How a Geriatric Care Manager, ‘Runs Interference’
Geriatric Care Managers act as a neutral party in medical situations. Individuals and families use them (in part) to discuss difficult matters, formulate strategic plans and coordinate the necessary next steps. Geriatric Care Managers connect the dots between providers and clients, i.e., physicians, lawyers, financial planners and even family members.
When trauma, injury, or illness occurs, topics such as money and health can result in stress and anxiety. Physical and mental constraints from the constant pressure of research and decisions can further inhibit a family’s abilities to process and act. A Care Manager can advocate, access, and coordinate the necessary resources. They handle the details.
Here’s a real-life example of a Geriatric Care Manager in action:
One afternoon, our Geriatric Care Manager received a call from a client. Over the phone, the Care Manager could sense the panic, frustration and the need for support. The first step was for both of them to meet face to face.
Our Care Manager drove to the client’s home, where the client confirmed a feeling of being overwhelmed. There were unfinished projects, in addition to a deep sense of vulnerability. The client was experiencing a decline in her mental and physical status, further enhancing these issues.
The Care Manager took the time to sit and listen, decipher, compartmentalize, validate, encourage, and ultimately develop a plan of support. What’s amazing is how effective the cathartic effect of having a listening ear is to clients.
In this case, the client communicated a sense of immediate relief, a burden removed from her shoulders, because of the support and understanding provided by the Care Manager. She felt assured that she was not alone, which at the core of it — a sense of being alone with no support — was the main source of the client’s agitation.
The Care Manager went to work behind the scenes, making phone calls to providers, scheduling appointments, and taking a seemingly complicated situation and turning it into something that the client could feel confident in.
There is so much a skilled Care Manager can do for clients and families. This is a small sample.