There is help for you.
A Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) is a professional in the business of helping you navigate the ever-changing, sometimes-treacherous landscape of elder care decision-making. If you’ve had to face these life-altering decisions in the past, you know how daunting they can be.
Caution: Who does your GCM really work for?
They should work for you, of course… but don’t always… so caveat emptor.
The very best way to assure you and your family that the GCM you are working with has only your best interest at heart is to determine, up front, how they are paid for their services. In short, they should be paid by you and your family and
no one else.
On the surface this may seem obvious: “Of course they’ll be paid by me, personally. Who else?” In fact, some folks who hold themselves out as geriatric care managers are really just glorified sales people who are paid by specific nursing homes or other institutions. They don’t work for you… they work for their employer. So be ready to pay for GCM services… or rapidly find yourself another GCM.
How can I tell a great GCM from a not-so-great GCM?
Begin with education. It is generally accepted that a good nurse will make a good GCM. That said, the GCM you choose doesn’t have to be a nurse… but your chances of hiring a good GCM go way up if you do.
Then, interview more than one GCM candidate. Don’t just take someone’s recommendation or referral. Talk to the person you’re thinking of bringing into your fold. Call their references. Tip: Look for broad, wide-ranging experience in elder care.
And, yes… this approach takes more time and can seem like an impossible task. But the payoff in professional service and results is well worth the extra time and attention you’ll put in.
Do it by the book.
Follow these steps and you’ll be less likely to make a bad decision:
Ask for, in writing, exactly what services you can expect from your prospective GCM. You’ll want to know:
Will they help you find the right care for your loved one?
Will they advocate for you and your mom or dad or grandparent when your loved one has to move to a non-home setting?
Are they able to transport your loved one to medical or other appointments when you can’t?
Will they understand and help smooth out the inevitable family disagreements that erupt during high stress times like these?
How much, exactly, do they charge for their services? Do they bill by the hour/half-hour/quarter-hour? How frequently do they bill? Do they regularly document expenditures they may make on your loved one’s behalf?
Get started now.
The sooner you begin this process, the sooner it will be done with. If you find you just can’t take that first step, call or write to me here on the website. I can help.
I can even recommend experienced, professional Geriatric Care Managers for you to talk to. With Serenity, you’re not alone. Ever.