In recent years, we’ve seen more and more integration of geriatric care management practices into home health care.

Like the small-town doctors of the past, whose support, caring, dedication, and wisdom often transcended the practice of medicine, home care agencies have become a place families bring not only questions about home care, but questions and concerns on a wide range of issues related to the challenges of aging families. Many of these questions and concerns are best responded to from a framework of geriatric care management.

Professional senior care management is a client-centered approach to caring for seniors and/or the disabled. The geriatric care manager serves as a guide and advocate for the family who is caring for an older or disabled family member. The care manager addresses issues that have been left undone or are causing stress, through targeted assessments of the senior, monitoring, planning, and problem-solving. As a neutral party, geriatric care managers can sometimes bring together parties whose communication has deteriorated as a result of the stress of caring for an aging family member.

Family Resource Home Care has been at the forefront of this trend. Founder and CEO David Lawrence was one of the first home care agency owners in Washington State to become a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). Last year Vice President of Client Care, Sheila McKannay, earned her Care Manager Certified (CMC) certification, and since that time her increased level of expertise has proven invaluable to clients and their families.

Looking at home care through the eyes of a care manager has helped Family Resource see beyond simply meeting the immediate needs of the client. We help families consider the big picture and what will help them meet their goals for both the short and long-term. Sheila’s experience and training is especially valuable in the more complex situations where the family must consider a variety of options involving emotional, financial, health, lifestyle, and care issues.

Family Resource also works with many wonderful independent geriatric care managers in the Western Washington area, especially in very complex, specialized, or intensive family situations. These care managers often have a particular area of expertise such as mental health, complex medical needs, or family counseling. They also help families with such issues as housing, referrals to elder law attorneys and financial planners, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, as well as other state and federal programs, and assessing safety and security concerns. For more information about geriatric care management go to the website of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers