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Geriatric Care Managers

"Families want to do the best that they can and often they don't, simply because they don't know how to do it."

Rona Bartelstone is a geriatric care manager. She has a bustling practice in Palm Beach, FL, providing caregiving services. Many of her clients are families whose elderly relatives live in South Florida and who have no close relative nearby.

A geriatric care manager helps older people and their families in meeting their long-term care needs

Many families wrestle with the difficulties involved in caring for a relative, perhaps an aged parent, who lives alone in a distant city. As families disperse, parents are often left alone in the home where they raised their families; those who moved to a retirement community in their "early" old age often find themselves isolated after the death of a spouse. Such families might benefit by hiring a geriatric care manager, a trained professional who oversees a loved one's financial, legal, healthcare, and living needs.

Rona Bartlestone’s clients are family members fragmented by work, marriage, divorce, children, and other commitments. From her base in South Florida, her staff listens to clients across the country who try to manage care for their elders living in the Miami area. Today’s 7 million long distance caregivers will more than double in fifteen years, so the demand for geriatric care managers is likely to escalate rapidly.

"One of the reasons that dealing with aging parents is so difficult is that when I look at my mother's face I see myself in thirty years. It's also the first time we face our mortality. It's not only frightening in the sense of I'm going to lose my mother, my nurturer, the person who protected me and cared for me, but I also am at risk now," Bartelstone says.

Finding a Geriatric Care Manager

As the name implies, a geriatric care manager helps older people and their families in meeting their long-term care arrangements. There are both "free lance" and certified geriatric care managers. Those who are certified usually have at least a Master's degree in gerontology, social work, nursing, or counseling. Most have extensive post-Master's training as well. It's important to check qualifications carefully before making a decision.

More about geriatric care managers (outside links) ...


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Rona consults with a colleague


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