Jeannine Clark-Gananian: Providing support for older adults and their families

by Linda Hubbard on July 25, 2011

As a geriatric care manager, Jeannine Clark-Gananian views her job as helping people figure out their options, particularly as it pertains to bringing in caregivers and medical advocacy.

“My services are independent, not tied to any agency or home health care service,” she says. “Usually it’s a crisis that triggers a family member to seek me out, either a spouse or adult child. I help them chart their way and cut through the red tape.”

Identifying and screening caregivers is one of her major tasks. “Some people only want to use someone from an agency, but there are unaffiliated caregivers who are quite capable. Interviews are key plus background checks. The question being answered is, ‘Who are these people caring for my loved one?'”

The medical management part of her practice involves dealing not only with physicians but also hospital personnel. “Sometimes there’s a need to stand up and say ‘No, it’s not time for discharge yet.’ The reason may be that the well spouse is not ready to handle the situation.

“My role in all situations is not necessarily permanent. My role is to get things in order so that the family can cope.”

When pursuing her undergraduate studies, Jeannine thought she’d like to handle adoptions. Instead for the last 20 years, she’s worked with issues affecting people as their lifetimes come to a close. “I have a job I love doing and actually get paid for doing it,” she says. “Helping people and their families is very satisfying.”

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