Unless we get bad news at the next pet scan, mom will be going back home in September/October. :-D We plan to hire a geriatric care manager (GCM), and mom mostly agrees. My question is how to do this as I am 1,000 miles away from where she lives. My concern is that if she goes back without someone in place and/or a process to get someone, it won't happen. She currently has a very mild cognitive impairment, but is mostly physically healthy. She is fine to live independently, so long as there is no medical crisis.

Are my expectations reasonable? Is here something else that I should take into consideration? This is my plan:

1. Research possible GCMs on-line. See if we can find any recommendations for Tucson from anyone we know.

2. Determine what services we need now, and what our needs may be in the future.

3. Shortlist possible GCMs and do reference checks.

4. Set up in-person appointments for when mom and I (or sibling) get to Tucson.

Maybe we should do phone interviews and review contracts before returning to Tucson?

thanks in advance.

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I agree with the Skype interview suggestion and want to add I would interview three at least, if you have that many available to you. It's important to have a good personality fit. The specialist we chose expressed a strong opinion that the elder should make their own decisions until they could not safely do that anymore. Another was much more in favor of making the decisions for them. "We'll get the job done even if I have to 'fib'." I don't think either of those approaches is particularly wrong, but one was definitely a better fit for the people we are trying to help.

One of the three I interviewed was less expensive per hour and would be compensated by the services she directed us to if we chose to use them. I was less comfortable with that than someone paid only by the hour.
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modernbird Aug 13, 2018
Marcia, thank you. Great information. I had no idea that not all would be fiduciaries. I would not be comfortable either with someone getting compensated by services. Personality is key for my mom. She'll have to really like the person.

I hope that you don't mind a couple more questions:
How did you find your specialist?
What was the hourly rate or was there a different contract structure for services?
How did you check references?

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You will still have to find an agency to have a home companion. Does she need help with meals, driving to appointments that may increase over time? Can she self medicate with reminders? Who will fill pill boxes since her state may not allow a companion to take medication responsibilities. What will happen when she gets weak and needs assisted living? Is there a plan in place to find a bed and fill out paperwork?

These are questions to see who will be responsible. I am not sure if those duties are part of a GCM.
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anonymous594015 Aug 13, 2018
Our Aging Life Specialist was on top of all of these issues. She reviewed what medications were being taken and how and by whom they were being dispensed. She is taking care of finding the helpers and of finding ways to pay for them. She knew when we needed to have companion care and when that had to be escalated to personal care. She did all the paperwork to apply for Medicaid (saving thousands of dollars over having the lawyer do it). She handles problems with bills at the hospital or with the ambulance. She goes to the doctor appointments with our LO and let's us know what is being done or reviewed. She can express our questions and concerns to the doctor for us.

I think it's worth every cent to hire a specialist.
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It is the "from a distance" that is confusing.
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modernbird Aug 12, 2018
Sorry, i'm not trying to be confusing. Mom is with me and sibling now, in a city on the east coast. We need to hire someone in Arizona, where mom will return by October (fingers crossed).
Start your search here

They are now called Aging Life Care Specialists. There is formal education and certification. Request resumes, Skype interview, then a trip to Tucson for interview with mom present. If you are POA, I certainly would not delegate this choice to another.

O n another thread, just a couple of weeks ago, you state mom is living with you. What happened?
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modernbird Aug 12, 2018
She's still living with me. She moved in after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis - which turned out not to be pancreatic cancer!!!!!!!!! So we're back to her normal craziness (which is very real) plus a new memory issue. Meds are still out of wack because the changes the oncologist made after the cancer diagnosis, but we are working on it. It's been a long 6 weeks having her here, and she won't leave until sometime in September, once we know the scan is clear.

Thanks for the advice. I hadn't even thought of a skype or facetime interview.
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