What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
A Geriatric Care Manager helps people with the complex and often stressful care of an elderly adult.
Geriatric Care Managers (GCMs) can also be called elder care managers, senior health care managers, transitional care managers, aging life care professionals or professional health care managers. GCMs assess the needs and coordinate the care of seniors once those needs become more complicated. Their services include providing guidance to family members with a senior’s:
- health care
- psychological care
- housing needs
- home care services
- nutritional services
- assistance with daily living
- financial and legal planning
- advanced care planning, end of life care
- long-term care policies
- insurance options
- housing needs
- government entitlement programs
- VA benefits
Geriatric Care Managers Benefit Seniors’ Health
GCMs can assess the level of care that a senior needs. Because they are professionals in the industry, GCMs identify agencies and resources that can maximize senior health and wellness, and coordinate the senior’s medical care.
Additional senior health benefits of hiring a GCM include:
- Provide resources for counseling
- Oversee professional care provided in the senior’s home
- Can help with placement in an assisted living community or skilled nursing home
Family and Caregiver Benefits of Hiring a GCM
Caring for a senior can be stressful for families and senior caregivers. A Geriatric Care Manager can manage the care of seniors with no family nearby.
A Geriatric Care Manager can provide peace of mind when seniors live far away from their family. Because the GCM will see the senior on a regular basis, they can often discover health issues or concerns that the senior has not yet told their family.
Regardless of geography, the professional guidance of a Geriatric Care Manager can inform the senior and their family of the available care options. Sometimes, the assistance of a GCM can even resolve family conflicts by providing neutral third party input. GCMs can provide clarity and reassurance in a complex and emotionally draining decision-making process.
Additional family and caregiver benefits of hiring a GCM include:
- Provides family caregivers more time to manage their own lives and health
- Assitance to deliver difficult news to the senior, which may not be received well by the senior if it came from a family member• Provides the ability for
- Provides the ability for the family to reclaim their relationship with the senior, by reducing the need to always be the caregiver.
Financial Benefits of Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager
Many seniors are afraid of the costs of healthcare, but hiring a Geriatric Care Manager is cost-effective for many seniors. Many families find that they save money, thanks to the expertise in the managed care environment.
Additional financial benefits of hiring a GCM include:
- Assistance with Medicaid qualification and application
- Assistance with legal matters
- Assistance with financial matters
Cost of Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager
You can hire a GCM for a one-time assessment or ongoing support. Their services are not covered by most private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Services ordinarily range between $80 and $250 per hour. However, a GCM can keep you from making costly mistakes and provide information about programs that can reduce care expenses.
What are the qualifications of a Geriatric Care Manager?
GCMs are trained in a variety of areas, including nursing, social work, physical therapy, gerontology, and senior health and wellness. They also have an extensive knowledge of the availability and quality of services, and facilities in the community, as well as their costs.
Look for a GCM that is a member of the Aging Life Care Association™. They also should be certified by either their professional organization such as the National Association of Social Workers, National Academy of Certified Care Managers, or the Commission for Case Managers.
How do you find a Geriatric Care Manager?
Many GCMs are found through personal references. If you have an acquaintance who has employed a GCM, ask them for a reference. Or you can search online at the Aging Life Care Association™.
It’s important to have a relationship based on trust and communication with your GCM, so select someone you can get along with. Many are available 24/7, or have a coverage plan when they are unavailable.
Resources for Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager
There are some sites that provide caregiver tips for hiring a Geriatric Care Manager.
Could your loved one benefit from the help of a Geriatric Care Manager? Contact Bethesda to learn more about our Geriatric Care Management service in the St. Louis area.