Geriatric Care Managers

Geriatric care managers are trained professionals who can help you with every aspect of the caregiving process.

Geriatric care, or care of the elderly, is a growing concern in America today, and is often administered by geriatric care managers. But, who are geriatric care managers and what do they do?

A geriatric care manager is a professional who develops and carries out a comprehensive long-term care plan that maximizes the independence of the care recipient by providing quality care in a cost-effective manner. While most geriatric care managers specialize in eldercare, they generally can help anyone in a caregiving situation, regardless of the care recipient’s age or condition.

Geriatric care managers usually have graduate degrees in social work, psychology, gerontology, or nursing and are certified or licensed at the independent practice level. The knowledge that these individuals have allows them to help to create a safe living environment for the care recipient by evaluating the person’s needs, which include family and community resources, financial circumstances, and physical and mental health. Once the initial evaluation is made and the care plan created, the geriatric care manager continuously overlooks and re-evaluates the plan by either advising the family about existing resources or by becoming a member of the long-term care team.

Generally, geriatric care managers can:

  • Assess care needs to identify eligibility for aid, problems, and services required
  • Counsel and support all involved in the caregiving situation
  • Educate the public and act as an advocate
  • Help a care recipient to change living facilities
  • Maintain a connection with long-distance caregivers
  • Provide crisis intervention
  • Screen, arrange, and monitor in-home care or related services
  • Refer caregivers to specialists for financial, legal, or medical matters

Because geriatric care managers do so many different things, these individuals arrive at each new case with a flexible mind-set, and they tailor each care plan to the each individual’s needs. Therefore, it is important to make your needs as the caregiver clear when you initially hire a geriatric care manager. When hiring a geriatric care manager be sure to ask questions concerning the individual’s:

  • Knowledge of community resources
  • Familiarity with specialists in the area
  • Ability to work with existing people in the care team
  • Ability to be reached at odd hours
  • Belief about the care recipient’s independence vs. institutionalization
  • Rate for services given and how payments are made
  • Services for the rate quoted
  • Understanding of your loved one’s needs (e.g., medications, mental status, lifestyle)
  • Knowledge of home modification methods

If you are a caregiver and are not quite sure that hiring a geriatric care manager is appropriate, consider the other benefits of having one:

  • Accessibility to professional caregiving advice around the clock
  • Continuity of care management, which will reduce costs, miscommunication, and stress for the caregiver
  • Flexibility in scheduling medical and social needs
  • Help controlling the costs of care
  • Personalized, professional services designed for your specific circumstances
  • Short-term or long-term assistance
  • Quality control in the form of standards set forth by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers

For more information about licensed geriatric care mangers in your loved one’s area, contact the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, at (520) 881-8008

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