Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide

Geriatric Care Managers
Providing Peace of Mind

Many of us can relate to some of the following situations: Your forgetful elderly sister lives alone in a distant town and she calls you several times a day - not remembering her previous phone calls. Your mother or father is recovering from a stroke and needs help in the home. Your spouse or loved ones have asked you to promise that you would never put them in a nursing home, but you have no idea of what else to do.

If you are like most people, you have no idea where to begin to look for services.

One option is to hire a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM). A GCM is a licensed Social Worker, a Registered Nurse, or a Licensed Practical Nurse. A GCM can visit someone in a private home or apartment, a nursing or personal care home, a hospital, or a rehabilitation facility. A GCM will visit your loved one and do an assessment to find out what needs they have and will also want to talk to you and anyone else who can provide information about how a person is doing.

A GCM will use the information from the assessment to devise a plan for your loved one. Some of the services a GCM can assist with are: arrange, screen and monitor in home help; suggest referrals for financial, legal, mental health, or medical issues; arrange to move an older person to or from a nursing home, personal care home, or a private residence; and assist with daily money management and other financial concerns. Counseling and emotional support to both the family member and their loved one is another service offered. Some other areas in which a GCM can be helpful are legal guardian assistance and conservatorship.

The issues of aging and disability are hard to deal with. A GCM works well with a person's local and out-of-town relatives, keeping them informed about all issues that arise. This helps family members to continue with their family and community responsibilities, maintain their own physical and mental health, and still make sure their loved one is well cared for.

GCMs charge a fee for their services and those fees vary. Although Medicare or other types of insurance do not cover a GCM's fee, many of the services that a GCM suggests are covered by Medicare or other private insurance.

To find a GCM in your area, you can call the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers at (520) 881-8008, or go to their website at www.caremanager.org.

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