In the past twenty years a new profession has appeared that is particularly helpful for long distance caregivers. Geriatric Care Managers (GCMs) specialize in long term care arrangements. They may have training in social work, gerontology, nursing or counseling. They also know the cost, availability and reliability of local services. In this largely unregulated field, it is good to do your homework before making choosing a care manager.
Care Managers provide a full range of services for seniors, including assessments and care plans. They help connect older people with services they need so they can remain in the community with as much independence as possible. Public and/or private care management agencies can assess parents’ medical and social needs, perform detailed evaluations, develop care plans, provide counseling, and assign staff members (known as case managers) to coordinate and monitor care. When a parent’s day companion doesn’t show up or special coordination services are needed, the care manager can handle the problem so you don’t get a panicked call when you’ve just arrived at work.
Private “geriatric care managers” offer paid services by which they act as proxies distance caregivers. They can help you apply for public benefits, find suitable housing, coordinate home care services, coordinate transportation services, and monitor care or handle emergencies.