Home Care Assistance caregivers and Geriatric Care Managers (GCM’s) are the perfect partners in creating healthy, safe, and happy environments for their clients and families. GCM’s are professional care managers and consultants who have a broad and comprehensive understanding of aging adults, their care needs, and the costs associated with those needs.
Home Care Assistance caregivers are the foundation of providing care for aging adults while promoting independence and well-being. Let’s look at this partnership and how Home Care Assistance and GCM’s work together.
How Do Geriatric Care Managers Help Clients?
GCM’s across the country have degrees in nursing, social work, and other disciplines, along with care management certification. Some are members of the Aging Life Care Association, a certifying body for geriatric care managers. The Aging Life Care Association is an excellent resource for finding a qualified GCM. Elder Law Attorneys, estate planners, and other professionals who work with families refer to GCM’s when they see that families need someone to assess needs and provide a long-term care plan. How do GCM’s help clients and families?
- Comprehensive assessment. GCM’s go into a client’s home and assess their care needs, the safety of the home environment, and make care recommendations. This is where a GCM can make recommendations to bring in home care. Many families see that a loved one is struggling, but they don’t have a clear idea of their needs or how to help.
- Advocacy. A GCM who is asked to provide ongoing care management for a family will attend all medical appointments, make regular home visits and communicate any concerns and changes to the family.
- Help Clients Age in Place. According to AARP, 90 percent of adults age 65 or older want to age in place in their homes and their communities. GCM’s and Home Care Assistance make this possible by creating a safe and sustainable home environment.
How Does Home Care Assistance Help Clients?
Home Care Assistance provides client-centered care plans that GCM’s value. The National Alliance for Caregiving estimates that “Family caregivers now encompass more than one in five Americans… and there is an opportunity for the public and private sectors to work together to develop solutions to support family caregivers and those under their care.”
As families struggle to provide care for an aging adult, they also juggle careers and other family obligations. They look to Home Care Assistance to fill the caregiving gaps.
How Does Home Care Assistance and The GCM Work Together?
The relationship between Home Care Assistance and GCM's is both flexible and symbiotic. By working together, Home Care Assistance and GCM’s can provide a solid foundation of care for the clients they serve.
Home Care Assistance Recommends a GCM. When Home Care Assistance is called upon to start caregiving services, they often see a host of other problems that need addressing. Poor medication management, home accessibility issues, family conflict, or inconsistent communication between healthcare providers are just a few of the issues that can initiate a recommendation for a GCM.
A GCM Recommends Home Care Assistance. One of the major roles that a GCM plays is to recommend home care to families. A critical part of that recommendation is to discuss with Home Care Assistance how, when, and the number of hours of care to begin with depending on the client’s needs. For a client who is resistant to home care, a GCM can help coordinate that care by talking with the client and family about the benefits and a “start low go slow” approach that addresses the client’s fears and reluctance.
A GCM Recognizes When More Care is Needed. With regular visits, a GCM can recognize problems before they become a crisis. Especially with a conservative approach to care, needs can increase. Aging adults with dementia can start to decline as their cognitive function deteriorates. A GCM will contact the family about their observations and recommend increasing caregiving hours.
A GCM Coordinates and Improves Communication with Home Care Assistance. Good communication between the families and the professionals involved in a client’s care can’t be underestimated. A GCM is in a true partnership with Home Care Assistance to maximize and provide continuous, professional services to the client. When a GCM prepares their care plan, they can work with Home Care Assistance to develop a detailed plan for caregiver services and make adjustments as the client’s needs change.
The more eyes on a client’s care the better. As families depend on GCM’s to coordinate care, a GCM can act as a liaison between the family and Home Care Assistance to identify potential problems and ensure a proper caregiving schedule.
Given that most older adults want to age in their home, Home Care Assistance and GCM’s make this possible and affordable. Both GCM’s and Home Care Assistance are flexible and can adjust their time and efforts to adapt to a family’s needs and budget. Value is more than working with the client’s financial constraints. Home Care Assistance and GCM’s value and respect the client and family’s needs, desires, and autonomy. A true partnership is one where shared values dictate care. GCM’s and Home Care Assistance working together is a true partnership.