The September 25th edition of the New York Times contained an informative article on how geriatric care managers can help adult children face a challenge which often seems overwhelming, both emotionally and mentally, and is always stressful: the job of caring for an elderly parent. The Times article described the caring challenge as follows:

There are diagnoses to decipher, housing issues to consider, health aides to vet and a raft of legal documents to complete. It can seem overwhelming, even when families are in complete agreement on how to care for an elderly relative. And often they are not. But a good care manager can buy you time and some peace of mind so you can concentrate on your job, your family and your own health.

For the families described in the article, the geriatric care manager performed a variety of critical services. The care manager initially performed an in-depth assessment by interviewing the elderly adult, speaking with family members and doctors, and assessing the living arrangement in order to provide a complete picture of the elder’s situation and challenges. The care manager also negotiated with the aged adult, persuading the older person to stop driving and insisting that an aide move in, which the adult children had also suggested but could not persuade the elder to accept. The care manager can also be the voice of reason when a family is not seeing eye to eye about the care needed by the aged parent. The care manager often also provides continuing oversight of the case, regularly checking in with the elderly parent, updating recommendations and insuring that the parent has everything he or she needs.

Attorneys at the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli have utilized the services of geriatric care managers for our elder law clients for many years. Although it may seem incongruous for a law firm to be involved in any way in the provision of care by recommending geriatric care managers to clients, there is really no conflict at all. We have found that the services provided by elder law attorneys and geriatric care managers to be complimentary. Elder law attorneys provide the legal and public benefits planning services needed by elderly clients so that they and their families can finance the provision of care, while geriatric care managers identify the extent of care needed and arrange for the provision of care appropriate to meet the needs of our elderly clients. Although clients often initially resist hiring care managers due to a misperception that they charge high fees (they don’t), if they do follow our recommendation we have found that our elder law clients and their families have been very satisfied with the services provided by geriatric care mangers.

The article on geriatric care managers in the September 25th edition of the New York Times can be found here – When Elder Care Problems Escalate, You Can Hire An Expert