What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
A Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide and advocate for you and your older adult. Their goal is to improve your older adult’s quality of life and reduce family stress.
How does a Geriatric Care Manager help you?
- Housing – help evaluate and choose the right housing
- Home care services – determine services that are right for your older adult, help families hire and monitor those services
- Safety and security – monitor seniors at home, recommend technology to improve security or safety, watch for changes and potential risks of abuse or fraud
- Medical management – go to doctor appointments, facilitate communication between doctor, patient, and family, and make sure patient follows doctor’s instructions
- Communication – keep family members and health professionals up to date on your older adult’s well-being, alert everyone to changing needs
- Legal – refer to or consult with elder law attorney, provide expert opinion for courts in determining level of care
- Financial – may include review or supervision of bill paying, consulting with accountant or the person who has Power of Attorney
- Entitlements – provide information on Federal and state entitlements, connect families to local benefits programs
- Social activities – find social, recreational, or cultural activities to improve quality of life
How much does a Geriatric Care Manager cost?
Most GCMs charge on a fee-for-service basis, but they all bill differently. Be sure to discuss all fees before making a commitment. Some insurance plans may be starting to cover this service – check your older adult’s coverage to find out.
What are their qualifications?
GCMs are educated and experienced in fields related to care management such as nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, but have a specialized focus on aging and elder care. They’re also familiar with the costs, quality, and availability of resources in their communities.
How to find a local Geriatric Care Manager
- Visit the Aging Life Care Expert search page.
- Enter your location (zip code, city, or state).
- Choose some GCMs in your area to interview.
Note: In early 2015, the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers changed their name to Aging Life Care Association. We expect the term “geriatric care manager” will still be used — people are used to it!
Check references and experience!
This industry isn’t regulated, so it’s worth it to do some homework before choosing a GCM.
- Ask for references and verify them all.
- Here are a few questions to ask when evaluating a GCM.
If you’re swamped by responsibilities and need help managing your older adult’s care, a GCM may be a worthwhile expense and great addition to your caregiving team. For those who are caring long-distance, having a GCM in your older adult’s community can give added peace of mind that a knowledgeable professional is close by and looking out for their best interests.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff