What is a Geriatric Care Manager / Aging Life Care Professional?

An Aging Life Care Professional™, also known as geriatric care management, is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges.

They are usually a licensed nurse or social worker who specializes in geriatrics, is a sort of “professional relative” who can help you and your family to identify needs and find ways to meet your needs.

Hiring a care manager should be no different than hiring an attorney to help with legal problems or a CPA to help with tax problems.

Most people don’t attempt to solve legal problems on their own. And the use of professional tax advice can be an invaluable investment. The same is true of using a care manager. Unfortunately, there are too few care managers and the public is so poorly informed about the services of a care manager that help that could be provided goes lacking.

The irony of not using a care manager is that most families, given the opportunity to use the care manager, think they can do it themselves and will not pay the money. Yet the services of a care manager will probably save them considerably more money than do-it-yourself.

The cost of the care manager might be only a fraction of the savings the care manager could produce. Care manager services can also greatly reduce family and caregiver stress and help eliminate family disputes and disagreements. Depending on the country and healthcare organization, professional fees for the services of geriatric care managers may be billed privately on a fee-for-service basis. In the United States, they are not covered by Medicaid, Medicare nor by most private health insurance policies. However, clients may be able to bill some services to long-term care insurance, depending on the history of the individual case.

What is Geriatric Care Management?

Geriatric care management is the process of planning and coordinating care of the elderly and others with physical and/or mental impairments to meet their long term care needs, improve their quality of life, and maintain their independence for as long as possible.

Why would someone need Geriatric Care Management?

GCM is especially helpful for long distance caregivers but is helpful for anyone needing some extra guidance and help in caring for someone with dementia. GCM can help families and ill loved ones cope with complex issues. A geriatric care manager also can help families and their loved ones with decisions connected to aging. This includes assistance in all aspects of long-term care, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing facility. If your loved one requires special services or changes occur in their health or life, then geriatric care management (GCM) may be helpful for you.

What Services do Geriatric Care Managers Provide?

A geriatric care manager coordinates care and services to meet the full social, emotional, physical, and healthcare needs of your loved one. However, care managers do not specialize in all areas. It is important to find out whether a specific care manager has experience in dealing with your specific needs. 

Geriatric care managers might help in some of the following ways:

They conduct an in-person assessment allowing for them to understand your loved ones specific needs, customize their care plans, and perform services specifically to meet you and your loved one’s needs. 

A care plan includes the results of the assessment, recommendations, and referrals for local community options. The care manager will go into great depth in explaining some of the details of the plan, what led to the recommendations, and what you can expect. They will then help to prioritize the list.

Interview questions cover a range of issues relevant to your loved one’s health and living situation. These issues include everyday activities, nutritional status, safety, memory, depression, finances, insurance, health history, and more.

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