Okay, you've just joined the world of the caregiver. It is a rough job that encompasses literally 18 million people who care for a relative over the age of 65. At the same time, you're caring for your family and working at least 20 hours a week at a job that puts a lot of stress and pressure on your day to day family life. The average time that you will spend as a caregiver will be approximately five years for a senior citizen who is in need of care. Your upward mobility in your job may be greatly reduced.
You may not know where to turn or who can assist you in making certain difficult caregiving decisions. The person to contact is known as a geriatric care manager. This is an individual who has a background in social work, psychology, gerontology and/or nursing. It is always wise to look for a care manager who is been certified by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, the National Association of Social Workers and/or the commission for case managers. They are professionals who are trained to assist families dealing with these very difficult long term care issues. A geriatric care manager can interface with the entire family who may be confused about life care options. They are a neutral third party who can interface with the senior citizen and the family in order to determine where the senior in need of care should live. The care manager will assess your relative, their current living accommodations and propose appropriate housing options. They can help you determine whether your loved one can return to their home and if so whether they will be in need of home care services in order to accommodate the family's wishes. In the alternative, they can assist the family with the selection of the appropriate long term care facility which will fit the need of the senior citizen in need of long term care.
The geriatric care manager can help the family in a multitude of different areas. This can include housing options, home care services, day to day medical management, safety and security as well as help for the family to navigate the complex federal, state and veteran benefit programs. The family will have to bear the cost of hiring the care manager. The senior citizen's funds can be used to defray the cost of this service. The care manager can act as the quarterback of the elder care team or one of the members.