How do I explain Geriatric Care Managers To My Parents?

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By Joyce Sjoberg, Fellow with the NACCM Leadership Academy

You may feel overwhelmed

When we hear from prospective clients or families they often ask:  What can Geriatric Care Managers do?  Our parents are sure that they are ok and do not need any assistance.  Here are some suggestions to consider when talking about the potential services of a Geriatric Care Manager.

Speak from your point of view.

You may feel overwhelmed and in need of support. Parents (and other older adults) sometimes need to hear this.  Unpaid adult caregiver numbers are growing in the US.  Studies show that the burden to adult children working outside the home, caring for older parents and sometimes younger children can take its toll – physically, financially, and  emotionally.

Share your observations.

Provide Clear observations when you visit your parents (or other older adults). Whether it’s in person, by phone or by Zoom, some examples you might notice and share with them are:

  • “I can see you have mail that you haven’t opened for 2 or 3 weeks now. Likely some of these are bills that need to be paid.”
  • “You look like you are losing weight since the last time I saw you.”
  • “Your clothing looks stained, is that accident from today or earlier this week?”

Recruit others in their support group.

We suggest you reach out to an older adults spiritual community, friend group or other cultural or local activities that they enjoy.  Talking to other friends in their circle and asking for their help, support and suggestions widens the circle of support.  Sometimes neighbors, Ministers, Rabbi or Imam, friends or community leaders need to hear that you are concerned before they will share their observations or speak directly to your loved one.  It is important to get more than one conversation going.

  • Ask to be invited to medical or healthcare appointments. It is just that simple, ask. They can say no but keep trying.  You can then share your observations directly with a healthcare provider and ask for their suggestions and support for your parents.
  • Share facts – that hiring a Geriatric Care Manager, if even for an assessment can save money to an older adult’s estate in the long run. Preparing for and agreeing on a plan of action, if even for an upcoming adult child’s trip out of the state can be a trigger to get “a plan in place.”

These are just a few suggestions to consider when speaking to your parents about hiring a Geriatric Care Manager.  Look to our Aging Life Care Association to find a local care manager in your area:

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