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Staying at Home – Considerations for Elders and Their Caregivers

May 1, 2012


Many elders live independently and fiercely guard their independence. When additional care becomes necessary to keep the elder healthy and safe, these elders prefer to stay in their home instead of moving to a retirement community, assisted living facility or even a nursing home. Staying at home often means being at a distance from the primary caregiver. Although staying at home creates many hazards, steps can be taken by the elder and the caregiver to avoid the many medical, legal and financial issues that surround aging in place.

Caregivers, and especially long distance caregivers, should seriously consider hiring a geriatric care manager. A geriatric care manager is a health care professional with training in gerontology, social work and nursing. In most cases, the geriatric care manager will conduct an assessment of the elder and develop an individualized care plan. In the long distance caregiving situation, the geriatric care manager will act as a liaison for the caregiver. Here, the geriatric care manager will oversee the elder’s care, providing a report to the caregiver at regular intervals and alerting the caregiver to any potential problems. The geriatric care manager’s additional oversight not only provides peace of mind for the caregiver, but also protects the long distance caregiver from claims that he or she is not conscientiously carrying out his or her duties due to the distance and resulting lack of personal oversight.

Many times, caregiving is interrupted…

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by: Gina M. Barry

May 2012

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