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It isn't uncommon to find yourself faced with making decisions about what is best for an aging family member. You might even desire the input of an objective third party. A geriatric care manager is a professional who can assess your loved one's particular situation and then provide recommendations. Generally, a geriatric care manager offers advice and support in helping families cope with either the gradual or sudden changes that aging brings into their lives.
Expertise of a Geriatric Care Manager
Generally, care managers previously were employed in the fields of nursing, social work, psychology, gerontology, or other area of senior care. Their working knowledge of health and human services aids them in coordinating care services for the elderly in addition to helping the individual and his or her family members deal emotionally with the changes occurring in their lives.
Geriatric care managers often are members of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers – currently known as the Aging Life Care Association – who also may be certified by a licensing body such as the state's Board of Nursing, National Association of Social Workers, or National Academy of Certified Care Managers.
Role of Geriatric Care Managers
Geriatric care managers come into the home or a health facility to perform a comprehensive assessment of the individual's situation and needs. Generally, the goal is to help an elderly person live as independently as possible in a safe environment. A care manager can recommend the most appropriate housing option for your loved one, whether it be at home with help, an assisted living community, or a skilled nursing facility. After explaining what options are available, a geriatric care manager can then help develop and implement a care plan for the individual.
Geriatric care managers focus on a client's physical, emotional, and social well-being. Therefore, as part of a care plan, a care manager may connect a client or his or her family with assistive services in the community, including home health care, visiting nurses, housekeeping services for seniors, non-medical companion care, and elder transportation. In some cases, care managers direct clients and their families to financial planners or elder law attorneys. Although some geriatric care managers work independently, many are part of a care team, which may include doctors, home health nurses and aides, in-home physical and/or occupational therapists, and pharmacists.
Payment of a Geriatric Care Manager's Fees
The cost of geriatric care manager services varies depending on the area where you live. Fee amounts the individual or care management agency charges differ as well. Usually, you must pay an initial assessment fee and then an hourly rate, which can vary widely, if you continue to use the care manager's services.
Although some long-term care insurances may pay for the cost, most times the expense comes out of your own pocket. Medicare generally won't cover geriatric care manager services, but depending on the individual's specific medical needs and circumstances – especially if you have a Medicare plan other than original Medicare – the plan may pay toward the cost of the initial assessment. Click here to read more information on senior home care.Share
16 December 2015