What is a Care Manager?

November 3, 2016

senior couple get financial advice

A son, living in Nebraska, called our office about his parents need home care. Our geriatric care manager assessed the mom, 86, and discovered she has memory loss and a fractured shoulder due to a recent fall. Her husband, also in his late 80s, couldn’t safely bathe her and help her out of bed in the morning. Instead of the son flying out to California and trying to find a private caregiver on his own, our Care Manager coordinated care with our staff of screened provider employees to provide in home care for the mother. The father received respite and the son has peace of mind knowing a geriatric care manager continues to monitor the situation with updates to the son on an ongoing basis.

We often hear the question, “What is a care manager?” A geriatric care manager is an educated professional in the field of social work, nursing, gerontology, or other human service professions. These professionals carry at least a Bachelor’s Degree and many hold advanced Master Degree’s. Professional Geriatric Care Managers are also certified through the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers or NAPGCM. In order to become certified with this association, the care manager must meet educational and experience requirements, and pass the national exam.

The goal of the care manager is to support and be a resource for older adults, and individuals with disabilities and their families throughout the community and nationwide. Care managers can offer numerous services such as psychosocial assessments, communication with legal and medical staff, medical coordination as well as medication monitoring. These professionals conduct thorough assessments where needs are identified and assistance with resources such as Veterans benefits are provided. The Geriatric Care Manager can also conduct family meetings to assist the older adult and his or her families in coming to resolutions regarding care and other issues the older adult may be facing.

Care managers are also a wealth of knowledge. The care manager is able to assist with government entitlements, eligibility, costs and quality of services, community resources, and availability of services. This knowledge allow for community education regarding what resources may be available for assistance. Due to the number of services and programs available it can be difficult to determine which is appropriate and what the steps to complete are. The care manager is a professional that can assist individuals and their families in finding solutions.

*(Note: the above situation is typical but not related to any one individual.)

Categories: Healthy Living