Posted by: BlogMaster | April 14, 2011

The Non-Legal Side of Elder Law – Part 2: Supervision in the Home

Not everyone is as lucky as my dad to have a 60-year marriage to a dedicated wife like my mom, Louise.

My dad required the services of a home aide and mom made sure every aide provided the necessary services. 

Mom also prepared multi-course nutritious meals, went to doctors’ appointments with dad, and did errands to run the household. 

The key message here is that someone needs to supervise the home aides, make sure the household ‘runs’ and constantly ‘tweak’ the care plan to enable an incapacitated senior like my dad to remain at home.

But in a household where a spouse like Louise is not present or not capable of overseeing all of these care elements, it can be very helpful to hire a Geriatric Care Manager or ‘GCM’.

What is a GCM? 

A GCM is trained to provide the resources and services to assist the incapacitated senior, and should be an experienced guide and resource for the rest of the family as well. Be wary of and do not fall for scams in which a person refers to themselves as a ‘GCM’ simply because they have ‘lived through it’ with their own parent. Their personal experience does not qualify them to provide the level of services you need.

If you are not working with a qualified elder law attorney who can refer you to a trustworthy Geriatric Care Manager, then I recommend you turn to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (www.caremanager.org).  Be sure to ask the Association for multiple referrals and valid recommendations for any aide you are considering hiring.

Should you hire a one-stop elder law attorney ‘package’?

In this type of package deal, the attorney will hire a geriatric care manager, supervise the home care aides for you, and also provide legal counsel.

In my opinion, the answer is No.

But if you feel this is right for you, be sure you first understand what you are paying for and what will be provided – as with any legal services. Please keep in mind that sometimes, especially in a stressful situation involving home care supervision for your loved one, one-stop shopping is not advisable. In fact, it can turn out to be a costly mistake.

This important topic continues in my next blog: The Non-Legal Side of Elder Law – Part 3: Handling the Paperwork.

*** Photography by Jesse Abrahams ***

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