Jane and Charlie celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary a few months ago. They have continued to live in their two-story family home and seemed to be managing fairly well. Charlie was still driving and both had remained active with volunteer work, attending lectures, other day-to-day activities and occasional babysitting of their grandchildren. When visiting one afternoon, their daughter Claire, noticed that their car, which was parked in the driveway had a broken taillight and a large dent in the bumper. She asked her father about it and he said he didn’t know what had happened. Later that day, Julie’s mother called her and said that Charlie had been out shopping and had forgotten to pick up the items he set out to purchase.
Jane also indicated that this was not the first time that he had forgotten grocery items and of greater concern, he had missed picking her up from the hairdresser earlier that week. She was worried that something wasn’t right. Jane confided her concern to her daughter.
Many individuals can tell a similar story. The details differ but the theme is the same – concern about a spouse or a parent who is becoming increasing forgetful and whose general ability to manage previous responsibilities seems to be ‘not quite the same’.
Claire called Elder Caring Inc. because she and her mother noticed a gradual change that had them wondering if Charlie could continue to safely drive and whether his forgetfulness was a ‘normal’ part of ageing or something else.
Throughout this process and in advance of a crisis, many families find it helpful to contact a professional Geriatric Care Manager who has experience in senior care issues. A Geriatric Care Manager completes a Needs Assessment identifying the areas of concern and the recommendations to ensure that the older individual is living as well as they can. Qualified Geriatric Care Mangers can assess, advise, recommend, access, coordinate, deliver and follow up on services that are needed to either maintain an individual safely in their own home and/or can review alternate accommodation options.
A Geriatric Care Manager knows of the services in their community, their cost and quality, and how to make the link. This will save family members time, money and worry.
A Geriatric Care Manager addresses the individual needs of the older adult and their family by meeting and talking with everyone involved.
A Geriatric Care Manager represents the older adult and their needs to service and health care providers in a consistent and reliable manner, saving time and preventing miscommunication. We are there to ensure that your family member does not fall through the system.
Charlie, in this situation, had an appointment made for him to see his family doctor. The Geriatric Care Manager suggested that they discuss a referral to a Geriatrician. Charlie was prescribed a new medication by this doctor and had some further medical investigations. A driving assessment was recommended to determine if he was safe to drive. Some other resources were also identified for him.
There are other times as well, when it is also helpful to call, such as if you live in one area and your relative lives in another. It becomes increasingly difficult for you to look in on them as regularly as you would like to assess what is happening or you feel like your caregiving responsibilities are beginning to overwhelm the rest of your life, causing stress and impacting your performance at work. Another reason may be that the family is at odds over what to do about an aging parent and would benefit from the recommendations of an objective professional.
Consulting with a Geriatric Care Manager can save you time, money and worry.
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