How Do You Go About Finding a Geriatric Care Manager?
How do you go about finding a Geriatric Care Manager? Will that person do a home visit and an evaluation on your parents and make recommendations? I'm living at a distance from parents right now, so I am looking for someone to make some suggestions on their current daily living situation (they still live independently, but probably shouldn't be).
There are three core services that I recommend family caregivers look for from a geriatric care manager and your question includes all three. They are:
1) A home visit or a visit to the setting that the older adult considers to be "home";
2) An assessment or evaluation of the older adult that takes into account not just the physical environment, but also his or her mental, physical, emotional and social functioning within that environment;
3) A discussion of the geriatric care manager's impressions and a review of recommendations that not only enhance the older adult's quality of life but also reduce the level of stress experienced by the family.
While some geriatric care managers may only provide these three core services, others offer everything from retrieving prescriptions at the pharmacy to responding to a medical emergency if a family member is not available. That said it's important to think about the level of involvement you'd like the geriatric care manager to have so that you can find the right person at the outset.
This brings me to your question about how to find a geriatric care manager. Unless you get a personal recommendation from someone in your parents' town, it makes sense to begin your search in a reputable directory. Caring.com allows visitors to search for a professional geriatric care managers by clicking on the following link: https://www.caring.com/local/geriatric-care-managers. You can also visit The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers website at: www.caremanager.org.
Caring.com can also help you find a geriatric care manager, by location.
My wife has been seen by a neurologist for 10 years and has progressively more serious Alzheimer's. We have a housekeeper who cleans, cooks and bathes her twice a week. While behavior is not erratic yet, to leave her on her own is not possible. She is unsteady on her feet, unable to do simple toiletry and is incontinent. I attend monthly workshops/discussions of the Valley Caregivers of California (Modesto-Bakersfield), occasional retreats (when funding is possible) and wait for the day when medication is available to reverse the effects of this dastardly disease. My wife is taking medication twice a day to slow down the loss of functions. I would like to see her get into an experimental program to try remedial medication, therapy or anything else outside of the home but there does not seem to be anything nearby outside of expensive day-care at nursing homes which we have yet to explore.
Does Medicare pay for care managers?
No, unfortunately, medicare does not pay for care managers. Some long term care insurances do. Many Geriatric Care Management agencies, like the agency I work for, will give a free consultation and then will taper their costs based on the needs of the client.
If anyone has any other questions about Care Managers they want answered immediately, feel free to call us at: 727-443-2273 Advanced Senior Solutions, Inc. Website: http://www.advancedseniorsolutions.com/
Regarding searching for and selecting a Geriatric Care Manager~Beware: many call themselves "Care Managers" without the proper credentials or education.
For example, some say they are a "Certified Senior Advisor" CSA-this can be obtained on-line or by attending a THREE DAY class & then taking a 1 time 3 hour exam with NO education requirements.
Most GCM's like myself, have a minimum of 4 to 6 YEARS of higher education, with countless exams having had to pass in a related major to earn a degree in Gerontology or other affiliated fields of study.
The NAPGCM screens canidates VERY thorougly including requiring submittal of Diplomas, Certifications from appropriate organizations and letters of recommendation...thus why they are called the "Gold Standard" in deciding on a GCM.
Please do not be shy in asking for credentials- A true GCM would be more than happy to furnish these. Look for membership in the NAPGCM, look for a true Gerontologist or Social Worker (LMSW or LCSW) with a certificate in Gerontology. (Not all SWer's have experience in the interdisciplinary field of Aging.
We can be a wealth of knowledge, resources, and liaisons with other Health Care Professionals often enhancing quality of life for seniors and bringing much needed peace of mind for families.