As part of celebrating the month of May as Aging Life Care Month, we would like help educate our visitors on what it is that Aging Life Care Professionals, also known as Geriatric Care Managers, do to help aging persons and their involved family members to plan for care and solve aging challenges.

Alex is an artist, just like his mom, Clarissa. As a young kid, he would watch her gather materials for her sculpture work and observe her as she constructed her pieces in her studio. His mom seemed to construct and design with an intuitive flow. Looking back, he admired how she was so open to the unexpected mistake in her process, while he often struggled with a particular perfectionism in his painting. This exactness was from his dad, she would smile and say.

Now in his 50s, Alex had started caring more for his aging mom. Still quite independent, Clarissa delegated what she needed help with, whether it was with groceries or transportation to follow-up appointments with her health care providers.

When Clarissa had a stroke, she ended up in the hospital. Alex was at the hospital every day and worked with the discharge planner to choose a rehabilitation facility that was close to his work and home so that he could stop by every day to see how she was doing and if she needed anything. She was scheduled to stay at the facility for 30 days to work on physical therapy. When he would visit her, he would meet with the nurses to check on her care and would stop by to see if the physical therapist had any feedback. She was struggling with the physical therapy and had several ongoing complaints of pain. One day as he left, he thought about how much extra care it was going to be and he wasn’t sure where she would live and how to make sure that she received all of her care. He searched online to find a care manager who could help him create a plan and found our practice.

At the first meeting, we were able to lift the burden Alex felt. After talking with him, we had an appointment to visit Clarissa with him in the rehab facility. There, we talked with the social worker, the nurses, and the physical therapists to have a clear view of the care level she would need. We were able to then explain to Clarissa and Alex what would be involved and share our experience in managing care for others in similar scenarios. Working together, we made a plan including her continued stay at the rehab facility and what things would look like when she was ready to go home. A lot of decisions would need to be made about where she would live, how she would receive help, who would do what, and how she could continue living the highest quality of life possible.

As with all persons, plans often shift and change during the care process and we were able to help Alex and Carissa manage the changes she faced. We even were able to help her get back to her sculpting work with assistance. Our goal is always focused on serving the needs of the aging person.

If you need help in your family, please reach out to us so that we can discuss ways to help you and how to create a starting plan. Please give us a call at 561-291-3699 or email us at info@palmbeachcaremanagement.com. We’ll be happy to assist!