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.
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