Aging can be complicated. With all the complexities of Medicare, Medicaid, and the ever changing landscape of long term care housing and placement matters, few families are able to identify all the options available to them. Even fewer can effectively navigate through those options to make well informed decisions about their loved ones’ care needs.
Geriatric Care Management is a lesser known service available for families and those caring for elders. The individuals who work in Geriatric Care Management are also known as Aging Life Care Professionals and can include social workers, registered nurses or gerontologists. Kaaran Anderson is a registered nurse and the Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) at the Elder Law Offices of Meyers, Neubeck & Hulford, P.S. Kaaran Anderson, RN, works side by side with our attorneys and has been an invaluable addition to our firm. The insight and guidance she provides to clients complements any legal services our clients require. By providing a “one-stop shop” solution for clients, our firm can not only develop a personalized care plan for long term needs, but also help our clients and their families carry out that plan to accomplish their goals. Together, legal professionals and GCMs combine their ideas and information with other professional expertise to help find effective solutions for each unique situation.
As we age, a variety of needs and issues are effectively addressed simultaneously. Ideally, we help our clients before they enter into a health or financial crisis, where options are limited. Utilizing a Geriatric Care Manager provides families the insights necessary to prevent a care crisis, keep families informed, and offer specific solutions to improve day to day care needs. For example, a client’s financial situation significantly impacts the housing options available to them. For many families, the legal questions our firm focuses on are Medicaid eligibility issues. This requires us to navigate a strict black and white set of regulations regarding a client’s finances and more often than not, this does not take into consideration your loved one’s personal wishes and emotional needs. Many of our clients’ most pressing concerns relate to those personal matters outside the legal solutions. A GCM helps to bridge the gap between honoring a client’s emotional and social needs, while still successfully carrying out a long term care plan.
Geriatric Care Managers discuss in depth concerns with our clients and provide families access to services for basic needs such as transportation and proper medication oversight. Additionally, GCMs can make home visits to evaluate a client’s living situation, and recommend affordable, cost-effective changes to a client’s home that would allow them the option to stay home longer, and be safe in doing so. Kaaran Anderson, RN, has worked with our clients to suggest small changes such as hand rails in the bathroom or down hallways, installing ramps to avoid fall risks down stairs, and setting up a suitable monitoring device that allows seniors or those with disabilities to remain more independent in their homes.
There is a growing movement called “Aging in Place” which is meant to allow people to live at home longer and avoid being transferred to an assisted living or nursing home facility when it would not be the most appropriate option. Aging in Place allows our loved ones to remain comfortable and with familiar surroundings in their home. To further complement the work our attorneys provide, a GCM can assist clients in activating a client’s long term care insurance policy or finding an appropriate Medicare plan. By keeping in touch with a local network of licensed caregivers and facility administrators, our GCM, Kaaran Anderson, RN, is well equipped to recommend appropriate care options to best fit each client’s personality and needs. When aging in place is no longer possible, a GCM can assist clients in facilitating a smooth and easy transition to an appropriate care facility that matches the level of care needed while providing the best social and educational services for your loved ones.
Understanding the broad level of services a Geriatric Care Manager can provide is invaluable to our clients and provides a measure of comfort for overworked family members trying to support their loved ones. A GCM can guide family members in taking advantage of errand services, respite care or day care programs, meal assistance, and dementia support groups to address the growing issues related to cognitive and behavior challenges. Keeping family members involved and informed an underutilized benefit of Geriatric Care Management. Learning how to maintain a proper level of communication flowing between family members, doctors, and caregivers allows effective oversight of our elder’s care, and can help our loved ones stay safe from financial exploitation and elder abuse.
Various areas of our lives can be improved by engaging qualified professionals. It is well known that an attorney can advise you regarding your estate and long term care plans or that a CPA and financial advisor can assist you with taxes and investment planning. We encourage clients to also realize the impact a Geriatric Care Manager can provide to bring peace of mind and clarity in the confusing world of elder law and long term care.
As always, thanks for reading!
The Team at the Elder Law Offices of Meyers, Neubeck & Hulford, P.S.
Barry M. Meyers
David M. Neubeck
Sara LC Hulford
DISCLAIMER: The content of this newsletter is: for information purposes only, subject to change by government agencies, should not be relied upon as current, and, does not constitute legal advice. Reading this newsletter does not establish an attorney-client relationship.