To the editors:
It was a pleasure to read a well written recent article by Grant Pick titled "Gray Care" [August 11]. His description of adult day care was both accurate and timely. However, I would like to add that there are several other services available to older adults and their families.
One option, which is relatively new to the Chicago metropolitan area, is private geriatric assessment and care management. These comprehensive services are often invaluable in providing older adults and their families with an understanding of their problems and solutions. In-home assessments which are conducted by physicians and social workers can often mean the difference between continued independence or institutionalization. Assessments can correctly identify medical and functional problems that may have been undiagnosed or overlooked and care managers can act as surrogates for families who live at a distance or may not have the time or ability to care for an older adult.
Private geriatric care management is a rapidly growing, but unregulated field. Consumers need to carefully investigate care managers' experience, qualifications, and references. We are in the process of developing ethical guidelines and standards of practice for care managers throughout the Midwest. We would be pleased to provide readers with this information.
Steven C. Fox, D. O.
Wellspring Gerontological Services