The Why, When, and How of Geriatric Care Management
Caring for our seniors is one of our greatest responsibilities for they have worked before us to make our good lives possible. Geriatric care managers help the family caregiver provide the best quality of life for our dependent seniors while at home.
A geriatric care manager may be a social worker, nurse, gerontologist, counselor, or other professional with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care. These professionals serve as a guide and advocate for families who are caring for older relatives or disabled adults. Geriatric care management (GCM) provides assistance for you and your loved one in finding resources, making decisions, and managing stress. Geriatric care management provides “one stop shopping” for care for you and your loved one.
The Geriatric Care Professional assists clients in maximizing functional potential while safety and security concerns are also addressed. They address a broad range of issues related to the well-being of their client. They also have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of resources in their communities.
They are especially helpful for long distance caregivers and for anyone needing some extra guidance and help in caring for someone with dementia. A geriatric care manager also can help families and their loved ones with decisions connected to aging including long-term care, whether at home, in an assisted-living facility, or in a nursing facility.
You may need an Aging Life Care Professional if:
- The person you are caring for has limited or no family support.
- Your family has just become involved with helping the individual and needs direction about available services.
- The person you are caring for has multiple medical or psychological issues.
- The person you are caring for is unable to live safely in his/her current environment.
- Your family is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions.
- Your family has a limited time and/or expertise in dealing with your loved ones’ chronic care needs.
- Your family is at odds regarding care decisions.
- The person you are caring for is not pleased with current care providers and requires advocacy.
- The person you are caring for is confused about his/her own financial and/or legal situation.
- Your family needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia.
Geriatric Care Services:
These professionals begin care by completing an in-person assessment that includes questions about everyday activities, nutritional status, safety, memory, depression, finances, insurance, health history, and more. Next, a plan of care is written that includes all of the resources and services needed to implement the plan. Finally, evaluations are completed regularly to identify adjustments that need to be made.
Questions To Ask Your Geriatric Care Professional:
- How long has the agency been in business?
- How long has the agency been doing geriatric care management?
- Does the agency provide accredited, licensed clinical social workers, Masters level counselors, and/or gerontologists?
- Are the care managers certified? If yes, what are their certifications?
- Is this agency affiliated with a professional organization? If yes, which ones?
- Are references available upon request?
- What kind of supervision do you provide for your care managers?
- Does the agency have 24-hour availability, 365 days a year?
- Will you provide me with a list of all charges, such as phone calls, driving time, counseling, and case management?
Information compiled from the Alzheimer’s Association, St. Louis chapter, and the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, Inc.