Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Networking To Find Professional Geriatric Social Workers And Senior Care Managers And Consultants

Time To Make A Change For A Parent Who Is Declining In Health

Mom and dad might as well have owned two separate condos because keeping them together under one roof was a real Vaudeville act for me and my sibs.  Sometimes my sister's really believed that my mother's early deafness was to tune out her Archie Bunker-esque husband, our dad. When mom passsed away, the condo got very quiet. Dad's health declined and his spirit plummeted.
The early signs of dementia began to kick in as dad could no longer understand how to pay his bills or how to cook for himself, or what day it was in the week.

Dehydration Common In Elderly Who Are Living Alone With Dementia

It became clear after a few trips to the emergency room and an overnight stay in the hospital for dehydration that dad no longer  could live alone at home. The challenge however, was how to care for dad long distance with limited income to help pay for home health aides. The money was running out and the clock was ticking and the decision had to be made whether dad was to remain far away from his family or to be relocated closer to one of his daughters.

Who Do You Call For Help For An Aging Parent?

Who do you turn to when you are trying to figure out how to plan for care, housing and finances for an elderly parent?  Often family members turn to the internet and begin by calling government or regional agencies on aging.
This step for many generally provides lots of information but also a lot of confusion and roadblocks.   Looking back at the process, I will tell you that I wasted a lot of precious time spinning my wheels trying to get help with eldercare issues.

When You Have To Move An Aging Parent Long Distance

If I was turning the clock back, I would have initially looked for a well qualified private professional Geriatric Care Manager or Senior Care Consultant or Social Worker/Nurse skilled in Gerontology or Geriatrics. who really knew the community resources and services in the area that my dad lived in.  And if the decision was made to move dad from his hometown, I would have engaged the services of someone in the region I wanted to move him to. But here is the big do you find a very experienced and knowledgeable person?

Learning More About Who You Hire As A Senior Consultant 

Now, I should point out that professionals who work in this area of Senior consultation can come from different clinical and professional backgrounds. Please read my article "Who Do You Call When You Need Help With Aging Parents" to learn more about this topic.

Here are some tips about:

Networking To Find Senior Care Consultants to help with housing options, community resources, downsizing and other Older Adult - Senior issues.

These tips go beyond searching on the internet, this is what I call walk the beat networking.

1. Ask neighbors and property managers in the condo / apartment complex your loved one lives in to  learn about local Senior Care managers or consultants they have worked with.

2. Network with the home health aides of neighbors to learn more about who to consult (they often work for agencies nearby who may have knowledge of professional Senior care managers or Geriatric Social workers and nurses). Take a stroll outside and you will often see aides shopping and taking walks.

3. Talk to staff and members of a local Church or Synagogue.

4. Contact a popular local Assisted Living facililty nearby  and ask them if they work with any private Senior Care Managers. Ask for the Nursing or Social Work department.

5. Contact large Home Health agencies and ask for professisonal Senior Care Manager referrals. Many facillites have on staff consultants who can be helpful. (Aor large agencies ask to speak to their Nursing or Social Work department).

6. Ask local elderlaw attorneys and physicians for community referrals of professional Geriatric Care managers and consultants.

7. A good resource is the  National Association of Professional Care Managers but keep in mind that not everyone who does this type of work belongs to this organization.  And you might find limited options of referrrals from this group in your particualr area. You still may want to network to see whose name comes up over and over again.

 Readers please add your suggestions in the comment section, we would love to hear from you.

If you need help regarding Senior Care Services and Eldercare contact my friend Sheri Morris MSW, ACSW, LCSW a very experienced Geriatric Social Worker. Her website is My Senior Care Connection.  

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists


  1. Dianne, this information is so valuable! I'm glad you are addressing it here. There is so much confusing info out there and it's hard to know where to start! Thank You!

  2. This is all such a gut wrenching one knows how hard any of this until they have to go through it...I think your resource suggestions are excellent... There are others groups as well, such as - Professional Fiduciary Associations, these I believe vary state by state...Good Luck