What you need to know

What is Professional Geriatric Care Management?
What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
What other Services do Care Managers Provide?
How do you know that you need a Geriatric Care Manager?
What are the Benefits of Using a Geriatric Care Manager?

What is Professional Geriatric Care Management?

Professional geriatric care management is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges.  Working with families, geriatric care manager expertise provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress and time off of work for family caregivers through:

  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Planning and problem-solving
  • Education and advocacy
  • Family caregiver coaching

Geriatric Care Managers are engaged to assist in a variety of areas, such as:

  • Housing – helping families evaluate and select appropriate level of housing or residential options
  • Home care services – determining types of services that are right for a client and assisting the family to engage and monitor those services
  • Medical management – attending doctor appointments, facilitating communication between doctor, client, and family, and if appropriate, monitoring client’s adherence to medical orders and instructions
  • Communication – keeping family members and professionals  informed as to the well-being and changing needs of the client
  • Social activities – providing opportunity for client to engage in social, recreational, or cultural activities that enrich the quality of life
  • Legal – referring to or consulting with elder law attorney, providing expert opinion for courts in determining level of care
  • Financial– may include reviewing or overseeing bill paying or consulting with accountant or client’s Power of Attorney
  • Entitlements – providing information on Federal and state entitlements; connecting families to local programs
  • Safety and security – monitoring client at home; recommending technologies to add to security or safety; observing changes and potential risks of exploitation or abuse

Local, cost-effective resources are identified and engaged as needed.

A care plan tailored for each individual’s circumstances is prepared after a comprehensive assessment. The plan may be modified, in consultation with client and family, as circumstances change.

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What is a Geriatric Care Manager?

A Geriatric Care Manager is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide and advocate for families who are caring for older relatives or disabled adults. The Geriatric Care Manager is educated and experienced in any of several fields related to care management, including, but not limited to nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.

The Geriatric Care Manager assists clients in attaining their maximum functional potential.  The individual’s independence is encouraged, while safety and security concerns are also addressed. Geriatric Care Managers are able to 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. View areas of assistance.

Geriatric Care Managers become the “coach” and families or clients the “team captain.” Search for a Care Manager near you.

Geriatric Care Managers who are members of NAPGCM differ from Patient Advocates, Senior Advisors, Senior Navigators, and Elder Advocates. NAPGCM members must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization, and all care manager members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. For more information on membership requirements, please click here.

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What Other Services do Care Managers Provide?

While the majority of care management clients are older adults, many care
managers also assist younger adults who face the challenges of disability or serious illness.

Qualified care managers may help people who have:
Physical Disabilities
Developmental Disabilities, (e.g. Intellectual Disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, Autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome)
Brain Injury
Mental Health Problems
Chronic or Serious Illnesses of any type

Care managers can often help parents who are concerned about a young adult or middle-aged adult child with disabilities. These care managers have experience and credentials to work with all ages. The care manager conducts a comprehensive assessment and helps the family plan for the current and future needs of their adult child.

Learn more about what services Care Managers may provide.

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How do you know that you need a Geriatric Care Manager?

When caregiving for an aging family member becomes overwhelming, it may be time to contact a geriatric care manager.

You may need a geriatric care manager 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.

There are many places to find a geriatric care manager in your area. This web site includes a searchable directory of geriatric care managers who belong to NAPGCM. You may also want to check with local agencies or hospitals to obtain a list of local referrals. Health professionals and elder law attorneys are other excellent referral sources.

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What are the Benefits of Using a Geriatric Care Manager?

Professional Geriatric Care Management services are offered in a variety of settings. Geriatric Care Managers can serve the needs of their clients by providing:

  • Personalized and compassionate service — focusing on the individual’s wants and needs.
  • Accessibility — care is typically available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Continuity of care management – communications are coordinated between family members, doctors and other professionals, and service providers.
  • Cost containment — inappropriate placements, duplication of services, and unnecessary hospitalizations are avoided.
  • Quality control – care management services follow NAPGCM’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

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