I specialize in a wide spectrum of geriatric care management, including medical care management and advocacy. As your caring, attentive geriatric care manager I help with:
- Transporting clients to doctor’s appointments and helping them understand and process medical information
- Tracking medications
- Coordinating care between various doctors
- Assisting the follow-through with treatment
- Medical and medication record keeping
Another way to think of a Geriatric Care Manager is to use the term “Elder Life Coach”. Using attentive communication, we want to take the preventative approach to maintain physical health, mental clarity and spiritual wholeness at this stage in life.
Regarding physical health, older people often need a friendly, watchful ally who will join them as well as to advocate for them in the areas of health and wellbeing. Exercise and a healthy diet is more important than ever and having a skilled partner take a true interest in these patterns is essential.
I am very familiar with taking people to their doctors’ appointments and sitting with them to be sure that all information is tracked, good relationships with nurses and physicians maintained and even to decide to find a more appropriate specialist should that need arise. Also to make sure that the elder’s family is kept in this loop is vital.
Keeping track of medicines can be very complicated for older people. While I am not a nurse and cannot personally handle medications, I can observe very closely what is being prescribed and to watch closely to make sure that medication routines are being followed correctly.
I have seen that genuine and kind, thoughtful interaction is itself very good for maintaining cognitive and social functioning. The holistic way of seeing health is to bring the inner experiences and journey along with the outer, physical process and so being with elders with respect and careful listening can be as much of a settling and clarifying aid as a good medical doctor. I like to work together with all the available parts of the person’s life. I work to convey to them that they are being truly valued at this time of increasing understanding of one’s life and often one’s vulnerability .
Safe Home Assessment
By walking around your house together, we can determine what areas may need attention regarding safety. There are some basic changes that can apply to most people, depending upon their physical abilities. For example, if an elder person is growing unsteady, it will be a good idea to decide if there are objects throughout the house that could present a danger to his or her safety.
Also, we will consider where to place grab bars, particularly in staircases or in bathrooms can really stabilize an elder whose balance is more delicate.
There are stores in the Boulder and Denver area that provide all sorts of equipment for preventing falls and enhancing room lighting. There are also solutions for reaching up to high shelves, building ramps to compensate for stairs, and other safety measures at home.
I spend most of my time with my clients in their homes. My first meetings would ideally occur not only in the home of the elder, but also in a neutral place with a family member, possibly away from the older person. In this neutral location, we can talk freely about your circumstances and challenges before speaking with the elder person. This may prove to be beneficial as we build a plan together to help build trust and safety for the elder person.
Along with home visits, I do take the elder person out for social outings, run errands, and explore the local offerings at senior centers. In-home visits may involve practical activities such as organizing or refreshing the general environment, but it can also be very supportive to have simple tasks like making pickles or arranging flowers – which could look simple but in fact serve to keep an older person engaged, independent and capable in his or her situation.