Cleveland, OH, April 07, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- Margaret Murray experienced a fall in her home in 2011 that left her with a welt on her head and problems with her memory that she would otherwise not have today.
Margaret, a fiercely independent women and accomplished Cleveland artist who once ran a ceramic studio with her daughter in Olmsted Falls, Ohio is now faced with the challenges that accompany the frailty of aging including memory loss.
Murray's family includes three daughters who are of the "sandwich generation" a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children. With the demands of daily life and the daughters living long distance they realized they needed the help of a professional they could trust to help keep their mother safe.
Two years ago they hired Bridget Ritossa, a geriatric care manager practicing in Beachwood, Ohio, to serve as an intermediary to help the entire family chart a course through their mother’s later years. As an expert in geriatric health care, Ritossa served as an impartial, highly informed third party that Margaret and her children needed to help everyone make decisions.
“The biggest benefit to us was having a knowledgeable person help us make decisions without any misunderstandings and without our telling Mom what she needed. Mother kept a sense of control and independence. We could remain her children and not her full time caregivers," Mary Murray the youngest daughter said.
Geriatric care managers (GCM's), are considered specialized social workers and hold degrees related to aging. GCM's have experience in geriatric health care or nursing. They provide a wide-range of services. They conduct assessments to determine a client’s medical, social and support needs. They help modify homes to make them safer. They find resources to help a parent remain independent, such as home health and meal services. They evaluate medication and work to make sure it is covered through complicated insurance plans, including Medicare. They find appropriate rehab, assisted living and nursing homes, and they conduct visits to ensure the parent is medically and physically safe. They advise families on end of life matters such as living wills. GCM's can even attend doctor appointments.
There are about 10 professional geriatric care managers affiliated with the Aging Life Care Association in the greater Cleveland region. They typically charge between $100 and $200 an hour, said Jennifer Beach, a GCM based in Rocky River, Ohio and Vice President of the Midwest Board of The Aging Life Care Association (previously known as the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers).
Clients such as the Murray family said the value of the services was priceless. See www.aginglifecare.org to learn more about geriatric care management.