Do I need a Professional Geriatric Care Manager?

Well, let’s start by defining what a Professional Geriatric Care Manager (PGCM) is.  PGCMs are experts such as social workers, counselors, gerontologists and nurses who specialize in elder care. Their job is to help the elderly attain the highest quality of life possible. They are knowledgeable about a wide range of specific local and national resources.

Signs that you may need a Professional Geriatric Care Manager

Wondering if your family could benefit from the services of a PGCM? Consider the list below.

  • You notice your parents’ mail or garbage accumulating.
  • You find spoiled food in the refrigerator or not properly stored.
  • You discover unpaid bills.
  • You notice changes in personal hygiene or presentation, including poor nail care.
  • You are concerned about medication management.
  • There are changes in meal preparation and eating habits.
  • There seems to be inadequate hydration.
  • Pets are not being cared for properly.
  • You see a decline in driving abilities, coordination, or reflexes.
  • You notice short-term memory loss.
  • You are distracted at work, missing work or using paid time off to care for a loved one.

If you resonate with the items on this check list, you may benefit from a PGCM. Please contact us to set up an assessment and consultation with your family. Call us today at (505) 897-3009 or Toll-free at (866) 997-3009, we are here to help. 

 

 

The GCM/SR Newsletter — November — Make Thanksgiving a time everyone will give thanks for!

 
Tips for hosting elderly guests at Thanksgiving 

Are you hosting your family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year? Although this holiday is meant to be a fun and festive time, it can also be a stressful one, especially for the host.One of the stresses comes from trying to accommodate all of the members of your family, especially if you are entertaining a mixed age group. If you are planning to invite elderly guests to your table, read on for tips to make it a special time that everyone will enjoy together.
Ask ahead about dietary needs
As people age, their diets can become more restricted due to various health concerns. Your elderly guests may need to follow a low-sodium, low-potassium, or low-fat diet. While thinking over dietary restrictions, don’t forget to consider which appetizers they can eat keeping in mind that they may also have trouble swallowing and need to avoid certain foods and textures. Some elders require thickened liquids to avoid aspiration. Once you know which restrictions you are dealing with, head to websites like Food.com or Allrecipes.com to find delicious variations on classic recipes that everyone can enjoy. In any case, knowing about restrictions ahead of time means that you can be sure that there are enough foods for everyone to enjoy.The seating chart

Whether you plan a formal seating chart for holiday meals, or everyone just finds a seat when it’s time to eat, make sure your older guests are seated at or near the ends of the table. Seniors often need more time to get in and out of a seated position, and may also need to visit the restroom more frequently. By placing them at the end of the table, you will save them the embarrassment of causing a disruption.You may also want to consider your guest’s eyesight and place them where there will be enough light for them to see well. A candlelit meal may feel warm and comforting to you, but to an older person with poor vision it could make eating a challenge. If you are eating earlier in the day, be sure that windows don’t cause glare, as this can also affect their ability to see their food and other guests well. Considering your older guest’s needs and making accommodations accordingly, will go a long way toward making them feel comfortable and relaxed.Serve the early-bird special 
If your usual plan is to spend Thanksgiving watching football and socializing while your turkey cooks until seven or eight, you might want to rethink that plan this year. Older folks tend to follow a schedule where they rise early, eat early, and go to bed early. Do a little asking before the big day to find out when they usually eat, and try to adjust your holiday meal accordingly.Create a back-up plan
Don’t forget to ask about physical limitations that may make eating at the table a challenge. Depending on the size and location of your dining room table, you may need to make other arrangements for you guest to enjoy his meal.
It’s a good idea to have tray tables on hand in the event that sitting at the table is difficult because of the height of your table, or restricted space around it. If a tray table is needed, be sure that your older guest isn’t left alone to eat while the rest of the family sits around the table.

If there is time sitting watching TV or visiting in the living room before dinner, elders do better sitting on firm surfaces than sinking into a soft sofa. Good back support and a solid sitting surface are important as well, and chairs with arms to assist when standing or sitting are best.

Another consideration to keep in mind is the elder’s ability to cut food. If they need help, you might pre-cut the elder’s food in the kitchen rather than assisting them at the table. This will help them to enjoy their meal without feeling embarrassed, avoid calling attention to themselves, and enabling them to eat independently. It’s an easy way to demonstrate respect as well as preserve the person’s dignity.

Spark up some conversation
It can be easy to inadvertently ignore your elderly guests, or think that they are included and hearing everything when in actuality, they are not. Be sensitive to the elder’s ability to hear the conversation and help other guests to be mindful of the importance of enunciation and speed of speech. The wonderful communal feeling we have around the table at Thanksgiving is the perfect time to ask them to share stories and lessons from years past. Taking the time to include them in the conversation around the table can prove memorable to all over the years. Not sure where to start? Check out this article from eCaring.com to find some great conversation starters.

Remember it is the host’s job to make sure that everyone is comfortable and having a good time, and that means making sure everyone feels included. Planning ahead with your oldest dinner guests in mind ensures a day filled with fun, laughter and great conversation– a day everyone will be thankful for.

Featured Silver Runner Outing
Wild Rumpus: A Tribute to Maurice Sendak
Pop Gallery Santa Fe

Date: Sunday, December 1
TIme: 11am-4pm
Event Fee: $75
Register by: November 25
Transportation, snacks and beverages, accompaniment by a Mobility Manager and ticket to the exhibit included
Call 505.872.0451 or visit our website for more information about this and other upcoming events.

Get vaccinated and have a happy holiday.

For a happy, healthy holiday, be sure to get your flu shot. Learn more.

 

The GCM/SR Newsletter — September — Power of Attorney (P.O.A) vs. Guardianships

Power of Attorney (P.O.A) vs Guardianships

Written by Kimberly Gyle, MSW, MSG, CMC, Care Manager and Director of Special Projects

Basic differences between Power of Attorney and Guardianship

In the course of our work in helping families and loved ones plan for the future, one question that is frequently asked is what is the difference between a Power of Attorney for Health Careand a Guardianship.

An important difference between a power of attorney and a guardianship is that a person can delegate who will act as his or her power of attorney (agent), whereas a court proceeding is needed to appoint a guardian.

In principle, a power of attorney is a legal document where one person authorizes another (an agent) to act on their behalf.  The agent has the powers to make decisions regarding your health care needs.  The person executing the Power of Attorney for Health care can choose if your agent has the ability to make decisions for you now and if you become incompetent or the agent can have the decision making powers when you become incompetent only.  When the Power of Attorney is being executed, the person executing the document must be competent at the time.  If the person is not competent, then a guardianship may be necessary. A Power of Attorney can be revoked at any time.   When you choose an agent, you should tell the agent your preferences regarding your health care and preferred living arrangements if you should become incapacitated. Because the court system is not involved, it is both simpler and cheaper for some one to execute a Power of Attorney.

A guardianship is a legal relationship where the court gives a person (a family member, friend or a professional corporate guardian) the power to make personal decisions.  The Guardian makes decisions about and oversees the proper living conditions and treatment for the protected person.   These powers are very broad.  This may not be a person you may have wanted to make decisions for yourself.  An attorney files the petition requesting the guardianship and explaining why.  The appropriate documentation from a qualified health careprofessional is necessary to establish the need for a guardianship.   A court makes the final decision whether an individual is unable to properly manage (lacks capacity) or take care of him/herself.  This person is commonly referred to as the Ward or Protected Person.  The court does oversee the activities of the Guardian through the review of the Guardian’s annual report.   The court is the only party that can terminate the Guardianship.

There is much confusion among health care systems about who is required to make a healthcare decision like admission to a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, who consents to medical treatment, etc.  A Guardian takes precedent over a power of attorney.  If the person is capacitated, that means they are in charge of their own decisions.  Even though a power of attorney document exists, the person is still in charge of making their own decisions and signing their own consent forms unless they choose to delegate this due to illness or preference.

For more information
National Guardianship Association:  www.Guardianship.org.
New Mexico Guardianship Associationwww.nmgaresourcecenter.org.
If you are interested in learning more and live in the State of New Mexico, we recommend you purchase a copy of “Life Planning in New Mexico” written by former Probate Judge, Merri Rudd, JD and Shannon Bulman, JD.  You may order the book at www.abogadapress.com.

Next SilverRunner OutingNM Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society Open HouseSee the restoration of a huge steam locomotive that will power excursion train trips through NM. Come see the New Mexico railroad history exhibit, a World War II railroad video presentation and the BNSF Railway Harvey Girls Society.Date: Saturday, September 28, 2013 (1:00-­4:00) Event Fee: $65 Fee Includes: Transportation, Snacks and Beverages, Accompaniment by a Mobility Manager, & Entry to the Open HouseRegister by: September 21, 2013

Join us for the WALK to End Alzheimer’s on September 21st! You can also donate on-line to theSilverRunners team!

Copyright © 2013 GCM, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
2730 San Pedro NE
Suite E
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 897-3009
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The GCM/SR Newsletter — August — Walk with us! 2013 Alzheimer’s Walk

Dementia: Make the most of each moment
For people with dementia, life is sometimes like a blended fruit smoothie. Once there were distinct fruits–objects that had meaning, flavor and importance–but now they all whirl around, their flavors mixing together, no longer distinct. It can be scary and unsettling.
If dementia is part of your life, you might be feeling lost, but you are not alone. There are millions of others dealing with the same struggle.
“It is estimated that 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 10 men, who live past the age of 55 will develop dementia in their lifetime.” (Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention.)
A dementia diagnoses is life changing, but there are some things that you can do to make the most of every day with the ones you love.
Strong body, strong mind  
Exercise is especially important for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Physical activity can help to promote strength and prevent complications that come from an inactive lifestyle. Exercise also helps to regulate circadian rhythm and improves mood.
“Repetitive exercises — such as walking, indoor bicycling, and activities such as folding laundry — may decrease anxiety in people with Alzheimer’s disease because they don’t have to make decisions about the activity or remember what to do next.” (WebMD.)
And for those who carry the gene that increases their chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a physically and mentally active lifestyle may even help to ward-off the onset.
“In one study, scientists found that a history of exercise seemed to fend off brain damage in people who carry a gene that is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. A second study concluded that people who keep their minds active throughout their lives have lower amounts of a protein that forms the beta amyloid plaques, which are a hallmark of the disease.” (AARP)
Live in the moment
We all want life to be meaningful, enjoyable and stimulating—dementia doesn’t change this. To make the most of your interactions, consider planning ahead with these things in mind:
1. Take on useful tasks—even small ones like buttering bread, sweeping or raking.
2. Live in the moment—it doesn’t matter if the moment is quickly forgotten, find ways to relax and enjoy each minute together.
3. Break down tasks into simple steps, and communicate the steps one at a time.
4. Consider depth perception and attention issues and engage in activities in a clutter-free environment.
5. Find things that create positive feelings like holding babies or pets, looking at photos or listening to music.
Dementia can rob us of memory, but it doesn’t have to take all the joy out of life. You can still have enjoyable moments, and those moments create meaning.
Silver Runners Walk to End Alzheimer’s
At GCM, we see the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease first-hand every day. That’s why on Saturday, September 21, we invite you to  join our team,  SilverRunners,  in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
The Albuquerque WALK will be held at Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza at 9:30 a.m. GCM will participate under the team name, SilverRunners. Come join the staff of Geriatric Care Management and The Silver Runner and/or make a donation toward this very important cause. Visit our team page to learn more about how you can help.
If you are struggling with the difficulties of dementia, know that you are not alone.  GCM is here to support you. We know how difficult every-day tasks can be, and how overwhelming care giving can feel. Please email or call us today at (505) 897-3009 to discuss our services and how we can help.

August Featured Outing:
Titanic Exhibit
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
This exhibit features authentic artifacts recovered from the wreck site of the world’s most famous sunken ocean liner. Visitors can experience accurate recreations of the Ship’s interior and can even experience the true nature of an iceberg.
August 21, 2013 1:00-3:00
Event Fee: $80.00 (two minimum)
Fee Includes: Entrance fee to the museum, Guided tour of exhibit, Transportation to and from exhibit, Snacks and Beverages, and accompaniment by a Mobility Manager.
Register By: August 14th, 2013 by calling us at 505-872-0451

If you have a loved one with memory loss and are trying to determine how to care for them at home or what to consider to look for an alternative to home, call Geriatric Care Management and schedule a consultation.

Copyright © 2013 GCM, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
2730 San Pedro NE
Suite E
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 897-3009
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

The GCM/SR Newsletter — July — Senior Independence Starts Here!

Senior Independence Starts Here
Fireworks, picnics and family are all things that come to mind as we celebrate our nation’s independence. But if you are a senior, you may be thinking of another kind of independence as well–personal independence.

 

Growing older can make self-care more difficult than it once was. Things that you have always taken for granted, may become more of a challenge with age. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up living independently. There are things that you can do to help maintain your independent lifestyle, and there are services available to help.

 

Stay active 
Everyone needs regular activity and exercise to stay healthy, and seniors are no exception. Exercise can prevent or delay disease, improve your mood, and increase your ability to manage stress. Low-impact exercises are often the best choice to help avoid injury, especially when coupled with weight-bearing exercises.

 

To maintain heart health, try including exercises that get your heart pumping such as swimming, brisk walking or tennis. For better balance, stretch often and consider adding yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi to your regimen. And for increased strength, add elastic resistance bands or dumbbells to your workout.

 

Remember to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise routine to determine the perfect plan for you. And consider inviting a friend to do it along with you for company and motivation. You might even want to sign up for an exercise class or gym membership together. You will both benefit from regular exercise, and will be amazed at how you come to enjoy and look forward to working out.

 

Stay smart

 

The phrase “use it or lose it” can certainly be applied to brain health, especially as we age. Scientists don’t fully understand what happens to our brains as we age, but one thing is certain: regular use helps to prevent memory loss and can even help to prevent and slow the affects of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. The Mayo Clinic Study on Aging found that reading books (in addition to other cognitive activities) can lead to a 50 percent decrease in your chances of developing dementia. So crack open a book and try other activities such as puzzles, playing an instrument or painting to keep your brain in top form.

 

Stay mobile 

 

Walkers, Wheelchairs and canes may make it trickier to get around than it used to be, but don’t let that stop you. The key is to think of this equipment as a new way to maintain your mobility rather than a challenge that prevents it. Think through the logistics and add the necessary home equipment, such as ramps and stair lifts, to make mobility easier for you.

 

If you are no longer comfortable with driving, consider usingThe Silver Runner Transportation Services to get you towhere you need to go. It allows seniors to enjoy independence through mobility, and The Silver Runner’s”door-thru-door” service removes the obstacles that might otherwise be isolating. Frequent Silver Runner Rider, Dr. Layman stated, “I have found that the company is staffed with intelligent and pleasant people who are well trained and know their jobs very well…  It is very reassuring to me to be able to make an appointment, be it for a doctor’sappointment or a haircut.  Each ride or outing has been handled to my satisfaction and in a pleasant manner.  I will continue to use The Silver Runner services with confidence in the future.”

 

The Silver Runner can also be a wonderful way for you to help care for a spouse or family member who needs mobility assistance. When asked how The Silver Runner impacts her life, Mrs. Charnas commented that, “These services provide rest and release for me from my care-giving responsibilities, relief for both myself and my husband…from the otherwise pretty constant close connection that is this stage of our life, and the security of knowing that when I’m away someone responsible, capable and experienced is minding the store.” 

 

As you remember our country’s great day of independence, don’t forget to consider ways to keep yourself and your loved ones independent as well. Growing older doesn’t have to mean a decrease in quality of life. Take action today to maintain your mental and physical strength, and look for new ways to stay connected and mobile. And if transportation challenges are preventing you from getting where you need to go, call The Silver Runner Transportation Services at 505-872-0451 to find the assistance you need to stay independent.

The Silver Runner Announces the July Featured Outing

Contact us for a full outing list!
The Pajama Game at Musical Theatre Southwest
An Evening of Musical Theatre Comedy
The dangers of a workplace romance are explored to hysterical effect in this romantic comedy. Conditions at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory are anything but peaceful, as sparks fly between new superintendent and the leader of the union grievance committee. For solid, classic musical comedy, it’s hard to beat The Pajama Game.
July 28, 2013 3:00-7:00
Event Fee: $125 (2 Minimum)
Fee Includes: Transportation to and from the show, accompaniment by a Mobility Manager, Snacks and Beverages, and Entrance to the show.
register by July 17th

Do you need assistance planning or problem solving or have health care issues and need assistance navigating services or providers? If so, contact GCM for a consultation at 505-897-3009.

The GCM/SR Newsletter — June — Father’s Day Reflections

Father’s Day Reflections
By Lora Zommer 

As Father’s Day approached, we grasped the opportunity to reach out to our GCM and Silver Runner clients and their families and ask them to share memories relating to fatherhood. Their stories were touching, entertaining and, even more importantly, they enabled us to see our clients in ways we had not before.

 

As you can imagine, we tend to become acquainted with our clients later in their lives. By the time we get to know them, they have accumulated decades of life experiences, established distinguished careers, and accomplished much, both personally and professionally. While we appreciate and respect these aspects of our clients’ lives, we realized that seeing our clients through the eyes of their children and hearing them tell stories of raising their children offered us new and richer perspectives. In fact, it enabled us to see them in light-hearted, fun-filled ways and felt somewhat like flipping through a family photo album.

 

We thank our clients and their families for sharing their memories with us and for allowing us to share them here.

 

Martin Gutzwiller

 

GCM client Martin Gutzwiller is a theoretical physicist whose work, particularly in the area of quantum chaos, has earned international  recognition. In addition to receiving several prestigious awards, including the Dannie Heinemann prize of the American Physical Society and the Max-Planck Medal of the German Physical Society, he is the author of Chaos in Classical and Quantum Mechanics, a book that is familiar to many graduate students of physics and mathematics.

 

Although Dr. Gutzwiller spent most of his adult life in the United States, he was born and raised in Switzerland where Father’s Day is not recognized. So while Father’s Day celebrations were not a Gutzwiller family tradition, Dr. Gutzwiller’s daughters have many fond memories to share and their memories helped us to see Dr. Gutzwiller in a different light and to imagine him not just in a laboratory conducting important research, but in the great outdoors enjoying time with his family.

 

One of our favorite stories related to the very, and perhaps unintentionally, ambitious hikes that Dr. Gutzwiller often initiated. Dr. Gutzwiller and his wife loved hiking in the mountains, so they often took their daughters on family vacations in the Rockies or Grand Teton or Switzerland. Planned hikes usually followed the same general plan: on a typical day, the family would set out at 8:00 a.m. expecting to hike a round-trip distance of 10-12 miles accompanied by 3000 feet of elevation gain. By any standards, this constitutes a strenuous hike but the hikes usually ended somewhere scenic like a lake or mountain pass and so they were well worth the effort.

 

Once they reached their lovely destination the family would enjoy lunch and some well-deserved rest while anticipating the return hike. And it was during this time of rest and relaxation that the plan would change. Dr. Gutzwiller would first suggest that they go on a bit further or hike back via a different route. His suggestions always seemed like good ones and so the family hiked on . . . and on . . . and on . . . until their already strenuous 10–12 mile hike turned into an 18-22 mile hike with an additional 1000-or-so feet of elevation gain.

 

These hikes, which the girls affectionately referred to as “death marches” would conclude around 7:00 or 8:00 at night by which time they were sore, hobbling or limping and, and the same time, feeling very grateful for the beautiful mountain scenery they had experienced. Dr. Gutzwiller’s daughter Patricia remembers that, “It really became a signature thing to do with my dad – wondering what ridiculous outing we were going to do this time!”

 

 

Doug Layman

 

One of our regular Silver Runner clients, Dr. Doug Layman, is the retired Staff Anesthesiologist of Presbyterian Hospital. He also served as Chief Medical Officer of the Day Surgical Unit, was the President of the NM State Medical Society and recipient of Presbyterian Hospital’s Chief of Medical Staff award. We know him as a stately, well-humored gentleman who calls upon the Silver Runner when he wants to meet friends for lunch, attend meetings with former colleagues or go to the gym to exercise.

 

Dr. Layman is also the father of six (yes, SIX!!!) children and when I asked him to share some fatherhood stories he had many to share. My favorite story described the time that he and his wife, Leila, took their six (yes, SIX!!!) children aged 6 to 16 on a trip to London. One evening, as they were leaving their hotel for dinner at a restaurant in Knightsbridge, they stopped to discuss their plans with their tour guide. When she learned that they planned to take a bus to the restaurant she assured them that the restaurant was not far at all, just on the other side of the park actually, and encouraged them to walk.

 

Well, about a third of the way through the park clouds gathered, thunder rumbled, rained poured down, lightning began to strike and the Layman family dashed through the park to the side of the street in hopes of hailing a cab. Knowing that London cabs were only allowed to carry a maximum of 5 passengers and realizing that they were several passengers over that limit, Dr. Layman responded as any good father would, which is to say that he told the smaller children to hide in the bushes.

 

He succeeded in hailing a cab and while the bigger kids piled in, the smaller ones came running out of the bushes and Dr. Layman began, in his words, “shoving kids into the cab”, all the while feeling very grateful that the kids were neither heavy nor broad. As Leila and their three daughters piled into the back seat with one son on the floor, the cab driver realized that they were going to exceed the 5 passenger limit (heck, there were five in the back seat alone!) and began to express his sincere concern. While offering him reassurance, and subtle bribery, Dr. Layman “grabbed the two other boys”, and stuck one on the console and the little one on the floor. Dr. Layman recalls that the little one cried out, “I feel like I’m being high-jacked” which, in all likelihood, is exactly how the taxi cab driver felt as well.

 

Dr. Layman convinced the taxi cab driver to deliver them to their destination which he did, albeit very cautiously, and then rewarded the driver with a generous tip. Following dinner, Dr. Layman, Leila and their six (yes, SIX!!!) children piled into the subway and made their way back to the hotel with little incident.

 

 Dr. Doug Layman, MD

On behalf of the entire staff at GCM and
The Silver Runner, we wish you a most Happy Father’s Day! 

Dr. Martin Gutzwiller, PhD

Schedule an outing as your Father’s Day gift and receive 10% off.
Call 872-0451 to select from one of our outings or to create your own.

Copyright © 2013 GCM, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
2730 San Pedro NE
Suite E
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 897-3009
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

The GCM/SR Newsletter — May — A Mother’s Day Tribute

A Mother’s Day Tribute: Ruth Hosley
By Lora Zommer, MA
As Mother’s Day approached, we considered the many different ways the word “mother” may apply. We were all delivered into the world by a mother and in many, but not all, cases that woman then raised us through our childhoods. In some cases we were mothered through those early years by someone other than the mother who initially brought us into the world. There may have been many others who helped to guide us through childhood including siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, teachers and neighbors.

Among our clients, many are mothers in the more traditional sense of the word meaning that they raised their children. There are others, however, who did not raise their own children but who poured their nurturing energy into teaching, volunteering or working with groups of children through schools or libraries or churches. Then there are those who poured that nurturing energy into their community and, in the process, helped that community to become a better version of itself.

As we considered all of these different views of mothering and motherhood, we realized that one of our GCM clients, Ruth Hosley, has spent her life mothering in all of these different ways and we were very glad that Ruth generously shared her story with us and invited us to share it with you.
We met with Ruth in March and began by asking about her own mother. She mentioned that March is the month when her mother was born and the month when she passed away and that, as a result, her mother had been very much on her mind that month. Ruth’s mother was born in a remote area of western New York during the Great Blizzard of 1888. She was very near the end of 11 siblings and after the family’s house burned down, Ruth’s mother and her siblings spread out among various family members. Ruth’s mother went to live with an uncle and aunt who had no children of their own. They were glad for her help on their farm and they made sure that she had the opportunity to attend school. In fact, when Ruth’s mother graduated in 1904, she was class valedictorian (there were 4 in her graduating class) and the only one of her siblings to graduate from high school. One year later, Ruth’s mother successfully completed a teacher training course only to learn that, at 17 years old, she was too young to be hired as a teacher. Undiscouraged, she reapplied following her 18th birthday and went on to teach in a one-room schoolhouse before marrying Ruth’s father and settling into the life of a farmer’s wife.

Ruth was born much later than her siblings and so, in addition to a pair of loving parents, Ruth also had brothers and sisters who were 10, 15 and 17 years older than she was. Ruth recalls that she began first grade the same year that her sister began teacher training college and that her sister would often practice her lesson plans and assignments with Ruth before submitting them to her professors for their review. Ruth, who loved education as much as her mother had, was happy to attend school in the nearby one room schoolhouse during the day and to then have additional lessons with her sister in the evenings. In fact, Ruth’s mother would often check Ruth’s spelling exercises while they did the dishes together in the evening and so Ruth’s education was in no way limited to the hours she spent in the schoolhouse. She loved learning and describes those years as “the most fun times”.

Read More on the Life of Ruth Hosley 

 

While speaking with Ruth about the years spent raising her daughter Nancy, we had asked her what she had found most remarkable about being a mother and she answered, “Just being a part of the life of someone who is so very special”.  In truth, and through her volunteer work and her support of Schoolhouse #8, Ruth has been and remains a nurturing presence in many people’s lives. Prior to meeting with Ruth, we had been aware that “mother” is one of those multi-dimensional words. It was very interesting, however, to see all of those dimensions wrapped so neatly into one person who remains committed to nurturing others by generously and enthusiastically sharing her love of education.

Copyright © 2013 GCM, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
2730 San Pedro NE
Suite E
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 897-3009
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

The GCM/SR Newsletter — April — Taking the Mysteries out of a Rehabilitation Stay

Taking the Mysteries out of a Rehabilitation Stay
By Kimberly Gyle, MSW, MSG

 

One of the most confusing times for our clients and their families is when a hospital discharge planner says, “it’s time to leave the hospital and go to rehabilitation (rehab)”.  This may also be referred to as skilled nursing and may be located either within a hospital or in another facility.  Or, the discharge planner at the rehabilitation facility calls and says, “you have 48 hours to find another placement” for your loved one.  The questions in your mind come fast and furious….“Why can’t they stay in the hospital? Why that facility? Skilled rehab, hospital rehab, what’s the difference? How long will they be there?  Will the insurance pay for it? They are just beginning to get better; why must they leave now?”

 

Consider this case scenario:  you know someone who fell and went to the hospital because they broke their hip. The surgery was successful and several days after surgery, it’s said they now need rehab or skilled care. You may wonder how is this determination made.  READ MORE 

 

Skilled rehab or acute rehab care requires the involvement of skilled nursing and rehabilitative staff.  This staff includes:

  • Registered nurses
  • Licensed practical and vocational nurses
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Speech language pathologist and
  • Audiologists

This care is recommended to help improve the patient’s condition and functional ability within a predetermined time period or to set up a maintenance program designed to maintain the current condition and prevent it from getting worse.

 

You may also wonder-  who pays and for how long?    Read More

 

The difference between hospital acute rehab and skilled rehab has to do with the patient’s level of motivation and ability to participate in therapies.  The hospital setting is more intensive in that it requires 3 to 5 hours of therapy/day.  The skilled rehab setting requires up to 3 hours therapy/day.

 

What if Medicare is my primary insurance?   READ MORE 

 

Which skilled rehabilitation facility is determined by several factors including which facilities have a contract with your insurance, which facilities have available beds, what facilities may have a specialty in treating the patient’s injury (such as stroke, brain injury, paralysis, or orthopedic recovery) and your feedback or choice as to what facility you would prefer your loved one receive services.

 

You can help by:

  • Having a good relationship with the rehab staff
  • Ask questions
  • Encourage independence with your loved one
  • Observe therapies and ask how and if you can help between sessions
  • Balance your need to know with your loved one’s wish for privacy
  • Determine when and how much to visit
  • Find ways to help
  • Hire a Geriatric Care Manager to help understand what is going on and to be an advocate when necessary.
  • Visit proposed discharge options more than once, if possible.

 

For more detailed information:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Medicare Coverage of Skilled Nursing Facility Care

Center for Medicare Advocacy: Nursing Home/Skiled Nursing Facility Services

Next Step In Care: Planning for Inpatient Rehabilitation Services

 

Silver Runner Monthly Small Group Outings*

April Events:
Historical and Cultural Events:
Nuclear Museum
Earth from Space: A View from Above
Read More
April 24, 2013, 2:00-4:00PM.
Outing Fee: $75
Fee Includes: Transportation, Entry Fee, Snacks and Beverages, Guided tour and Accompaniment by a Mobility Manager
Register By: 4/21/2013

Volunteer Opportunity: (Fee is offered at a discounted rate because of the volunteer nature of the outing)
Roadrunner Food Bank
Read More
April 26, 2013, 10:00-12:00
Outing Fee: $55
Fee Includes: Transportation, Snacks and Beverages, Accompaniment by a Mobility Manager.
Register By: 4/21/2013

Movie and Dinner:
Movie at Century 24, and Lunch and Mimi’s Café
Read More
April 27, 2013, 1:00-5:00  
Outing Fee: $75
Fee Includes: Transportation, Movie Ticket, Snacks and Beverages, Dinner* and Accompaniment by a Mobility Manager. *Each person will pay for their own meal.
Register By: 4/21/2013

Performing Arts:
Sweet Charity @ Musical Theatre Southwest
Read More
April 28, 2013 
Sunday: 4:00pm
Outing Fee: $100
Fee Includes: Transportation, Tickets, Snacks and Beverages and Accompaniment by a Mobility Manager
Register By: 4/21/2013 

* All Group Outings must have minimum of 2 participants to occur.

GCM as an advocate for patients and families: one example

Recently, Mrs. J. found herself overwhelmed, confused and exhausted after her husband had a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalized for over 45 days, then transferred to a rehabilitation unit.

 

Mrs. J recognized that she needed a professional geriatric care manager (PGCM) to help synthesize all the information from the various health professionals, keep track of important dates and information such as insurance coverage and exclusions.  The PGCM also went to various care provider meetings to understand the current level of functioning of her husband and be aware of recovery challenges. The PGCM would then share and discuss this information with Mrs. J and help her understand, accept the situation, and be able to make a more informed decision about next steps. The PGCM helped coordinate a discharge plan by helping her understand what was critical to her husband’s recovery.  The PGCM was a continuous support, resource, and advocate for Mrs. J throughout the rehab hospitalization, as well as assisting her to adjust to a dramatically new situation.

Copyright © 2013 GCM, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
2730 San Pedro NE
Suite E
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 897-3009
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The GCM/SR Newsletter — February — How to Make Facility Visits Meaningful

How to Make Facility Visits Meaningful

While few people would claim that a nursing home is their all-time favorite place to pass the time, nearly all of us have a friend or loved one who lives in an institutional setting. In turn, we plan visits and we may then anticipate those visits with mixed feelings. On one hand, we want to bring our friend or loved one joy. We want to provide a pleasant experience that reminds them that they are valued, respected and loved. On the other hand, we cannot help but be reminded of the losses that they have endured and the ways in which our relationships have changed as a result.

There are, however, things that we can do to make those visits meaningful, positive experiences for all involved. And while these visits may be very different from visits we enjoyed in years past, they can constitute wonderful quality time.

Following are some suggestions to consider as you plan upcoming visits:
Storytelling:  READ MORE
Involvement in Activities:  READ MORE 
Enjoy the outdoors:  READ MORE
Include Friends:  READ MORE
Include Meaningful things:   READ MORE

Some practical considerations to bare in mind are:

  • If your friend or loved one is forgetful, introduce yourself upon arrival and pause for a moment so that he can process the information and then respond.
  • If she is hard of hearing, speak slowly and clearly while directing your voice towards the favored ear. If you are in a public space and find conversation challenging, suggest that you move your visit to a quieter place.
  • If he expresses sadness, anger or other challenging emotions during your visit, do not feel compelled to explain those feelings away or replace them with happier ones.  Instead, encourage him to express himself, listen carefully and practice empathy.
  • If she responds positively to being touched, feel free to hold her hand or lightly massage her shoulders. Doing so will enable you to maintain a connection even if conversation lags.
  • Plan for a visit to last at least 45 minutes or an hour.

Despite sincere efforts and thoughtful planning, visits may still pose challenges and may be anticipated with mixed feelings. It is our hope, however, that these suggestions in combination with knowledge you have gained through visits past, will lead to increasingly enjoyable, meaningful visits in days to come.

Everyone at GCM and The Silver Runner wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.  We hope that you enjoy special time with all of  your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. If you are needing help navigating the “senior care” world, whether it be finding the right services, planning for the future, or communicating with family members, consider a consultation at GCM. If you are looking for a meaningful gift for an older adult, consider  an outing with The Silver Runner to see a play, enjoy a musical or go out to eat.

Copyright © 2013 GCM, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
2730 San Pedro NE
Suite E
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 897-3009

The GCM Newsletter — January — Conflict Management

 

Anticipating Solutions to Conflicts – A New Year’s Resolution
Asia Negrón-Esposito, Gerontologist

“Mom, we have to have a what if conversation” — a concern some of us have uttered or will have to address with our aging loved ones at risk. The problems could be manifesting themselves as isolation from typical activities or friends, a disinterest in living — or it could be periodic falls, forgetting to turn off the stove, neglecting to take medications, eating poorly, or driving a car while reflexes are worsening.
But how does the elder hear the above statement:

You want to take my independence away (which is valued highly along with control)

You’re blaming me for circumstances beyond my control.

On the other hand – the adult child may be experiencing conflicts and old hurts which even in adulthood have not been resolved:

Why doesn’t mom try harder to listen to me and do what she is supposed to do (this thinking indicates a misunderstanding of aging issues and the impairment which is taking place).

I was never Mom’s favorite and now she’s taking it out on me, a conflict which doesn’t involve the frail elder but is solely the adult child’s problem, however, it doesn’t help the situation.

But some conflicts have legitimacy:
Motivating other siblings who live far away to stay involved in their parent’s care.

Having one’s own family obligations such as children, a spouse and even a job.

So how can all these issues begin to be addressed? The focus is the crux of the matter here; it should involve the elder parent. While our parents tried to protect us as children from harm at all costs, we tend to do the same when the roles are reversed with our aging parents. Any and all decisions should include the frail elder (unless they are not capable because of progressive confusion or dementia). Remember that the quality of their lives should be the prevailing consideration not extending the quantity of their years, even if you don’t agree with their wishes. Also, don’t be too quick to take over functions that your parent can still perform.

Have a serious talk with your loved ones – avoid playing games such as – you’re never really having problems – this too shall pass. And when you broach the subject of planning for the future, do it with consideration and kindness. Inform yourself of services available in your community and if possible begin a what if conversation before there is a crisis.

Geriatric Care Management offers a Just in Case Program, whose basic premise is to plan
ahead and establish a baseline in the event of future needs. READ MORE

By having all pertinent information summarized and ready to be accessed at a moment’s notice, should the need arise, this kind of program can de-escalate a crisis and allows more readily for patient advocacy — and isn’t that the peace of mind we should all strive for in the new year?

Interested readers can read further on this topic:

When to Call an Elder Mediator

The NY TImes: When the Family Needs and Umpire

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Helping When Health Fails – Adult Children and Aging Parents Series

The Association for Conflict Resolution, National Elder Mediation

 

 

 

 

Welcome to our new Administrative Assistant, Kim Williams, BA

kim-williamsAs Administrative Assistant for GCM, Kim enjoys assisting clients and supporting the GCM staff. Organizing and helping office functions run smoothly are her forte.  Kim has worked to improve the quality of life for seniors in a variety of settings: as a customer service manager for a publishing company that develops materials for the training of home health aides, as an administrative assistant for a large senior living community, and for many years as an in-home caregiver. Kim loves working with  the elderly population and values helping them to maintain their independence and dignity.
READ MORE

 

 

 

 

Transportation is one of the most difficult topics that can come up between seniors and their families. Giving up driving represents a true loss of independence for may seniors. When seniors lose this ability, they believe that they also have lost the ability to socialize and continue to enjoy and access the community. At the SilverRunner, our services focus on keeping seniors active and allowing them to freely go where they want, on their own schedule. There is no waiting for the “senior bus” or making multiple stops. The SilverRunner can be a part of bridging the divide on transportation issues.

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