Geriatric Care Management: A Lifeline Resource for Caregivers

September 22, 2023

Geriatric Care Management: A Lifeline Resource for Caregivers

Caring for an older adult is a privilege, but the stress that comes with the responsibility can take a toll on caregivers and their families. Too often, it becomes easy for the caregiver to neglect his or her own health and self-care while taking care of a loved one. This becomes further complicated for a cohort of society known as the “sandwiched” generation, a term referring to the years when adults are ‘sandwiched’ between caring for their children and parents at the same time.

“In these situations, something’s got to give,” says Wendy Liverant, Aviv Supportive Services Manager. “There will likely come a time when a caregiver needs support; when that happens, a Geriatric Care Manager can work with the older adults in your life, easing the strain and allowing you to attend to your immediate family and your work. It is a lifeline resource to help get things in place.”

Geriatric Care Management is an Aviv program that advocates and cares for older adults in a dynamic and evolving way. The base service includes an in-home assessment to determine if the client’s living space is safe and supportive for the needs of the client, and a care plan with recommendations and resources for the client. Once the family decides to accept the partnership, the care plan is implemented.

A Geriatric Care Manager provides tangible help in several ways. They can meet logistical needs such as helping identify appropriate medical providers and attending the appointments to be the eyes and ears of the client. They can help with challenges from navigating Medicare resources for open enrollment, to facilitating legal help and estate planning, to arranging vet appointments for beloved pets. They also facilitate discussions on difficult family matters, providing a safe space and neutral party to listen and work toward solutions. Finally, they focus on psychological and emotional well-being, connecting clients to memory support services, leisure and community.

At JF&CS, Geriatric Care Management is different than Case Management. Case management is grant-funded and designed to assist lower-income adults with basic living needs through service support, resources and referrals. It is typically of a shorter duration than Geriatric Care Management, which is private pay and more customizable to the client’s and caregiver’s specific needs. Wendy likens the Geriatric Care Manager role to the “quarterback” of the client’s caregiving team.

The JF&CS approach to Geriatric Care Management is “as relational as possible,” says Wendy. The team is made up of social workers, nurses, counselors, and other professionals with healthcare backgrounds. The cross-disciplinary knowledge of the team brings a layered and collaborative approach to their services. “We go the distance for our clients, and they can feel the Jewish family values that guide our work,” says Wendy. “We are an extension of the family and bring heart in addition to professionalism.”

If you’re interested in exploring Geriatric Care Management for yourself or a loved one, contact Agewell Atlanta at 1.866.AGEWELL