Geriatric Care Managers
Professional geriatric care managers are experts in helping families find better and more efficient ways of caring for a loved one coping with age related challenges, chronic illness, or disability. A care manager is a compassionate professional adviser and guide through the maze of health care services and providers, and facilitates discussions of issues and planning that most families will not address on their own. The care manager finds the most appropriate solutions in less time by education, knowledge, and experience versus the average family’s solutions found by word of mouth and trial and error. Families often make the costly mistake of committing to solutions that will not work long-term; lose productive time from work researching, arranging, and monitoring care; and fail to make back-up plans. Care management ensures that the right decisions are made at the right time: proactively and calmly, rather than reactively and with emotions running high. When a crisis does occur the care manager is on call 24/7 to provide objective guidance and support—a boon to adult children who live out of town or are caught in a ‘sandwich generation’ situation, unavailable to respond due to work or family concerns.
Unlike free assessment and placement and referral services, professional geriatric care managers are fee for service providers that conduct an objective comprehensive analysis of the client’s entire situation: social, spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing, medical care, financial resources, and home environment in order to provide options and recommendations that are in the client’s best interests both short and long term.
Consider hiring a care manager as being no different than hiring other experts: an attorney to help with legal problems, a CPA to help with taxes, or a plumber to fix the sink. Most people don't represent themselves in court or file a complicated tax return, and it costs double when the plumber has to correct do-it-yourself efforts! Fees for professional geriatric care management vary by geographic area, services offered, how many clients are involved (e.g. a couple requires more assessment time than a single person), and whether it is a planning versus crisis situation. Consultation rates range an average of $85-150 per hour and many care managers offer flat rate “package plans” of services. The cost of care management is often only a fraction of the savings the care manager produces by averting or minimizing the financial impact of a crisis (consider the cost of last minute plane fare!). It is an investment that can reap returns two to three fold. Most important, a care manager’s involvement greatly reduces the family caregiver’s stress and family disputes—that, like the credit card commercial says, is priceless!