With one out of every four American families caring for an older adult, the need for the Geriatric Care Manager has proliferated. As a growing professional group, Geriatric Care Managers consist of nurses, social workers, psychologists and human service employees. Although no licensure is required, most Geriatric Care Managers carry licenses in nursing or social work and have gone on to obtain graduate degrees in their respective fields. So, what can a GCM provide your family? What are the advantages to establishing a GCM as part of your loved one’s care team?

Geriatric Care Managers offer a range of services for an older adult either living alone or living within a family or group setting. Often called up on by an adult child or medical professional, when a crisis occurs, the GCM provides an avenue for facilitating a wide range of services while alleviating the burden from family members both near and afar. Initial assessments include both physical and psychological evaluations with the establishment of a care plan established to ensure the older adult remains in a safe and comfortable environment.

An initial plan may outline strategies for obtaining community resources, referrals and assistance with legal issues, assistance with social security taxes, counseling services, housing placement assistance, guardianship and estate planning, healthcare scheduling and coordination, crisis intervention, assistance with insurance claims processing and interfacing with family. By acting as a mediator, and care team participant, the Geriatric Care Manager can oftentimes accomplish the most difficult task of all: convincing an older adult to accept the help available and needed.

With fees generally ranging from $80-$150 per hour, the Geriatric Care Manager can become part of your family’s short term goal planning or can remain as part of a long term care program. While Medicare does not provide reimbursement for such services, most long term health plans will. During the initial consultation, a plan for care is outlined with treatment and care recommendations and will incorporate a variety of adult services. From that point, depending on the length of service, the GCM will periodically update and modify the plan based on the needs of the client. If needed and requested, GCMs will also offer 24 hour care to ensure the patient is given adequate care and guidance.

If you are one of the American families blessed with the care and responsibility of an older adult, a Geriatric Care Manager may be the solution to your search for community resources and guidance programs. If you are a family member who lives far from an older adult loved one, consider a Geriatric Care Manager as your solution to the problem distance has imposed on your care responsibilities. And still, if you are the senior adult, preparing for your future independence, contact a Geriatric Care Manager today to begin working and preparing a life care plan that will ensure your safety and comfort are within the best possible environment.

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