After looking forward to the holidays with family, sometimes the realization that Mom or Dad’s care is becoming more than they or we can manage is the holiday awareness we were not expecting. Whether it was noting that Mom didn’t exactly dress appropriately for church in December in MN when you picked her up, that Dad forgot to bring his glasses and teeth to dinner or when Aunt Sue completely falls apart after dessert and coffee and no one knew how to calm and console her, the recognition that things are simply not going well can be the challenge you may not be ready to face.
At times holiday events and gatherings are the times when change is most noticeable and when the family has the opportunity to work together to problem-solve the issues that can accompany aging and particularly aging with some cognitive impairment. For some, more frequent visits, a more consistent assistance schedule and finally taking advantage of the Adult Day program around the block work out well to meet the newly identified needs. For others however the answer is not so clear:
What to do next?
Who can help us?
How can we afford assistance?
Dad will never let anyone in the house to help!
In these situations it may be time to ask for the assistance of a Geriatric Care Manager who can serve as an outside objective party to help a family determine needs, identify options and plan for the care of the elder in their life. A Geriatric Care Manager is skilled at determining the type of care a senior may benefit from, what is available in each senior’s community and knowing how to connect with that resource. A Geriatric Care Manager can be the support person who guides a family through the decision making process, who coordinates services when family is not nearby and who can serve as the eyes and ears for the family to have peace of mind that their loved one is getting the care and attention they deserve. In still other situations the Geriatric Care Manager serves to quell the crisis, support the family and be a guide when navigating the complexity of dementia and chronic illness in conjunction with aging.
For more information about how a Geriatric Care Manager can help you call for a free informational visit in the Twin Cities 952-525-0505 or search near you for a Certified Geriatric Care Manager at http://www.caremanager.org/