SeniorBridge Chicago Director June Ninnemann on the Elements of Geriatric Care Management
by Nancy Kennedy - Chicago Hospital News - October 2005
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June Ninnemann, MSW, Director of Professional Relations for SeniorBridge Chicago, believes that older adults who are "aging successfully" tend to become more authentic versions of themselves. They know who they are, they are content with who they are, and they have clarified their values, beliefs and personalities. It’s a sort of crystallization process that produces self-integrity and peace of mind...
It is essential, according to Ninnemann, that professionals who specialize in working with the older adult population have this openness themselves. "In geriatric care management, you have an opportunity to sit knee-to-knee with the person and get to see who they really are. This is even true for those with dementia. Their essence shines through."
Geriatric care management is a relatively new specialty within the health and human service professions. Geriatric care managers concentrate on issues related to aging and eldercare, and work with older clients and their families to help ease the social, medical, emotional and spiritual transitions of this life stage. Most care managers are nurses and social workers with geriatric experience and advanced degrees, although that is not a requirement. They identify the needs of the client through a comprehensive assessment process and then develop an individualized plan of care based on those needs, matching resources and services to problems. A geriatric care manager places a safety net under the client, relieving stress and producing peace of mind. SeniorBridge is a national leader in this specialized field and has locations all over the country.