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Question: What is a geriatric care manager, and how can I find one? A friend of mine thought that having a professional “on the scene” to help my dad would take some of the pressure off me.
Professional care managers are usually licensed nurses or social workers who specialize in geriatrics. Some families hire a geriatric care manager to evaluate and assess a parent’s needs and to coordinate care through community resources. The cost of an initial evaluation varies and may be expensive, but depending on your family circumstances, geriatric care managers might offer a useful service. They are a sort of “professional relative” to help you and your family to identify needs and how to meet them. These professionals can also help by leading family discussions about sensitive subjects.
When interviewing a geriatric care manager, you might want to ask:
• Are you a licensed geriatric care manager?
• Are you a member of the National Association of Professional
Geriatric Care Managers?
• How long have you been providing care management services?
• Are you available for emergencies around the clock?
• Does your company also provide home care services?
• How will you communicate information to me?
• What are your fees? Will you provide information on fees in
writing prior to starting services?
• Can you provide references?
The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, www.caremanager.org, can help you find a care manager near your family member’s community. You can also call or write the Eldercare Locator for recommendations. In some cases, support groups for diseases related to aging may be able to recommend geriatric care managers who have assisted other families.
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