What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
Updated: Mar 14
When a parent or older loved one starts to experience problems with memory, physical or mental health issues, or a life-altering decrease in their vision, hearing, or ability to move around and take care of themselves, stepping up to help them yourself can be incredibly overwhelming, time-consuming, and limiting. This is especially true if you live or work far away, have children or others in your life who depend on you, or have a busy schedule with work and other commitments. It can become increasingly difficult to go out of town knowing this person in your life may have an emergency or need your assistance unexpectedly and if you live out of state, traveling back and forth can become extremely expensive and unreliable. Not to mention, even while staying close, most people do not have the experience to manage care for an elderly person, where to look for reliable resources, and how to finance the needed services.
This is where a Geriatric Care Manager’s role comes in:
Within a quality geriatric care management company, you will find a mix of professional backgrounds in licensed nursing, dementia care, social work, and business management, all specializing in working with older adults and operating together to bring you expert advice on the best course of action for your situation. Their thorough familiarity with medical, mental, social, financial, familial, and cultural problems commonly faced by seniors in the community, and their wide network of trusted resources, make them fully qualified to identify your and your parent’s or older loved one’s needs and practically address them.
Because the role of a GCM is wide and inclusive, it can be a bit hard to define but the first and most essential step after an initial consultation is conducting a thorough assessment of a client’s situation, including their general physical and mental health, their ability to perform essential daily activities and take care of themselves, their living conditions, and their legal and financial position. During this assessment, the care manager will determine how a client feels about their current reality, whether they have any pain or discomfort, what changes they are hoping for, and what their loved ones can help with. As part of this initial assessment, the team determines the most pressing issues to address, pinpoints ways to improve the senior’s life, and anticipates future needs based on their current evaluation;
As a next step, they create a comprehensive and realistic plan of action revolving around what the senior wants for themselves and their preferences in terms of what care they receive, how, when, and by whom. A GCM team can be as minimally or as intimately involved in a client’s daily life as they are asked to be. For instance, some clients can opt to receive an evaluation and a plan of action that includes community resources, network referrals to specialists, and general education, and have their family take over from there. Others can choose to keep the team much more involved by accompanying them to their doctor’s appointments, facilitating communications between different specialists and insurance companies, organizing their schedules, conducting home visits, picking up medications, and more.
All in all, a geriatric care management company does just serve to modify an elderly client’s home to be more accessible, advocate for their preferred course of care, or find live-in help. They are an excellent resource when you want someone in your older loved one’s corner, making sure they get the most out of this season of their life no matter their situation. Most importantly, they allow you to step back and enjoy their company, taking back your position in their life as their child, relative, or friend, instead of assuming the caretaker’s role and allowing it to take up all your quality time together.
If you feel inclined to talk to someone about concerns you have about an elderly loved one, you can always call us for a FREE consultation to learn about our services or be pointed in the right direction. We work face-to-face with geriatric clients and their families on Boston’s South Shore and virtually all around the country.
We can be reached via phone at 617-405-8796 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.