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How can a geriatric care manager help?

Written by Diane Archer

 As people get older, they may need a wide range of health care services and supports. A geriatric care manager, who is usually a licensed social worker or nurse trained in geriatrics, can help you meet those needs. How can a geriatric care manager help?

Geriatric care managers are trained to identify people’s needs and locate the resources to meet them. They also will help you with a long-term care plan so you or the person you love can be as independent and safe as possible when they are unable to take care of all of their everyday needs without assistance.

If different family members do not live near one another, a geriatric care manager can keep everyone up to date on their loved ones’ needs. They are prepared to talk to you and your loved ones about difficult issues, visit your loved ones to ensure their needs are met, help modify your loved ones’ homes, find care providers and coordinate medical services. The PACE program, for example, provides a wide range of services to help keep people who would otherwise need nursing home care in their homes.

And, if need be, a geriatric care manager can help find an alternate living facility. There are a wide range of options, including cutting edge small nursing homes, sometimes called green houses, continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities.

You likely will need to pay out of pocket for a geriatric care manager. Medicare does not cover the cost, nor do most other insurers.

If you are interested in finding a geriatric care manager, as a first step, check online at the Eldercare Locator or call 800-677-1116. You should make sure that the person you hire is licensed and has experience. Ideally, your geriatric care manager can be of service in an emergency.  Of course, also ask how much the geriatric care manager charges and for references. You should be given the fees in writing.

For more information, you can visit Aging Life Care Association, the trade association for geriatric care managers, here, or you can call them at 520-881-8008.

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