A Lifesaver: The Geriatric Care Manager

by Elizabeth Q. Boehmcke, Esq.

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So you came home for the Holidays and discovered that Mom and/or Dad are having lots more problems caring for themselves than they had let on and you begin to panic. You think, “I live two (five, ten) hours away, and there is no way I can provide the daily or weekly assistance they need.” Or worse, “I need to place my parent in a facility soon, and I have no idea where or how to start.” The problem of caring for aging parents who live a distance away can be overwhelming. However, a good place to start is with a professional geriatric care manager located in the town in which your parents reside.

A professional geriatric care manager can be a lifesaver who brings a team approach to caring for the elderly. Beginning with a comprehensive assessment of the senior’s needs and goals, the professional geriatric care manager makes a care plan in consultation with the family to address those needs and goals. He or she can provide seniors and families with education about locally-available resources that can help maintain a senior’s independence at home or can assist with quality placement in a facility. Their local experience and knowledge about available facilities can help narrow placement options by matching an individual’s needs to the strengths of a particular placement option. In addition, a professional geriatric care manager can provide on-going monitoring of home care services and the continued safety/advisability of the senior remaining in his/her home, can provide recommendations as to social activities and resources that may be appropriate for the senior, and can keep the family informed as to changes in the senior’s needs and circumstances as time goes on. Finally, a professional geriatric care manager can also provide the client and the family with referrals to appropriate professionals for necessary legal and medical advice in connection with the client’s care.

Professional geriatric care managers can be certified by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). To be certified by the NAPGCM, the individual must be certified either as a Care Manager by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, a Case Manager by the Commission for Case Manager Certification, an Advanced Social Work Case Manager by the National Association of Social Workers, or a Social Worker Case Manager by the National Association of Social Workers. At Hook Law Center, we work locally with several geriatric care managers who are certified by the NAPGCM and are proud to be part of a team approach that works well for our clients and their families.

Kit Kat

Ask Kit Kat:  Kitty Cafés

Hook Law Center: Kit Kat, what are kitty cafés?

Kit Kat: Well, that is a fun one to answer. It’s a relatively new thing in the United States, but they are already in existence in other countries like Japan and France. What’s happening here is kind of neat. Cat lovers have discovered a way around the food inspection rules, and are able to separate the food areas from the cat areas to have them co-exist. So in late October of 2014, Cat Town Café and Adoption Center opened in Oakland, CA. The owners, Ann Dunn and Adam Myatt, love cats and wanted to help them. At their café, they serve coffee, bagels and vegan fig nut pop tarts. When customers finish their snacks, they can go to the cat area which is separated from the food area by glass doors. There the cats lounge freely on carpeted posts, tree-like structures, or cat beds. None are caged. People can interact with the cats, and decide whether or not they would like to adopt one or more. There is a fee of $50 to adopt one cat, $75 for two, or a cat with health issues is free. You can even return the cat if it turns out he/she is not a good fit for you, whatever the reason. They predict that at least 300 cats will be adopted by the time of the café’s one-year anniversary.

Since Cat Town Café and Adoption Center opened, other similar cafés have opened in Naples, FL and in Denver. More are planned for San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. In New York City, the Meow Parlour recently opened. They make cat visitation be appointment. Within their first 20 hours, 1,000 appointments had been booked–so many their website crashed. There clearly is a need for city dwellers, especially, to have contact with living things. Unfortunately, many apartments do not allow pets, so with the cat cafés, people at least can get cat contact, even if it is somewhat limited. Or there was the case of a Swedish tourist at the Cat Town Café in Oakland, who came in with her inhaler. She loves cats, but is allergic to them. She can tolerate some contact, but not the amount of time required by a cat owner.

It’s so wonderful to hear news like this! Cats are terrific, and they deserve to be well cared for! (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/us/california-cat-cafe-spurs-adoptions.html?ref=us)

Upcoming Events

  • January 22, 2015 – Andrew H. Hook will be speaking to the Portsmouth Community Criminal Justice Board in Portsmouth, Virginia regarding how the aging population may affect the court system.
  • January 29 – 31, 2015 – Andrew H. Hook will be attending the NAELA Summit in Newport Beach, California.
  • February 3, 2015 – Andrew H. Hook will be speaking at King’s Grant House regarding Long-term Care Insurance.
  • February 7, 2015 – Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro will be speaking to the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads’ Baby Play Group.
  • February 10, 2015 – Andrew H. Hook will be teaching a continuing legal education seminar to personal injury attorneys on “Protecting Your Client’s Settlement Using Trusts.”
  • February 20-21, 2015 – Andrew H. Hook will be speaking on Managing a Small Law Firm at the 2015 VAELA UnProgram in Charlottesville, VA.
  • August 12, 2015 – Andrew H. Hook will be speaking to a group at Maryview Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • August 21, 2015 – Andrew H. Hook will be speaking to a group at DePaul Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • August 27, 2015 – Andrew H. Hook will be speaking to a group at Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, Virginia.

Special Announcement 

The Hook Law Center, a leader in the field of Elder Law, serving Hampton Roads, is seeking an experienced Elder Law attorney. The firm has an AV Martindale rating, offices in both Virginia Beach and Suffolk, and attorneys who have held leadership positions in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Special Needs Alliance, and the Virginia Bar Association. The ideal candidate will have expertise in public benefits,guardianshipspecial needs planningestate planning, taxation, and trust & estate administration. The candidate must also have excellent writing, research, and communication skills.  Our goal is to attract an attorney who will work collaboratively with our experienced staff, provide  consistent, high-quality client service, strive to improve his or her skills and seek relevant certifications, and is motivated to continue the success of our firm. Membership in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys or certification in Elder Law or Financial Planning is desirable. Please send resume and references to Sandra Buhr, Office Administrator, at sbuhr@hooklawcenter.com.

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