Elder Care FAQs

Elder Care in Arizona Frequently Asked Questions

"How do I know my parent or loved one in Arizona needs help?"

"Who will provide the care?"
Initially, a Professional Geriatric Care Manager can navigate the path for you. It helps to begin talking to your parents or loved one about their life as they age. A good place to start is to bring up their end of life wishes, funeral arrangements, etc. Make sure to be open to their ideas and needs and wants. This is not the time to disagree be judgmental or create a confrontation - just listen. The goal is to get involved in their life and have them open up.

"What is a Professional Geriatric Care Manager?"
A Professional Geriatric Care Manager is an experienced guide and advocate for families with elder care needs. These professionals can provide expertise, resources and services to assist in the care and management of an elderly family member. Families need to develop a relationship of trust with their Arizona Care Manager. These professionals have the knowledge and skills to assess the older person's physical, emotional and social needs and coordinate services to address the needs of each individual. Their main goal should be to help you provide your loved one with the greatest quality of life possible in their aging years.

"How do I know the Professional Geriatric Care Manager is qualified?"
Generally, the professional has a degree in Nursing and/or Social Work and has experience working in the geriatric community. They are experienced and familiar with the community resources available and provide the information to the family. The should have the (CMC or CCM) designation as a Certified Care Manger. It is important to check references and get testimonials of other families who have used your prospective care manager.

"How do I access a Professional Care Manager in Arizona?
Call Desert Care Management at: 480-804-7200

"What is the first step?"
The first step we will recommend is to have your Care Manager perform an assessment of the current living situation to determine your loved one's needs. Then, a Care Plan can be developed from this information (with issues identified, intervention/action to be taken, goals, and referral options outlined). A time table for various tasks will be established with the responsible persons. This document is a very helpful tool to use in communicating between family members, care givers and providers.

"What is Assistive Technology?"
Assistive Technology refers to tools that help the elderly or disabled perform activities they have always done but now must do differently because of disability and/or limitations. There are many devices and services available to help. A needs assessment can help in defining the most effective devices at the lowest cost. Some examples are:

- Safety alert systems, communication equipment, telephone amplifiers, adaptive switches, wheel chair ramps, walkers, stair elevators, wheelchair lifts, elevated toilet seats
- Orthotic and prosthetic equipment
- Transportation assistance

"How can I be sure my loved one is getting quality care?"
This is why it is so important to have a trusted Care Manager as your ally. They know who the qualified home health and home services providers are based on past experience and their respective reputations in the community. Without an experienced Care Manger, you would be left on your own to go shopping for these services and just hope for the best.

"Just what is hospice care?"
Hospice care programs are available to help terminally ill individuals live their remaining days with dignity. These programs assist the family or caregiver in making the patient as comfortable as possible around the clock, seven days a week.

Hospice is a type of care, not a place of care. It is usually provided in the patient's home or can be provided in a special residence for this purpose. Hospice care addresses not only the physical needs of the patient, but also the psychosocial needs which may include pain control, symptom management and emotional and spiritual support. The team may be made up of the patient, attending physician, nurses, home care aides, clergy, social workers, volunteers and therapist if needed.
Making end of life choices is a very personal process. It depends on one's philosophy of living and spirituality, his/her physical condition and concerns of the family. It is important that patients have reviewed the FIVE WISHES form or provided end of life instructions for those who will be handling this for the patient.

"Who pays for in-home health or hospice care?"
Medicare, private health insurance and Medicaid cover hospice care for patients who meet eligibility. Private insurance and veteran's benefits may cover hospice care under certain conditions. Many programs offer health services on a sliding fee schedule for patients with limited resources.