In Search of a Geriatric Care Manager

Posted on August 27, 2013 by ecrBayArea in Geriatric Care Management

When a senior needs reputable guidance, locating a qualified professional takes research and patience. Professionals such as elder law attorneys, ombudsman and geriatric care managers, who specialize in working with seniors, focus on the needs of seniors in a particular area and can provide beneficial services.

A good way to start searching for a professional is to ask friends, clergy and other professionals for referrals. If a senior knows a trusted professional, that professional would naturally have contacts in other areas. If a direct referral is not a viable option, seniors can locate elder-focused professionals in other ways. The CSA Locator is a great way to find professionals who have gained and maintained the Certified Senior Advisor designation. Click here to search for a CSA in your area.

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As people age, it is natural to require more assistance with activities such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals and transportation. A geriatric care manager (GCM) is a professional dedicated to assisting older adults and assuring that their requirements are met. GCMs have been trained and have experience in many fields related to the aging adult, including nursing, gerontology, social work and psychology.

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM), a not-for-profit organization which provides older adults and consumers with professional support, says GCMs are hired to do many of the following tasks for seniors and their families:

  • Conduct care-planning assessments to identify problems, eligibility for assistance and needs for services
  • Screen, arrange and monitor in-home help or other services
  • Provide crisis intervention
  • Act as a liaison to families who live far away
  • Assist with moving an older adult to or from a retirement complex, care home or nursing home
  • Offer counseling and support
  • Provide advocacy within the medical and government systems

While there is no formal licensing that takes place to become a GCM, the NAPGCM does require that members abide by its standard rules of conduct and that members on its GCM referral list have the following qualifications:

  • Education: B.A., M.A. or Ph.D. degree in a field related to care management, i.e., counseling, nursing, mental health, social work, psychology or gerontology.
  • Elder care specialization: Primary engagement in the direct practice, or administration or supervision of client-centered services for the elderly and their families.
  • Formal training: Supervised experience in the field of care management.

The NAPGCM website will define and list members as certified geriatric care managers if they are any of the following: care manager certified by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, a certified case manager from the Commission for Case Manager Certification, or a certified advanced social work case manager or certified social work case manager from the National Association of Social Workers.
The NAPGCM’s website provides a search tool to help find qualified elder care professionals. Click here to find a geriatric care manager.