For those of us in the so-called sandwich generation, the following scenario is being played out repeatedly.
Mom and Dad are doing just fine, living a good life in __________ (insert state, town). Mom or Dad needed a __________ (hip, knee, valve replacement, etc.) They made it through the surgery just fine, but now they are not bouncing back to what was their pre-surgical state. You are nervous that something is wrong – you are not sure what – but as you are not living nearby, you need HELP!
If your parents are still living independently, one option is to find a local geriatric case manager who can make a home visit and assess the situation. According to the National Association of Geriatric Case Managers, a geriatric case manager is a health and human services specialist who helps families caring for older relatives. The GCM is trained and experienced in any of several fields related to care management, including nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, and can:
- Conduct care-planning assessments to identify problems and to provide solutions.
- Screen, arrange, and monitor in-home help.
- Provide short- or long-term eldercare assistance for those engaged in local or long-distance caregiving.
In short, a geriatric case manager can be an excellent resource. To find a local geriatric case manager, you can check the following resources: