If you find yourself reading this blog post, you are likely someone seeking answers on how to best support an elderly loved one. Perhaps you are a senior looking for some type of support for yourself, a spouse, or an aging friend or relative. As a geriatric care management team, we know that quality elderly care starts with a thorough assessment that lays the foundation for a practical plan. This initial assessment is based around answering a few essential questions, and though those may seem simple enough at first glance, they can be overwhelming to answer alone, without professional help, for many seniors and caregivers. Much of the stress of going into old age and facing new limitations, and much of the stress of caregiving, can be attributed to a lack of direction and a lack of support. When you consult with a great geriatric care management company, their first step is to guide you in answering the most basic and most pressing inquiries in a productive way that can give you a true idea of your needs and abilities in the given situation.
Below are some of the most common questions a geriatric care management specialist can direct you to think about and help you find answers to during a consultation:
What challenges is the elderly person facing?
It’s important to determine and prioritize the issues a senior is facing. This can range
from normal challenges of aging to injury, illness, or temporary disability, to worsening
health issues or progressive disease, and even to matters outside of physical and mental
health, such as predatory scams targeting seniors, an unlivable housing situation, or
abuse. To answer this question as thoroughly as possible in this preliminary phase, the
geriatric care team uses an expert set of metrics to determine the senior’s abilities to
perform general activities of daily living, including basics like bathing, preparing healthy meals, moving around, and using the restroom, as well as more advanced activities such as money management, socializing, shopping, cleaning, practicing hobbies, etc.
What kind of care and services will the elderly person require?
Depending on their health status and abilities, a client may only require a more
preventative approach specially meant for seniors living alone and/or at risk of falling
or otherwise becoming injured or ill. For older clients with more serious challenges, a geriatric care manager would discuss the options of in-home care, professional care vs.
informal family care, therapy (mental, physical, speech, or occupational), wellness programs, end-of-life care, and non-medical services such as bathing, cleaning, preparing meals, providing companionship, and more.
How much care does the elderly person need?
After deciding on the types of needed care and before hiring the needed personnel, a
geriatric care management team must determine whether the senior client would need
care occasionally, frequently, daily while family members are unavailable, or 24/7. This
depends on the availability of informal care as well as the need for support across
different capacities of daily living.
Is the elderly person capable of, and willing to, make decisions regarding their own care? If not, who is the appropriate person to make these decisions?
While this can be a difficult discussion to have, especially within families and groups
where there may be disagreements about elements of care like financial decisions and
divisions of labor, it’s important to understand that a quality geriatric care team
operates on a person-centered approach. Care managers, social workers, and medical
and financial entities involved are ethically bound to advocate for the elderly client’s
autonomy and their right to decide whether/how/where to receive care, and by whom,
as long as they are mentally capable of decision-making. In the event a senior client is
experiencing cognitive decline or is medically/legally deemed incapable of making
certain decisions, a geriatric care firm can help go over a living trust if one is available,
as well as other documents, and act as an impartial third-party in facilitating
communications between family members to make decisions that are in the client’s best
How will the services needed for the elderly person be financed?
Long-term care can be difficult to fund out-of-pocket. Many seniors and caregivers find
it overwhelming to make payment arrangements involving long-term care insurance,
government aid, and legal matters pertaining to assets. Families who hire a geriatric
care management company find it’s an excellent investment, not only for taking so
many aspects of care off one’s plate, but also for providing a trusted service in
communicating with different parties to determine the best course of action for funding
medical care, housing costs, and living expenses.
If you or someone you love could benefit from a FREE consultation with the team at Senior Steps, Inc., call us today!