they now provide needed assistance programs that offer paid relief for out-of-pocket care costs.
Geriatric care management helps families navigate the complex care process for older adults, especially those with physical or mental impairments. Geriatric care managers are professional guides, assisting families to make informed decisions, navigate challenging discussions, and develop personalized care plans. As the aging population keeps increasing, there is high demand for these services.
You can find the right geriatric care manager via AARP, Aging Care, Eldercare Locator, Aging Life Care Association, etc. While there is limited insurance coverage, you can consider some financial assistance options so that elderly individuals get the required comprehensive care while maintaining their independence and easing the stress on caregivers.