Geriatric Care Managers (or GCMs) help families with an immediate care need to create and implement long term care plans. This includes an in-person needs assessment, the development and review of a care plan and arranging and monitoring care services. Some also do financial planning; though most are not professionally certified and their planning services might be better desribed as "resource assessments". GCMs do not usually provide hands-on care.
Local government agencies, such as the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), may provide public services similiar to those of private GCMs. One should be aware that these agencies often have heavy workloads and may not be able to offer the same level of expertise and commitment that a private GCM can provide.
In addition to a certification from the National Academy of Certified Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM), many are licensed by their different professional backgrounds; which include social workers, registered nurses, therapists and assisted living or home care professionals.
How They Work
Engaging with a GCM typically begins with a phone call between the caregiver or family member and the GCM during which both parties assess whether they are an appropriate fit. A family is under no commitment to work with the Geriatric Care Manager and very often benefits from the conversation even if they do not continue with the GCM. Should both parties agree to continue, a rate is agreed upon, a deeper conversation occurs and assessment process with the individual in need of care soon follows.
Some larger GCM organizations have an “intake manager” that manages the introductory calls, but all organizations permit direct conversations between the family and GCM before any formal engagement occurs.
Also Known As
GCMs are also referred to as elder care managers, case managers and service or care coordinators.
Geriatric Care Managers charge clients in a variety of ways, but typically their hourly rates are between $50-$200 / hr. Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance very rarely pay for these costs, long term care insurance might, but most often this is an out-of-pocket cost.
In addition to the convenience and security they provide, Care Managers usually save families money despite being an out-of-pocket cost because their needs assessments align an individual’s present condition with only those services that are necessary at that point in time. This prevents unnecessary fees from home care providers and assisted living residences.
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