A service of Jewish Family & Children's Services of Southern Arizona                        Spring 2014

by Pattie Martin, M.Ed., Director, Select Care Managers; and Director, Older Adult Services, JFCS


As an adult child of a senior parent, many of us are finding that overnight, the tables have turned−it's my turn to take care of mom and/or dad. 


They raised you, loved you, fed you, were there when you were up all night crying, and took you to the emergency room in the middle of the night when you broke your foot dancing at the promall the while with arms open wide open, a smile, and an "everything is going to be just fine." Now it's you turn to say "everything is going to be fine," but perhaps you don't know the first thing about taking care of their senior needs!


Of course you don't. You are involved in a great career, traveling, putting your youngest through college, getting ready for retirement. When did you have time to learn about senior care?  No worries. There is expert support from a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) just a phone call, email, or text away. 


A GCM is educated and has experience in medicine, behavioral health, senior needs, family life, and more. If you and your parent(s) live in the same town or not, a GCM can offer guidance, education, gentle care and management of those worries about your loved ones.


I don't live in the same town 


Full support.  If you are thinking "mom (and/or dad) lives alone, medical needs are mounting, she is isolated and/or she deserves closer, compassionate care," a GCM can visit your parent, develop rapport, and assess needs. A GCM will create an exclusive care plan and share it with you and your parent, facilitate agreement, and assist in putting the plan into action. Supports are set up, communication is arranged, your parent is comfortable and you are sitting back with a greater sense of security that your loved one is is cared for with dignity, expert care and safety.


Transitions. Some of our parents' transitions can be complexcoming home from a long hospital stay or surgery, and transitioning from home to assisted living come to mind.  If your are thinking, "I have no idea of the best assisted living home for mom or dad and I don't know home health care agencies," consider a GCM, who can set up a seamless move back home, talk with doctors and hospital case managers for their home care plan, and set up a schedule.


Acute episodes. Perhaps mom (or dad) falls in the middle of the night and she is driven to the hospital by ambulance, or her cold is reaching an acute stage and she needs immediate medical attention.  A GCM is on call 24/7, available with all of the information about your mother's list of medications, health problems, and family phone numbers. She can meet Mom at the hospital and make sure that the she is cared for with the utmost expert care and comfort.  You are notified of how she is doing and have the opportunity to ask questions and be a part of her progress.  Whew!  Feeling better?


I live in the same town 


Travel. Are you thinking "I travel a lot for my job and my husband wants to travel overseas this year! How can we leave Mom? What if she gets sick, falls, etc.?"  If you have a GCM and a confidential file in place so that your GCM knows the important doctors, attorneys, and financial supports, you can get your plane tickets, pack your bags, and enjoy your time away.


Communication & mediation. "My mom (and/or dad) and I are not seeing eye to eye about her continuing to live in her home."  "My brother and I are disagreeing about where mom should live, who is trustworthy enough to care for her at home, and which services are the best ones in town to put in place." If these conversations are underway,  consider a GCM trained in family dynamics and communication, mediation, and senior education. 


Insurance claims & doctors appointments. "I can't find the time to look over all of the claims and invoices after mom's (or dad's) surgery, or to schedule her doctors appointments and therapy sessions every week!" If that's the case, a GCM can work with insurance companies, make sense of the bills, and at times, help save Mom money. A GCM can accompany Mom to her appointments, set up a schedule for therapies, and keep you informed about her progress.  All you need to do is bring over your special dinner casserole and some cookies, and be her loving daughter or son!

New Care Management
Video Series
Pattie Martin is kicking off a new Select Care Managers video series with "Taking Care of Mom & Dad." 

"Becky" travels and needs help for 80-year-old mom
"Becky" lives here in Tucson, as does her mom. When she vacations in northern Arizona and spends time in Israel, she now knows that her mom has what she needs. Her Select Care Manager checks in regularly when "Becky" is out of own, and mom knows she can call Select any time.
"Sam" needs help with 90-year old mom in Hospice
"Sam" doesn't live in Tucson with his 90-year-old parents, but he can rest assured that they have what they need day to day. A Select Care Manager supports his dad in caring out end-of-life decisions he and his wife are making.
"Joe" is on the east coast and his parents are in Tucson 
"Joe" hired Select Care Managers to help his aging parents with resources and referrals and to check in regularly with them.  "Joe" and his siblings recently had a conference with their Select  Care Manager after their mom was hospitalized.
Contact Us
(520) 795-0300 ext. 2201

(520) 795-8206


4301 E. Fifth Street, Tucson, AZ 85711


Jewish Family & Children's Services of Southern Arizona offers a continuum of social and behavioral health programs that address the well-being of children, adults, older adults, families, and people with special needs. We also support aging people and vulnerable adults who live with a chronic illness or disability, and offer affordable home medical equipment through our OneStop program.