Updated: Apr 6
Recently, the United States has seen a significant rise in percentage of seniors in its population. Adults over 65 are living longer, healthier lives, but that does not mean that the healthcare system, accessible insurance coverage network, and assisted living facilities and nursing homes have adequately adapted to provide proper person-centered care or a sufficient safety net. In a recent article, The Washington Post described today’s senior care in the U.S. as “crushingly expensive”, going into detail about the average costs of long-term care, home-care aides, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes against middle class boomers’ average salaries and retirement savings. As a geriatric care management team, we unfortunately find that cost is not the only hurdle in a system that has been largely failing our elderly population.
Geriatric Care Managers tend to bridge several significant gaps in elderly care, especially when it comes to advocacy, education, and preserving independence and autonomy. Due to the background and nature of the role of a GCM, they help bring care that is truly focused on the individual, seeing them as a person as opposed to a collection of aging issues, illnesses, or disabilities. A sad reality that’s not unique to aging is that the healthcare system is not your friend. For elders, however, this issue is amplified by systemic dismissiveness within a structure that tends to favor the young and may refuse care. Aging adults and their families must be able to advocate for themselves, for their wishes and preferences to be respected, and for their care to be of acceptable quality. It’s important to have caregivers, in an aging person’s corner, who know how to pinpoint signs of neglect or negligence. Oftentimes, a GCM’s mere presence can alter a person’s experience with a healthcare provider.
Geriatric Care Managers coordinate healthcare for their clients across multiple providers. This is a particularly noteworthy element of the work of a GCM because of how aging can bring on several health issues simultaneously, requiring several specialists in facilities that may have limited communication with one another. In such cases, it’s vital to have a care coordinator who possesses a strong understanding of the elderly client’s overall health condition and can ensure harmonized care with no conflicting treatments or prescriptions. Many seniors appreciate and see the benefits of this more holistic approach.
In terms of finances, geriatric care management services are normally paid for privately or through certain long-term care insurance plans and their cost can vary depending on the extent of a client’s needs. However, most families find that hiring a GCM team saves them money overall through proper short-term and long-term planning, continued assessment of needs, and more. A quality geriatric care team works within each client’s budget to bring a network of trusted resources tailored to their needs, can explain insurance coverage and communicate with providers to ensure a client is not overpaying, and can suggest more affordable alternatives for live-in facilities or work to keep a client living at home safely for longer with less hired assistance.
If you are interested in discussing any matters of aging with a professional on our team, we offer FREE consultation calls every day at 617-405-8796. You can also leave a comment with your question, send us a direct Facebook or Instagram message, or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Senior Steps provides guidance and assistance with medical, legal, and financial advocacy and planning, and help with activities of daily living.