For Seniors Living Alone, This Might Help in an Emergency

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Despite our need for extra help as we age, many older Americans are left trying to navigate the later stages of life alone.

One in four Americans age 60 and older live by themselves. Only 6% live with extended family (relatives other than partners or children) despite that being one of the most popular living arrangements in other countries, according to the Pew Research Center.

Asking for help from family is hard, and it can also be hard for families to provide it. Taking on a caretaker role can cost families thousands of dollars, time and an increased mental load that can wear them down.

Geriatric care managers, also called aging life care experts, may take the pressure off of everyone.

They’re like “professional relatives” for when a person’s family can’t take on extra responsibilities. They’re often licensed nurses or social workers who are able to create short- and long-term care plans. Geriatric-care managers can also:

  • Coordinate medical appointments
  • Make financial, legal or medical referrals
  • Act as a liaison for far-away family members
  • Address emotional and practical concerns of patients and their families
  • Provide stress relief for caregivers

Geriatric care managers may also monitor the home, making sure their patient’s living conditions are suitable.

These professionals charge by the hour and costs can vary. Geriatric care managers can be quite expensive because Medicare, Medicaid and most private health insurers don’t cover this service.

If you’re interested in getting a care manager, though, there are a few different ways to find one.

Your doctor or other health care provider might provide recommendations. Alternatively, you can reach out to the Aging Life Care Association by calling 520-881-8008 or visiting their website.

If you do go on to interview a geriatric care provider, be sure to ask key questions so you and your family can rest well knowing you’re in good hands.

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