“My father is exhausted caring for my mother with dementia. He refuses all help and I see him declining. I don’t know what to do or where to find help.” Visits over the holidays bring to the attention of adult children concerns about aging parents. More of us will be facing care giving needs as the oldest of the baby boomers will be celebrating their 61st birthdays this year and over 37 million Americans are age 65 or over, representing 12.5% of the U.S. population.
Whether you live at a distance from your older family members or you are part of the growing ?sandwich generation? who may be balancing work as well as caring for younger children and aging relatives, the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (GCM), recommends seeking expert assistance for helping with assessment and planning for care needs.
?Too many people wait until a crisis strikes and they are forced to try to help aging relatives without knowing or understanding all of the various options for dealing with aging-related issues or health concerns,? said Mary Lynn Pannen, president of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. ?We help older adults and families to thoughtfully prepare for the future whenever possible and are ready to jump in during emergency situations when needed.?
The following are ways that professional geriatric care managers can help older adults and their families:
? Assessment of the older adult?s current physical, social, mental, financial and other needs
? Care Plan Development with an overall goal to preserve the independence and dignity of the individual.
? Evaluation of appropriate housing and assistance with adaptation of existing housing or transition to assisted living or nursing home care.
? Information and Referral
? Financial Management
? Crisis Intervention
? Home Care
? Financial and Insurance Review