In the early 2000s, Reston for a Lifetime editor was seeking senior housing for her then 80 year-old mother in central Florida. Living in Northern Virginia made this task even more challenging. Searching the web, she discovered “geriatric care managers” who guide family caregivers with decisions to ensure quality care for those they love. Over a number of years, an Orlando-based provider assisted in identifying independent living choices, assisted living and subsequently nursing care. Their guidance with the Medicaid application was invaluable.
Since the early 2000s, geriatric care managers, now called aging life care managers, have taken on many more tasks---from physical problems to mental health and dementia-related problems. They attend doctor appointments and facilitate communication between doctor, client, and family. These professionals help determine types of services, including home health and hospice.
Care manager services are paid by the patient directly. Certain long-term care insurance plans include coverage for these services. In selecting a care manager, here are a few questions to ask:
Life care managers may have backgrounds in nursing, social work, counseling, gerontology, mental health or occupational therapy. Like other health professions, managers must meet certain standards (Aging Life Care Professional ) as established by the profession. To find a life care manager in the DC area, click here for the Mid-Atlantic Resource Directory that also includes a listing of elder law attorneys.
Universal Design focuses on the environment to ensure it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. To explore what this means for remaining in one’s home, check out these resources.
AARP has created the HomeFit Guide with ideas from simple do-it-yourself fixes to improvements that are more involved and require skilled expertise. A check-list of 33 questions covers interior topics such as location of kitchen workspaces, accessibility of fire extinguisher within reach of the oven or stove, design of faucets, lighting in staircases, and shower with step-free entry. Topics from the exterior check list focus on visibility of the street address so emergency responders can locate the home, assuring entrances are free of clutter, handrails on both sides of all steps and stairways. The Guide provides worksheets, a HomeFit quiz, tips on hiring a contractor and remodeling costs.
Another resource is the Certified Aging in Place Specialists CAPS program. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in collaboration with National Association Home Builders 55+ Housing Council and others developed this program. The CAPS curriculum includes courses in universal design, understanding the changing mobility of clients and aging, green design, and business and marketing principles to name just a few. While there are no fool proof ways for hiring the professional, the CAPS designation is an indication the industry recognizes a real need in both a human and business dimension.
Breakfast Briefing January 28
What Should Families Look for in Hospice Care?
Jerald Roberts, Capital Caring Health, will answer these questions at our next Reston for a Lifetime/Western Fairfax Advocates for Healthy Aging (WFAHA) breakfast. Also mark your calendar for upcoming briefings—Feb 25 on managing stress; and March 24 with Carol Edelstein, Shepard Center of Great Falls.
What/Who: Breakfast Briefing with Jerald Roberts, Capital Caring
When: January 28, 2020
8:30 am - Mix, mingle and enjoy a light breakfast
Speaker: 9:00 to 9:50 am
Where: Hunter Woods at Trails Edge, follow signs to event location
2222 Colts Neck Road, Reston, VA 20191
Parking: Parking garage is to the right. Pull up to the garage door and let them know you are attending so they can open the door.
RSVP: by Jan. 24 to Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org