Soft approach with certified and trained gerontologist
In this case we try to go in softly. The first thing is for our certified gerontologist to visit with her to get to know her and understand her needs as much as possible. Sometimes it turns out that there are other issues or requirements that we discover during these initial assessments, like safety issues in the home, underlying medical conditions, physical limitations or a situation in which specialized equipment could make a big difference.
Sometimes we find that seniors are able to open up to a trained gerontologist about their needs in a way that is difficult to express to their children. The gerontologist can use the assessment not only to assess the needs of the client, but also to educate them about what services are available and help them feel comfortable with taking the major step of asking for help.
Customized plan with carefully selected caregiver
The gerontologist works with the client to develop a plan to provide the support they need, which can vary widely depending on the needs of each individual.
A key aspect of the plan is to find a caregiver who is a great fit on a personal level in terms of shared interests, humor and personality. A great way to do this is to give the senior the option to meet several caregivers and choose someone who they feel a connection to. It is important that the first visit goes well, so often the gerontologist will supervise and stay in contact with both the caregiver and the client during the first few visits to make sure that a good rapport is established.
Good communication, with the family, the client and the client’s doctor.
The client’s needs often change over time, and an important aspect of the plan of care is that the gerontologist stays in touch with the client. What we find is that the level and types of care required change over time. For example, if the client becomes sick, they may require extra care for a few days; or if they have surgery they may require nursing support during the recovery period.
An important aspect of every case is good communication, with the family, the client and the client’s doctor. This can be especially helpful when the children are out-of-state or being pulled in other directions by career and their children’s needs.