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Honoring Elders: The Value of Elder Care Managers

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How does anyone plan for the aging process?  We are taught that it is important to plan for many areas of our lives.  Commonly we hire financial planners, attorneys, accountants, and insurance brokers to help steer us through a maze of complicated issues in these fields.  How many are fortunate enough to have an Elder Care advisor? 

Over the past decade or so a new type of advisor has grown in numbers throughout the country.  These individuals and companies are known as Elder Care Managers.  Typically they have advanced educational degrees such as Registered Nurses, Masters in Nursing or Gerontology, and Masters in Social Work.  This education is complemented by years of practical experience working with hundreds of Elders and their families. 

When Elders and their families begin the planning process or are forced to contend with a crisis, they commonly find the most important aid to them is INFORMATION!  Just as you would turn to one of the advisors I mentioned above, so should you turn to an experienced advisor in the Elder Care field. This team of professionals can provide critical information that can save you thousands of dollars and untold numbers of hours trying to locate all the facts.  Here is a partial list of some of the areas most commonly dealt with:

  • How can my loved ones remain in their home safely and "Age in Place."
  • If we chose to move which facility would best the best choice?
  • What's the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
  • How do I find out if I qualify and how do I apply?
  • How do I choose the best in-home caregiver?
  • How can we handle issues when the children live in a different state than the parents?
  • How do we know how to access all of the state & federal programs we are entitled to?

These are just a few of the issues that an Elder Care Manager can address for you.  Many accidents and illnesses for Elders lead to a predictable series of problems that last until the end of their lives.  Proper planning and advice can improve their quality of life and minimize un-necessary challenges that may come up.  Professional supervision can also dramatically reduce the incidence of Elders returning over and over again to skilled nursing facilities for related problems.

Paying a few hours of fees for advice can save you thousands of dollars.   Most Geriatric Care Managers do not collect a fee from the facility they refer you to, which avoids a "conflict of interest".  You can check with the national organization which represents these professional and is called the "National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers" at www.caremanager.org  or call (520)-881-8008.

By Patrick Spiger, Director of Operations for Honoring Elders, Geriatric Care Managers and Havenwood Caregiver Services located in Spokane, WA and Boise, ID