I am starting my blog journey and hope to provide useful information to those who care for the elderly or who are facing concerns as they age. Please feel free to offer constructive criticism and ideas for future blogs.
As Geriatric Care Managers or GCM’s, we may enter into the home of an elder who may not want us delving into their private lives, especially escorted by their adult children or worse the long lost family member who was tasked with being their power of attorney years ago. Who are these people to enlist the help of a stranger to discuss how we care for ourselves in our private space? This could be seen as an invasion of privacy or worse an unwelcome intervention. As GCM’s or as some are titled, Aging Life Care Managers, we strive to be respectful, empathetic and non-threatening as we are tasked with coming to assist elders with various issues such as self-neglect, unsafe driving, medication mismanagement and the list goes on. Unfortunately, we are working with elders who may be struggling with Dementia, so understanding the concerns or recalling various incidents may not be realistic.
Being the concerned family member is not an easy task either. Maybe you have received calls from concerned friends and church members who know your loved and are communicating various concerns. They may suggest you take off work and come in to check on your loved one. Sometimes Adult Protective Services will step in because their was a reported exploitation claim and you are contacted to become involved. It is never easy to jump in and try to make sense of your elder’s world, especially if you are not involved in this person’s life, you do not see them often due to distance and/or if the person is extremely private. I have client’s who can relate to all of the mentioned.
As GCM’s we do our best to see the big picture and to make sure family members, friends or concerned persons of elders ask their permission before we enter into their lives. It’s imperative that we gain their trust and receive all of the details related to their medical, financial, legal, emotional, social and care needs in order to create a workable plan. Ideally, this plan is supported by all involved parties, but most importantly the elder client. It can be a work in progress, but with good rapport, trust and unwavering commitment the elder will allow the GCM to be an integral part of their lives.