Elder Care Managers Help Families Navigate Services
Elder care managers are "emerging to bridge the gap between far-off relatives and aging parents who may be overwhelmed by the labyrinth of medical and other services designed to help the aged and infirm survive in their own homes," the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to the Times, elder care managers hire nurses, social workers and counselors who "assess a troubled situation, then make referrals or help arrange needed services" for patients. However, the cost of elder care managers might "be an issue for some families," with fees that range from $75 per hour to $250 per hour, the Times reports.
Some experts also raise concerns because the quality and qualifications vary among elder care managers and because the industry lacks adequate regulation. In response, the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers seeks to develop quality standards for the industry (Peterson, Los Angeles Times, 1/6).
There needs to be a "shift in focus and in resource allotments ... in the near future to accommodate" the "overwhelming preference for home care" among elderly patients, Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
According to the Star Tribune, despite the recent growth of the home elder care industry, the "infrastructure ... is not yet in place to handle this coming age wave of American retirees."
A 1999 Supreme Court decision mandated that the "elderly and disabled have the right to enjoy care in the least-restrictive environment possible," but the "funding of the infrastructure needed to support" the decision "has not followed," the Star Tribune reports. However, new technology, such as telehealth systems, offers "ways to make home care more time-efficient and cost-effective," according to the Star Tribune (Johnson, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1/6).