Code of Ethics
The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) was founded in 1985 to advance the profession of geriatric care management. A professional geriatric care manager is a health and human services specialist who assists older or disabled adults and their families to resolve complex problems through consultation, assessment, and care coordination. NAPGCM’s members have varied educational backgrounds including social work, nursing, psychology, rehabilitation or family counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and gerontology but share an expertise in elder care services. Since its inception, NAPGCM has worked to further develop the knowledge and skills of its members toward an integrated approach to care management.
A professional geriatric care manager may play many roles but his or her fundamental loyalty is to the older or vulnerable person who is the client. At the same time, the professional geriatric care manager must develop and maintain good working relationships with family members and other professionals involved in the client’s care. In addition, the professional geriatric care manager advocates for clients within complex systems of public and private social services and health care providers. To perform these varied, and at times, conflicting roles, the professional geriatric care manager must be loyal, trustworthy, and accountable to clients, and at all times follow the NAPGCM’s Standards of Practice and this Code of Ethics. The professional geriatric care manager should also continue to expand his or her professional knowledge and skills, and strive to understand how the larger societal issues affect clients and families. Toward this end, NAPGCM’s Board of Directors develops and disseminates position papers, reports and other documents that address the social issues most directly affecting the clients and families served. These documents also aim to guide individual members in their own response to these issues.
Ethical behavior requires more than just avoiding wrong doing or resolving complaints. This Code was developed to guide the professional geriatric care manager to be mindful of, to understand, and to adhere to the highest ethical principles. NAPGCM expects members to always do their best for clients and families in all aspects of their practice and business of care management.
The Code of Ethics establishes standards of professional behavior commonly agreed to by members of NAPGCM. It provides guidelines for members to anchor their practices in an ethically sound manner for both client service and business-related activities. This Code also functions as NAPGCM’s social contract with the public and explains the obligations our members have to society.
The Code is based on five core values for the ethical practice of geriatric care management: integrity; loyalty and responsibility; promoting benefit and avoiding harm; respecting the rights and dignity of the individual; and behaving justly. These values underlie the fundamental beliefs that guide our behaviors and decision-making processes, they provide the foundation for the Code, and they set a national standard for the professional practice of geriatric care management. The Code of Ethics serves to guide each professional geriatric care manager as she or he periodically confronts ethical dilemmas in the clinical role, or in business relationships, in their day-to-day practice. The Code also acknowledges that in certain situations conflicts arise and choices must be made between the values in this Code. Through educational programs, written material, and peer consultation forums, NAPGCM helps members understand how to prioritize these values when there is a conflict and how to best resolve dilemmas with individual clients or families.
Any professional geriatric care manager who is state licensed or certified in a profession (e.g. social work, nursing, counseling, psychology, rehabilitation, physical, occupational and speech therapy) should also know and follow that profession’s Code of Ethics. A professional geriatric care manager should only provide services, or only use skills, for which she or he is qualified by education and experience. Each professional geriatric care manager must adhere to all local, state and federal laws.
The Code of Ethics provides
Accountability to our Clients
NAPGCM members recognize diversity in our society and embrace a multi-cultural approach to support the worth, dignity, potential and uniqueness of each client. The Code of Ethics acknowledges the vulnerable population we serve and makes explicit the highest standards of practice.
Accountability to the Public
The Code of Ethics sets a national standard for the professional practice of care management. It defines for the public the ethical responsibilities expected of NAPGCM’s members and the organization’s role in maintaining the highest Standards of Practice and promotion of ethical behavior.
Education of Care Managers
NAPGCM recognizes the diversity of the experience and education of its members and the needs of members for guidance in both their professional and business roles, and thus the Code of Ethics was developed to guide members in each of these roles. It states the core values and principles to current and future members, to the public and to allied professionals. All members of NAPGCM are expected to understand and behave in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of the Code of Ethics.
A Framework for Analyzing & Resolving Ethical Dilemmas
The Code of Ethics offers a framework for ethical decision-making when conflicts arise in either the practice or the business of professional care management. It assists care managers in examining the ethical issues present in all aspects of their work by identifying what principles need to be considered and how to prioritize them when it is necessary to make a choice. It asks care managers to be aware of their own biases as they seek to resolve ethical dilemmas.
Assistance in Reviewing Complaints
In NAPGCM’s Peer Review Process the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice serve as the basis for assessing and resolving ethical or business practice complaints against members in their practice of care management.
The Code: Ethical Principles and Standards of Practice Supporting These Principles
A professional geriatric care manager is honest, diligent and accountable in the provision of service. A professional geriatric care manager always acts in a manner that is consistent with the professional values stated in this Code. See Standards 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
- Loyalty and Responsibility
A professional geriatric care manager is trustworthy and dependable in all aspects of both professional and business relationships. A professional geriatric care manager maintains confidentiality, avoids conflicts of interest and always pursues the best interest of clients. See Standards 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13
- Promoting Benefit and Avoiding Harm
A professional geriatric care manager promotes clients’ interests, values and welfare in order to maximize benefits and avoid harm. A professional geriatric care manager is aware of potential conflicts that may arise when balancing the benefits and risks of interventions being considered. A professional geriatric care manager strives to assure that vulnerable clients’ individual choices are maximized to the greatest extent possible. See Standards 2, 4, 5, 7
- Respect for Clients’ Rights and Dignity
A professional geriatric care manager treats clients with respect as complete individuals with their own history, narrative and unique cultural identity. A professional geriatric care manager respects the rights of each client, including the right to privacy, and, for the vulnerable client, strives to balance client autonomy with the need for protection and safety. See Standards 1, 2
A professional geriatric care manager behaves in a just and fair way in all professional and business relationships. A professional geriatric care manager does not promote or sanction any form of discrimination such as discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or socioeconomic status. See Standards 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14