Using a Professional Geriatric Care Manager

Utilizing the services of a professional geriatric care manager should be something that every family considers, but in reality very few families know about care managers or use them.  Geriatric care managers can go a long ways toward helping a family find better and more efficient ways of providing care for a loved one .

The concept is simple. The family hires a professional care maanger to act as a guide through the maze of long-term care services and providers. While a family is often experiencing it for the first time, professional care managers have been there many times. 

Hiring a care manager should be no different than hiring an attorney to help with legal problems or a CPA to help with tax problems. Most people don’t attempt to solve legal problems on their own. And the use of professional tax advice can be an invaluable investment. The same is true of using a care manager.  

Unfortunately there are too few care managers and the public is so poorly informed about the services of a care manager, that valuable resources that could be provided go lacking.  

The irony of not using a care manager is that most families — when given the opportunity to use the care manager — think they can do it themselves and will not pay the money. Yet the services of a care manager most likely will save them considerably more money then do-it-yourself. The cost of the care manager might be only a fraction of the savings the care manager could produce. Care manager services can also greatly reduce family and caregiver stress and help eliminate family disputes and disagreements.  

Below is a partial list of how a care manager might help your family:

  1. Assess the level and type of care needed and develop a care plan
  2. Take steps to start the care plan and keep it functioning
  3. Make sure care is received in a safe and disability friendly environment
  4. Resolve family conflicts and other family issues relating to long-term care
  5. Become an advocate for the care recipient and the family caregiver
  6. Manage care for a loved one for out-of-town families
  7. Conduct ongoing assessments to monitor and implement changes in care
  8. Oversee and direct care provided at home
  9. Coordinate the efforts of key support systems
  10. Provide personal counseling
  11. Help work with your attorney in connection with Medicaid qualification and application
  12. Arrange for services of legal and financial advisors
  13. Manage a guardianship and/or conservatorship for a care recipient
  14. Provide assistance with placement in assisted living facilities or nursing homes
  15. Monitor the care of a family member in a nursing home or in assisted living
  16. Assist with the monitoring of medications
  17. Find appropriate solutions to avoid a crisis
  18. Coordinate medical appointments and medical information
  19. Provide transportation to medical appointments
  20. Assist families in positive decision making
  21. Develop long range plans for older loved ones not now needing care

To find a geriatric care manager, go to  www.caremanager.org, which is the Web site of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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