For over a decade, our team of Professional Care Managers has been helping people navigate the complex world of elder care. From comprehensive care management to court-related services, we have vast experience guiding families through difficult decisions that must be made on behalf of their aging loved one. Below are some questions we are frequently asked regarding elder care:
A professional care manager is a professional that provides assistance to individuals or families in caring for aging family members. These Aging Life Care Professionals™ are often nurses, social workers, gerontologists, or counselors who have a specialized body of knowledge and experience related to aging and care issues. A professional care manager may provide help to families of aging seniors by addressing issues related to their health, psychological function, and financial or legal status.
Our care management professionals are specially trained to simplify the growing complexity of caring for senior loved ones. We create both short and long term care plans, involving your family as well as the individual in need of care.
Our team approach puts a vast array of skills and knowledge at your fingertips, including:
- Care management
- Health care
- Family dynamics
- Daily money management
A professional care manager may help schedule appointments, participate in medical appointments, determine which providers to see, or help with determining the ideal assisted living community based on your loved one’s preferences and needs, especially with concern to financial management. Aging Life can help ease the stress and tension you may be feeling in caring for your loved one by offering expert services in aging and senior care.
There are some changes in behaviors that appear that may indicate that an older person is having some difficulties functioning and it is time for a loved one to step in and get expert help. Some danger signals indicating a need for attention and possible intervention:
- Frequent falls or unexplained bruises
- Weight loss of 10 lbs. or more in a 12-month period
- Medication mistakes/overdose
- Bizarre or deviant behavior
- Getting lost while driving or walking
- Extreme distrust or outsize suspicion
- Unpaid bills or uncashed checks
- Confusion or increased forgetfulness
- New balance or mobility problems and refusing to use cane or walker
- Health complaints / symptoms, but refuses to see the doctor
- One spouse overwhelmed or in poor health caring for a dependent spouse
If a senior you love is experiencing these issues, please get in touch for an initial consultation.
I live out of state, but was just in New Mexico visiting with my mom. She seems to be different. Someone told me that geriatric care management could help. How can you help?
It is common to notice changes when visiting an aging loved one you have not seen in a while. The changes you notice could be related to medications, a medical issue not being addressed, the beginning of progressive dementia, or a host of other factors. It can be difficult to know that precipitated the change you have noticed. Our team of geriatric care managers can begin an assessment process where we visit your loved one’s home, review medical records, review medications they are taking, and conduct some cognitive testing.
With a simple release of information form, we are then able to talk with physicians, healthcare providers, and home care providers. We can then understand where your loved one currently is mentally and physically. We are able to put together a plan that enables you to take action. If you are unable to take the recommended action, we are able to implement the plan on your loved one’s behalf through our care management services.
My sibling and I are in disagreement about how Dad is doing. I think it is time for home to move move to an assisted living facility. He has a lot of trouble since Mom passed away. We are all in disagreement about this. I'm just not sure where to go from here.
Concern about a parent particularly after the loss of your other parent, is very normal for adult children to experience; differences in opinion among siblings are also not uncommon. The thing to remember is that, in most cases, each person is coming from a place of caring for their parent and probably feels very strongly about their position. When this happens, it is important to look at the whole picture of who your parent is, what their preferences and needs are, their ability to make their own choices and their financial state.
Professional care managers can assist with evaluating all of that. A professional care manager can conduct an independent evaluation and then sit down with your family to review their evaluation. With an understanding of where Dad is at physically and mentally, the level of risk in his current situation, and his ability to participate in these decisions, siblings are often able to come to an agreement of how to move forward. It is important to keep in mind that an evaluation and family meeting doesn’t solve the problem, because there may be a number of different options available to meet Dad’s needs. A care manager can help you understand those options so you can make informed decisions about caring for Dad.
My mom just fell and broke her hip. She was sent to rehab and now they're sending home. Dad has his own medical issues and is a bit frail. My parents feel as if they're doing fine on their own and Dad has assured the discharge planner that he can take care of anything my mom needs. I don't think he can. Is there anything we can do to help?
Often times, discharge planners are unaware of the multiple complex medical issues and challenges that are faced by the spouse of an elder being released from a hospital or rehab. In many cases, elderly couples will disguise some of their needs out of fear and indicate to healthcare providers that they are getting more help than they really are, or that they don’t need the help that they really need. Medicare does provide some services when an elder goes home from a hospital or rehabilitation and hospitals are providing transition program services for these situations, but the elder’s needs must be made known.
When an elder is identified as an at-risk senior, they will be put in the Medicare program and get some attention from medical providers as they transition back to living on their own. It is important for families to talk with the discharge planners about the whole picture in the home because without that information, the services that may be needed are not going to be ordered and will not be provided. At the same time, families often are shocked at how few services that Medicare will provide for a senior who really needs a lot of support upon discharge. Therefore, we have a Hospital to Home program, where a professional care manager sits down with your family to explain and navigate systems for you, making sure your elderly loved one’s needs are met.