What is a Geriatric Care Manager(GCM)? In short, they are experts in planning and coordinating the care of the elderly for their long-term care.
I first heard of a Geriatric Care Manager(GCM) when my aunt, my mother’s sister, found one to help her get ready for the time when her husband, 20 years her senior, would need more attention. He was slowing down and was developing signs of dementia.
As I remember, one of the first things that happened was her GCM, Robin, (Click here to read an interview with Robin)had a meeting with my aunt and did an in-home assessment. They went through her NYC apartment and made sure that it was equipped for an older person. They first decided on some very simple changes. For example, handrails for the 3 little steps that lead into the living room, hand grips in the bathroom and throw rugs to be removed because they are a slipping hazard.
Because my aunt is a proactive person, she had a fair amount of time to make these things happen. Robin gave her little bits of things she should get done before her husband progressed further. So once these little bits were checked off a list she would be ready for the next set. And before you knew it my aunt had all the things she could have planned for were finished and set up so she could concentrate on loving him at the end of his life
I was worried for my aunt and that she would not let go of him until the situation had worn her down. But because she had hired Robin, and Robin kept in touch with her and how they were doing (part of her job), the plan they had developed together, and the knowledge that you have to take care of yourself while being a primary caregiver. My aunt was and is a very active 70 something person and came through the very emotional time better than most people would have.
My experience with a Geriatric Care Manager
My mom had a very bad accident and had fallen the result being that she had a traumatic brain injury. She was in ICU and I need some legal stuff done to become her legal represented. I was at a loss.
My aunt asked me if I wanted her to reach out to Robin and see if she knew of anyone my area that she could refer me to. Again, God was taking care of me and my family and found us the most wonderful team of 2 ladies.
My daughter and I met with them and I fell in love with them immediately. The wealth of knowledge these ladies provided was beyond anything I could imagine let alone their compassion for the situation. Even though I only needed them for a very short amount of time they made a very tough time immensely easier as an advocate for me, my family and especially my mom. They helped me understand the law, medical language and terminology, insurance, and even references for going through grieving and depression for myself and daughter. Just recently I called them to refer me to a realtor and they gave me the names of at least 3.
Because of reasons I may go into deeper at a later time I had to move my mom back to her home state of Nevada. Let’s just say it had to do with insurance. (enough said right?!) Again, God has a great way of working, I found another team of ladies that helped me in so many ways. One of which ended up taking the lead and became more than GCM to me. She was a friend to me and my mom.
The GCM’s I have had experience with had different areas of expertise, some started out as nurses, some knew about the legal issues and the law, but any situation that arose with my mom they knew how to handle it or they knew someone that could help. I quickly learned there was no question I couldn’t ask and get a quick answer. For example, how do you find a bagpipe player to play at your mom’s funeral in LAS VEGAS of all places???? They found me one!
I am planning on talking more about GCMs in a future post so keep a look out for it. They are invaluable sources of information, support, knowledge, and experience. So there are people out there to get you through tough times and they are GCMs!
Want to learn more about these amazing people click here to read an interview with Robin.
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