Stories From Main Street: Upper Saddle River, NJ
UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (WCBS 880) – As more and more baby boomers retire, they’re taking on a new full-time job – caring for an ailing parent.
WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports
“I’m a geriatric care manager and I help people plan for the care of their aging parent or loved one,” Amy Fuchs told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.
Fuchs runs the Elder Expert in Bergen County.
She says, “When they finally reach out to me, it’s usually in a state of crisis and I like to stress [that] it’s very important to plan for these things before it gets to crisis mode.”
The challenges can be daunting – dealing with doctors and insurance companies, in-home care, physical therapy, nursing homes, and, ultimately, how pay all of the bills.
“I prioritize. It’s almost like a triage where we figure out where to best spend the money first and be as cost-effective as possible,” says Fuchs.
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Sometimes, she just lends an ear or a shoulder to lean on.
“I would say maybe 50 percent of my job is just offering emotional support and counseling,” says Fuchs.
She watches for signs of burnout.
She says, “A lot of people are very stressed and overwhelmed and it’s very important to take care of yourself during this process.”
It’s a process she says can be more manageable with proper prior planning.
“No one likes to talk about it and no one likes to think about it, but this is something we’re all going to face sooner or later,” says Fuchs.