LSS Geriatric Care Management
1150 Hanley Ind. Ct.
St. Louis, MO 63144
Geriatric Care Management
by Lutheran Senior Services
We know you want to be there for your parents as their needs change. However, time constraints, geography or other responsibilities, may make it hard to figure out what’s needed and where to locate it.
When you need help finding aging resources and services in the St. Louis Area, let the Geriatric Care Managers (GCM) of Lutheran Senior Services guide your way.
Call 314.446.2493, e-mail us, or scroll down to learn more!
Concern is the primary reason families seek out a geriatric care manager. It could be over a parent’s declining health. Or, it could be because of an incident such as a fall or an unplanned hospitalization. In any case, families turn to GCMs because their specialized knowledge enables them to put a plan into place that can help restore, maintain or improve the quality of life by:
- Streamlining the search for eldercare resources.
- Uncovering potential problems and finding solutions.
- Determining appropriate care options.
- Keeping an eye on changing needs and abilities.
- Enabling adult children to offer support rather than the management of the situation.
- Helping set realistic expectations for both the family and the older adult.
- Knowing what resources have worked or not worked for others in similar circumstances.
- Acting as the local contact for families who live out of town.
- Advocating for the parent on the family’s behalf.
- Communicating with the family on a regular basis.
- Recommending a plan of action based on impartial observation and assessment.
- Assisting with challenging family dynamics.
Who Uses GCM?
Managing care can be a full time job. Some examples of people who hire GCMs include:
- Adult children who balance the responsibilities of work, raising children and caring for their parents.
- Adult children who live out-of-town and want someone local to assist as needed.
- Siblings who want an impartial party to manage care.
- Seniors who don’t have family to help and who are overwhelmed by daily tasks.
- Seniors who don’t want to be “taken care of” by their children.
- Attorneys, trust officers, and other professionals who look after the interests of seniors.
Unique needs call for personalized service. GCMs can:
- Provide an in-home assessment that looks at body, mind and spirit.
- Determine level of care and type of care needed.
- Develop short and long range care plans.
- Implement care plan, monitor for changes and revise it as needed.
- Coordinate in-home help.
- Arrange for delivery of meals and other items for daily living.
- Research long term care options.
- Advocate for the older adult.
- Assist with transition from home to a higher level of care.
- Manage care for out-of-town families.
- Coordinate medical appointments/transportation.
- Assist families with proactive decision making.
- Help educate about available benefits through Medicare or Veterans Administration.
- Reassess to monitor changing needs.
- Arrange for legal and financial services.
- Help avoid crisis decision making.
- Answer questions about services and resources.
- Provide on-going visits at home or in alternative housing.
Costs of GCM
After the initial free phone consultation, a flat fee is charged for an in-home assessment. It includes a pre-visit consultation with the family, time spent in the home, and a written plan of recommendations for care and services. Families can choose to initiate the care plan independently or they can contract with the GCM to start the care plan for them. Office consultations are also available for a flat fee.
On-going GCM services are billed at an hourly rate.
Please call us at 314.446.2493 for an estimate specific to your situation.
LSS GCM can provide services to those 60 and older; or those 50 and better with a disability who reside in St. Louis city and county as well as St. Charles and Jefferson counties. Just a few of the communities we serve include:
- St. Louis, Missouri 63103
- Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
- Florissant, Missouri 63031
- Ballwin, Missouri 63021
- O’Fallon, Missouri 63366
- St. Charles, Missouri 63301
- St. Peters, Missouri 63376
- Arnold, Missouri 63010
“I am writing,” began the letter from Wayne, “to express the most sincere appreciation for the assistance our family has received from your agency. My mom, Marion, moved to Laclede Groves (a Webster Groves retirement community) on Oct. 20 and seems to be thriving in the environment there.”
But it was the next part that made Jennifer catch her breath. “The highlight of our family’s experience has been Jennifer Ronzio. She has shown a level of care, knowledge, and professionalism that must be recognized. Her energy and capabilities have helped our family turn an unbelievably stressful situation into a survivable one.”
Jennifer had been working with Wayne for some time, helping him arrange in-home health care and private duty visits for his mother. “Marion loved being at home,” Jennifer remembers, “but she needed 24/7 care.” Soon, she was assisting Marion as she moved into her new home at Laclede Groves.
“Oh, it’s just lovely here,” Marion says. “The staff are fun – they ALL are. I just love it here.”
Jennifer served Marion’s family as a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM), a member of a relatively young career field that incorporates aspects of social work, detailed research, advocacy, and care management. The goal is to streamline seniors’ search for assistance, and to provide ongoing oversight to ensure all of the client’s needs are being met.
As Carol Melka, Jennifer’s supervisor at Lutheran Senior Services’ (LSS) Outreach Social Services agency, explained, “Geriatric Care Management means seniors and their families count on you to make recommendations regarding personal, medical, and financial decisions. Aging in America today is getting increasingly complicated; having someone on your side to help you navigate the in’s and out’s of all the different systems seniors face at any given time can be an enormous help.”
GCMs are especially useful for most anyone: families who live in a different area from their aging loved one, individuals who need to explore and link to local services, those who have a hard time understanding the complexities of available benefits like Medicare or Medicaid, or seniors without an existing support network of family members to assist them.
Starting with an assessment of needs (usually conducted in the home), a relationship with a GCM can involve the development of a comprehensive care plan, arranging housing options, coordinating appointments and transportation, and helping clients apply for various types of benefits. They also serve as a go-to resource for a client’s doctors, attorneys, trust officers, and financial planners to help carry out the family’s wishes.
That attention to detail made all the difference for Marion. Today, Jennifer Ronzio keeps a copy of Wayne’s letter on the wall of her office. It concludes, “The facilities and staff at Mom’s community offer our family a dramatically improved situation, support for her continued recovery, and peace of mind.”
Jennifer taps the glass on the framed letter approvingly. “And they all lived happily ever after,” she says.
Our geriatric care managers can provide invaluable peace of mind for you and your loved one. To schedule a consultation or to get more information, click the link at right.
LSS Geriatric Care Management is under the leadership of…
Director of Outreach Services
The Director of Outreach Services, Carol Melka, joined LSS in 2000 and has over nine years of experience with elder care and community resource planning. She holds a master’s degree in social work with an emphasis in gerontology from the Brown School at Washington University. She also has a Missouri License in Clinical Social Work. She is active on the community advisory committees for Behavioral Health Response and the Arthritis Foundation.