Caretakers and Seniors – Finding Resources

by Karen on April 21, 2015

Mother Daughter Smiling and BondingAs a senior or a caretaker for an aging loved one, you need to know about the concept of Geriatric Care Management (GCM) – a great resource for helping all of us age gracefully!  Whatever your familiarity with GCM, we have some useful news for you on several fronts.

  1. Geriatric Care Management is something that could benefit almost every one of us as we and our loved ones get older, so you’ll be glad to read on and find out how GCM can help you manage all those big and little issues that pop up as we age.
  2. Our vital over 65s no longer reflect what the word Geriatric tends to represent.  So Geriatric Care Managers are changing their names to Aging Life Care Managers.Aging Life Care Association Logo
  3. A Second Me is a great proponent and partner with Aging Life Care Managers (ALCM). Our businesses complement each other quite well. We both serve seniors but play different roles in the teams families build to support their loved ones.

What can an Aging Life Care Manager do for me?

Caregiver with Elderly CoupleAn Aging Life Care Manager offers a host of services to families wanting to manage issues that inevitably arise as we all grow older. They help us find the legal, financial and medical support that can make aging a positive experience.

Their services run the gamut. They solve problems, offer alternate solutions, advocate, coach, provide support and guidance, suggest and arrange for medical care management, outline financial situations, identify resources in the community.

Local ALCM Resources

Karen recently attended a Western Fairfax Advocates for Healthy Aging Event at the Arbor Terrace in Herndon.  This month, they featured a Geriatric Care Management Panel presentation.  ALCMs Vanessa Rosengart of Elder Care Consultants, Inc., Judity Grumbly with Care Options VA, and Sarah Benson with Elder Tree Care were on the panel to share their insights and experience.

What we’ve learned about ALCMs

ALCMs are generally women between 35 – 65 years old with backgrounds in social service, nursing, psychology and gerontology. The industry is only about 30 years in the making and most Managers are entrepreneurs. The family members who come to them for help are daughters age 40 – 60. Most are busy professionals looking for guidance in how to best help their aging parents. Many clients aren’t local – their parents may be in NOVA, but the adult children live elsewhere.

Helping Elderly Couple with PaperworkBeyond the skill sets these ALCMs bring to their clients, the fact that they offer a third party objective opinion can often be the best reason to hire them. There are so many family dynamics that can get “excited” when our parents start to need support  It throws the balance of power off.  Parents don’t want to be told what to do by their kids, the adult children don’t have time to take care of their own families and their parents, siblings can end up in conflict over care issues, and never underestimate the consequences of poor communication.

ALCMs can mediate these conflicts and help all the parties involved to understand what’s going on and what options are available. Often ALCMs are called upon when family problems arise – referred through Elder Law Attorneys, medical doctors, financial advisors, and friends. The best case scenario is to have a family come to an ALCM for guidance before a crisis hits – be ready with a plan and know what resources are available when issues inevitably arise.

Hiring an ALCM

Lovely Elderly Man with FamilyALCMs are generally a private service not covered by insurance. Some expenses may be covered by long term care insurance depending upon the policy. The average cost for their services varies widely depending upon the care needed – from $150 a month to up to $3,000. Often the parents’ assets are used to cover ongoing Care Manager costs along with other expenses.

Why services like ALCM and A Second Me are important

Like A Second Me, the Aging Life Care Management industry is meeting a growing need in our community.  By 2030, 20 percent of the population will be over 65. And aging comes with challenges – 80 percent of seniors have at least one chronic illness, and it’s not out of the ordinary for seniors to have as many as five conditions.

Sadly, the ALCM panelists at the Event have all seen many cases of seniors being financially exploited and even a lot of self-neglect in seniors trying to take care of everything on their own.

If you think your family could use some extra help with aging loved ones, please call us.  We’re happy to do what we can – and if your needs are greater than we can manage, we can refer you to some great ALCMs in the area.

 

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