Baby Boomers Reconfigure the World of Geriatric Care Management

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Geriatric Care Managers can provide expert guidance to plan for the challenges of aging.

The cost is more than offset if it prevents even one serious problem from occurring.

As people age they may become vulnerable to a host of threats, from health and safety issues to financial fraud and physical abuse. Yet most people resist the notion of being cared for or "managed." According to Peggy Flynn, MA, Geriatric Care Manager and author of 'The Caregiving Zone', "People may compromise basic needs such as bathing, cleaning or paying bills in order to maintain their autonomy."

Ms. Flynn's experience of caring for over 400 elderly and chronically ill patients over the past 25 years led her to develop a proactive method of geriatric care management based on collaborative planning to prevent crises from occurring. She advocates honest communication and comprehensive assessment early in the aging process to identify potential risks, prepare for coming challenges, and create strategies for meeting those challenges. Her focus is on ensuring the client's health and safety, maintaining autonomy and dignity, and using financial resources effectively.

She conducts a series of interviews with a client, completing a series of assessments to identify current and potential problems. She then provides feedback about aspects of the client's current situation that require immediate attention, a forecast of future needs, and a plan to meet those needs to ensure the client's well-being and autonomy. Clients can share the final report as they wish, providing a basis for informed discussion among family and friends.

She may return at least once each month to determine what needs may have changed. "This regularity can be very important," she explains. "If a client stops opening mail and paying bills, or if he has become a victim of some kind of abuse, it's far better to discover this in the first month, rather than after six months or a year, when a lot of damage may have already occurred."

The initial planning process takes about 25 hours and costs $3,000. Follow-up visits are $90 each. If other assistance is required, she can provide referrals. "The cost is more than offset if it prevents even one serious problem from occurring."

For additional information on Geriatric Care Management and resources on caregiving for the elderly and chronically ill, visit http://www.thecaregivingzone.org.

About Peggy Flynn, MA:
Peggy Flynn, MA, Executive Director of the Good Death Institute, has over 25 years of experience caring for hundreds of elderly and terminally ill people. In 2007 she received a national Jefferson Award in recognition of her community and public service.

Contact:
Peggy Flynn, MA
218 First St.
Santa Cruz CA 95060
tel: 415.236.1691
http://www.thecaregivingzone.org

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Peggy Flynn, MA

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