You’re married; you work; you have kids; you’re president of your neighborhood association; you want to start your own business. The idea of adding eldercare to your life is petrifying, but there’s no way you won’t take care of your mama.
You will be the captain of your caregiving team, not all of the players. You prepare your team mates, call the plays and make sure they happen, but you shouldn’t do everything yourself, and you don’t have to.
But you live far away!
Even if you live in the same house, you CANNOT do everything yourself.
Don’t worry. There is an answer for busy caregivers, long-distance caregivers, and any caregivers who have a life outside of eldercare. Professional Geriatrics Care Managers.
GCMs are nurses, social, workers, or other experts with training and experience in the field of aging. I call them “Rent-A-Daughters” (I think there was a care management company that actually used that name.) They do what you would if you could do eldercare full-time, and they are a just keystroke away at www.caremanager.com. Put in the zip code of the community where you need help with care; the website will give you a list of certified geriatrics care managers within a distance you would find convenient.
A GCM can come into the home to start figuring out what your senior needs. They can help you find eldercare resources that match your seniors’ values and resources. They can interview, hire, and supervise helpers, and be your liaison with doctors. They also provide education and support for you.
Care management costs vary. State-funded services require co-payments, calculated on a sliding scale, based on seniors’ incomes. These programs rely on state finances, and waiting lists may be lengthy. Find them through your local Department on Aging, or Area Agency on Aging. Private agencies may cost in the area of $200-300 per hour, but after the GCM develops the care plan, you may only need a couple of hours per month to monitor and adjust.
This is the best money you can spend: the peace of mind is priceless. You may even qualify for some of the available caregiver tax credits (I’ll talk about that closer to tax time.) I’ve also seen some families pool their resources to handle the expense.
Join me this Sunday morning on my radio show Straight Talk with Dr. Cheryl, and meet Kitty Watson, one of the best geriatric care managers in the business. She will answer your questions about listen between 8-9:30 at www.blogtalkradio.com. Call (914) 803-4503 to ask a question, or make a comment. If you don’t want to let me hear your voice, let me see your wisdom and share it with the audience. Leave a message on the Dr. Cheryl Woodson Facebook page, or on my website www.drcherylwoodsoncom.