Geriatric Care Management is the first step many families take when seeking help for themselves or family members when dealing with the challenges of aging. Geriatric Care Management is a relatively new profession that grew out of the social service field. As the aging population began living independently of their families and living longer lives, a need for direct care of this population arose, and thus the field of geriatric care management emerged. Most Geriatric Care Managers come from the health and human service fields. Many have Master Degrees in social work, psychology, nursing or geriatrics. In the past 30 years the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers emerged to help professionalize the field of care management and has become a resource for families seeking help.
Usually, the Geriatric Care Managers’ first step is completion of an assessment of the older adult. A comprehensive assessment is done on the physical, mental, spiritual, legal, financial, psychological, emotional, environmental, and social state of the individual. This assessment then is presented to the client along with a plan of care. The plan of care may include recommendations such as medical testing, environmental modifications, or home care. Geriatric Care Managers can help implement the plan of care and help individuals and families find the best solutions for the given situation. They also serve as the eyes and ears to family members who live out of the area. In several cases, the older adult and family members gain a peace of mind knowing someone is available to help navigate through the myriad of situations that may arise as one ages. It is recommended that an updated assessment be completed every 12 months as a preventative course of action.
Geriatric Care Managers can save individuals and families considerable time and money. I have found many family members attempt to care for themselves or their loved ones without a good handle on the resources available. Many times decisions were made while the older adult was in crisis and in most cases; it was not the best choice. Geriatric Care Managers can help to assess the current situation and most times offer options and solutions that the older adult or family members were unaware existed.
If you have questions or know someone that could benefit from Care Management and/or non-medical home care, contact Connect Our Elders today at 844-353-3776. If there are questions or concerns over a loved one or client, it’s always worthwhile to at least have a conversation