There can come a point in an older adult’s life where making the transition to a live-in facility becomes inevitable. To some, this change can come as a relief – an exciting new chapter to look forward to where one is surrounded by trusted professionals eager to provide around the clock care and a new community to belong to. For others, however, this comes as a dreaded move that brings up feelings of helplessness and loss of independence. It can conjure up thoughts of being abandoned, of leaving behind one’s own home and the memories that live in it, and of entrusting one’s care into the hands of strangers.
In any case, making the move to a facility is usually a challenging process, both for seniors and their families, if not emotionally, then at least logistically. Working with the elderly and those who provide their care, our team knows first-hand the emotional toll it can take and the way it can psychologically and financially impact whole families.
However, with the assistance of a geriatric care manager, this transition can become significantly smoother and more manageable. Geriatric care managers play a vital role in helping elderly individuals and their families navigate the complex and often overwhelming task of moving into a live-in facility. This week, we are sharing our experience in managing an aging loved-one’s move to a nursing home, retirement center, or any long-term live-in facility from start to finish and shedding some light on what the process looks like, exploring the invaluable support geriatric care managers provide, making this life-changing transition as stress-free and comfortable as possible.
It all starts with a comprehensive assessment.
This assessment can happen before a definitive decision is made. In fact, for families who are not sure whether aging in place is the right call, a comprehensive assessment by a Geriatric Care Management expert can clear things up in a significant way. Normally, this initial part of the process may include a visit to the senior’s home, an in-depth conversation about their wishes, their challenges, their health status, their mental well-being, and their ability to take care of themselves. At this point, the geriatric care professional will also speak to any informal caretakers and inquire about their ability to continue to provide care, assess the adequacy of the care provided, and analyze how the senior’s need for care may evolve overtime. They may also speak with the elderly person about their finances, legal matters pertaining to aging and healthcare, and more.
Geriatric Care Management is a practice that follows each senior’s unique wishes and needs and as experts, they are able to provide an impartial valuation of the matter, answer questions, and help families make a decision of which they feel confident.
The next step is studying all options.
Once a decision has been reached, it’s time to research suitable facilities. A few difficulties tend to arise at this stage leading people to either move very slowly with decision paralysis or rush to a move without the proper due diligence. With so many types of facilities out there, it can be difficult to determine where to look, and with so many options within each type, many families can have concerns about price point, reputability, reliability, distance, and more. Working with a Geriatric Care Management team can be invaluable in several ways at this stage. For one, they have in-depth knowledge of the available live-in facilities in the area. They can narrow down the options based on the individual's needs, financial resources, and preferences. But even more importantly, through their network of connections within the community, they can provide crucial information about what certain facilities are really like and refer trusted choices that check all of the senior’s boxes.
The next step is transition planning.
The transition to a live-in facility is more than just a change in location; it involves a shift in lifestyle and daily routines. Moreover, for many seniors, this can involve handling legal affairs and selling their home before moving forward with the move. Geriatric care managers create personalized transition plans that consider the senior's emotional well-being and individual preferences. They coordinate every aspect of the move, from referring legal counsel to sorting belongings to arranging transportation, ensuring a smooth and stress-free transition.
Throughout this process, Geriatric Care Managers provide emotional support by addressing the concerns and fears of the senior and the senior’s loved ones. Their experience in dealing with similar transitions allows them to offer reassurance and guidance throughout the process. They create room for families to be there for their aging loved one without having to worry about all the logistics.
Even more significant, however, than the emotional support, is the aspect of advocacy.
Geriatric Care Managers act as advocates for the senior, ensuring their rights and needs are respected in the new facility. They work closely with the facility staff to make sure that the resident's care plan is tailored to their specific requirements and that any concerns are addressed promptly. Once the senior has transitioned into the live-in facility, the Geriatric Care Manager continues to provide oversight and support. They regularly assess the senior's well-being and advocate for adjustments in care if necessary, ensuring that the individual's needs are consistently met.
The decision to move an elderly loved one into a live-in facility is a significant and sometimes emotionally charged moment in life. Geriatric care managers, often referred to as aging life care professionals, are specially trained individuals who possess expertise in various aspects of geriatric care. They typically have backgrounds in nursing, social work, or related fields and are knowledgeable about the physical, emotional, and social needs of the elderly. Their primary objective is to enhance the quality of life for older adults and their families by offering personalized care management services.
If you find yourself in need of Geriatric Care Management for yourself or an aging loved one, you can call us at no cost to learn more about our services and how we can help. Booking a consultation is always FREE and confidential on our website at SeniorSteps.org/book-online.