For some seniors, the mental and physical changes they experience as they age can make it difficult to live independently.
This is where a geriatric care manager (GCM) can help. GCMS are trained professionals, typically with a background in social work, nursing, or gerontology, who specialize in helping seniors and their families navigate the complexities of aging. They can help you and your loved one navigate the complicated health care system by connecting you with the necessary resources in your community, such as transportation, food resources, and adult day care.
Additionally, finding and paying for optimal care may be challenging, and a GCM can help you identify and compare different care options, including in-home care, assisted living, and nursing homes, help you to understand Medicare and Medicaid benefits, as well as other financial resources that may be available to help pay for care. So if you’re concerned about an older loved one’s care, here’s how a GCM can provide support and advocate for your senior’s needs.
The role of a (GCM)
Caring for an aging loved one can be emotionally challenging, and a GCM can offer you support and guidance as you make difficult decisions. They can help you identify and address any safety concerns, facilitate communication with your loved one about their wishes for care, and find ways to support your loved one’s independence and quality of life, even as their needs change.
A GCM will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your senior’s needs, including their physical, mental, and emotional health and their social and financial situation.
Based on the assessment, the GCM will develop a personalized care plan that meets your senior’s individual needs. This plan may include recommendations for medical care, home care, transportation, and other services.
They will coordinate care between your senior and their health care providers and other professionals, such as social workers and financial planners.
Advocacy and education
The GCM will advocate for your senior’s needs with insurance companies, government agencies, and other organizations. They can also provide you and your family with education about aging and caregiving.
Reasons to hire a GCM
If your loved one is facing a significant health decline physically, mentally, or both, you may want to consider hiring a GCM to help. Some of the more common reasons include:
- Feeling concerned about your senior’s safety and well-being.
- Needing help finding elder care services and coordinating care.
- Feeling overwhelmed caring for and making crucial decisions for your loved one.
- Wanting to have someone advocate for your loved one’s care in the health system.
- Wanting to avoid making costly mistakes.
If you think you need a GCM, there are a few different ways to find one. You can ask your doctor or other health care providers for a referral or contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Once you have a few names, you can interview them to find the one who is the best fit for your needs. Just be sure to inquire about their experience, qualifications, and fees, and verify they are licensed and insured. You should also feel comfortable with their approach to care.