A Caregiver's Guide to Geriatric Care Managers
What they do
Geriatric care managers -- also known as case managers when employed by a facility instead of hired privately -- are usually social workers, psychologists, nurses, gerontologists, or others with both training and experience in a number of aspects of elder care. They can assess needs, handle crises (such as an emergency hospitalization), help place an older adult in a long-term care facility, help solve family disputes, locate community resources, or simply fill in for family caregivers at doctor appointments and assist with other daily care.
How they help
Geriatric care managers are best at helping organize care needs when there's a change in situation, such as when your loved one moves or has a health crisis. They can also manage complicated ongoing care, as when a number of doctors and therapists are often involved. Working and long-distance caregivers, especially, often find their support and advice to be a godsend.
What they cost
Some local government agencies and charitable groups offer consulting services free or on a sliding scale according to income level. If you hire a geriatric care manger privately, expect to pay $75 to $250 an hour.
How to get started
Use Caring.com's Senior Living Directory to search for geriatric care mangers by city or zip code. Or try these other options:
Area Agencies on Aging. Trained staff at your local Area Agency on Aging can usually provide referrals to geriatric care managers in your area.
National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Call (520) 881-8008 or visit caremanager.org.
Search online. Enter geriatric care manager and the name of your loved one's city or town.