Do You Need a Geriatric Care Manager?

When my mother had dementia and I helped her age at home, I basically did everything myself. I coordinated all the care. I didn't know about geriatric care managers. I did get help from Family and Children's Aid (as it was called then), who sent the Visiting Nurse to my mom once a month and provided an incredible home health aide.

Today, many families turn to care managers to assess an older adult's needs and provide and execute a care plan. The managers can be expensive -- charging $100+ per hour. The New York Times recently ran an article about them, which is well worth reading.

When I sent the article to my fellow board members of Aging in Place in Darien ("AIP" in Darien, CT), I learned a lot from two people: Beth Paris, who is the Darien Senior Center Coordinator, and Inta Adams, who is in Darien's Social Services Department:

Beth said that care managers usually just do information and referral, not case management. She wanted to make sure that we all knew about SWCAA's care management. SWCAA is the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging.

Inta said:
"We do know of geriatric care managers in this area, and they provide a valuable service at a cost.( about $100 per hour, which can add up quickly)
Our Darien Social Services office provides evaluation, guidance, information on available resources and services for AIP to family members,spouses,and adult kids at NO COST... Many calls we get are from adult kids seeking advice about available services for their parents.
We are not available 24 hrs. as some care managers might be, but we respond to all work hour calls, and try to involve the family to make the final decisions based on available information."

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