Geriatric care is a growing and continuously evolving field. A Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) is a person who treats the health conditions of older adults and often provides home care assistance. They are highly skilled advocates and specialists in senior care. A GCM can look after someone in their 60s or 100s, demanding a hyper-personalized approach to ensure that loved ones are adequately cared for. A GCM can also help by providing options, trade-offs, and costs. An initial assessment by a GCM can help navigate complex funding options or uncover unknown resources for senior care.
Geriatric Care Managers can provide many services, including:
- Evaluating, arranging for, and monitoring in-home care services and the personnel that provide services
- Coordinating medical appointments and arranging transportation
- Identifying available programs and social services
- Making referrals to medical, legal, or financial professionals and suggesting ways to avert problems
- Explaining difficult or complex topics to family members or senior care recipients
- Creating short and long-term care plans that may include changes in living arrangements
- Acting as a liaison to families who live far away from their loved one
- Addressing and answering questions and emotional concerns of caregivers and their loved ones
- Arranging for respite care providing relief to stressed-out caregivers
A GCM is sometimes referred to as “Aging Life Care Professional” or “Senior Care Manager,” as some find the term geriatric outdated.
Should I Hire Someone For Senior Care?
There comes a time in our older family member’s life when you might feel utterly lost and unsure about what to do. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know the best way to provide senior care for our older loved ones. Of course, some people fare better than others. Still, non-GCMs do not have the appropriate skills to guarantee quality elderly care.
If you feel like you may need to consider hiring a GCM, begin looking around now. An initial assessment by a GCM can help navigate complex senior care options or uncover unknown resources for funding in-home care.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) provides links on its webpage to locate geriatric care managers, as do many other organizations specializing in senior care like AgingLifeCare, and caring.com. You can also learn what to ask a potential GCM at caregiversamerica.com and other senior care information websites.
How Much Does a Geriatric Care Manager Cost?
Medicare and Medicaid do not pay for a Geriatric Care Manager’s services, so count on paying out of pocket. The initial assessment cost may range from $300 in rural settings to $800 or more in larger urban areas. After an initial assessment, a GCM bills by the hour and sometimes on a case-by-case basis.
A reputable, certified GCM will have acquired degrees in one or more health care fields and several years of hands-on experience providing elderly care. They will help assess, coordinate, and monitor your loved one’s insurance and entitlements, financial and legal matters, medical issues, activities, and family communications.
Do You Live Far Away?
It isn’t easy to manage your older adult’s care if you do not live near them. Using in-home technology to monitor and assess your loved ones’ well-being is not enough. You aren’t interacting with them in the same way as you would in person.
If you cannot frequently visit, a Geriatric Care Manager can supervise in-home senior care and alert you to potential problems. They will work with you to arrive at the best decision and work out any issues that may present themselves.
Do They Refuse to Discuss Their Health With You?
Many seniors, especially older parents, do not want to burden adults or their adult children with worries or problems. If you feel your loved one is not telling you the whole story about things affecting their health and well-being, hiring a GCM to check on them is a sensible strategy. Often, seniors are more willing to share their concerns with an expert outside the family system.
Have You Noticed Behavioral Changes?
Serious behavioral issues can manifest in many ways, such as constant verbal abuse or being physically combative. These issues typically present themselves during the onset of dementia, and the root cause of the problem can be challenging to pinpoint. A GCM can connect you to an appropriate specialist to diagnose the problem and are equipped with the professional capacity to provide care.
Are They Living In A Senior Care Facility?
You might sense your parent needs more individualized care in an assisted living community; however, the community’s administrator will likely not permit you to hire a private senior care aide. A GCM understands how these communities work, the relevant state laws, and can negotiate on your behalf. Since a GCM is an industry insider, they are more likely to find a solution in your loved one’s best interest.
There is much to consider about your aging family member’s health and welfare, whether aging in place or in an assisted living community. An experienced Geriatric Care Manager and trusted legal counsel can provide the best overall planning for a loved one. If you have questions or would like to discuss further how a GCM may help you or a loved one, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Please contact me today at 877-585-1885 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal matters.
Thanks for reading.
Christopher E. Botti, Esq., Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law