A geriatric care manager is a professional who can work with families to create, manage, and assist with a care plan for a loved one in need.

Geriatric care managers come from a number of educational backgrounds that may include social work, nursing, psychology, or gerontology. Some specific qualifications to look out for are a professional certification as a care manager or membership in a professional care organization. Reputable professional organizations in care management include the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, the Commission for Case Manager Certification, the Aging Life Care Association, and the National Association of Social Workers.

Geriatric care managers can be a particular help to individuals who are starting out providing home care to a relative in need. Care managers can assist home caregivers not only in how to provide more effective care, but also available community resources. These resources could include help focused on particular conditions that the individual receiving care may have or outside support for home caregivers themselves.

Care managers can also make home visits to make sure that a person’s home situation is optimized for their current needs. Ongoing visits can also help ensure a person’s care situation evolves as the person’s needs change over time.

If a person needs professional in-home care, geriatric care managers can assist families through the murky world of finding qualified and affordable care professionals.

Finding and coordinating appropriate health care services is another area where geriatric care managers can provide value. A good geriatric care manager will know where to find specialist services for an individual’s particular needs.

If a person does eventually need nursing home care, a geriatric care manager will also be able to recommend reputable care facilities that specialize in any particular conditions that an individual may have.

The one major drawback of geriatric care managers is cost. Geriatric care managers typically charge by the hour for services and the cost is generally not covered my Medicare, Medicaid, or other insurance. However, a competent care manager should work with a family to provide cost effective services in line with the family’s needs.

To discuss how a geriatric care manager may fit into your long term plans, please call Martha C. Brown & Associates at (314) 962-0186.