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4 ways to manage geriatric care

Do your research when seeking the answers to your health care questions.

Geriatric care includes a wide variety of options and players. Here are a few things you need to know about health-care management for aging patients.

1. Assess the real need You need a base, or a place to start, when it comes to determining the geriatric care path for yourself or a loved one. After all, you might not need a full home renovation project for your aging parent if he or she is still pretty active (though a new entertainment center is always a nice addition.) So before making plans, find out where you or your loved one is in the level of care necessary.

2. Research what’s available At every point in our lives, we have different medical needs. Sometimes, we don’t even know the resources available to us during those times. With the number of Americans aging, the services and programs are growing as well. Sitting down with a health-care professional — particularly one well versed in geriatric health-care management — and discussing the tools, programs and options available can really help now and down the road.

3. Find a geriatric-care manager While you might already have a selection of physicians and specialists on your team, you might want to consider bringing in one additional member — a geriatric-care manager. A geriatric-care manager is a specialist who can guide you through all the care and decisions you will be facing. Even as you age, you might find you need another person in your corner such as a geriatric-care manager.

4. Keep it social As we age, many of us tend to slip into isolation. Having a network of friends and allies does more than just give us somebody to talk to (though that’s very important); it also ensures we have somebody looking out for us or our loved ones. Those extra eyes — such as a neighbor or a church friend — can alert you or another caregiver about a potential problem. So as we age, it’s important to foster those social interactions and friendships.

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