How Do You Go About Finding a Geriatric Care Manager?

A fellow caregiver asked...

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).

Expert Answer

Maria Basso Lipani writes a popular website on geriatric care topics, where she puts her expertise as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to good use answering care planning questions. Maria is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work and is licensed in California and New York.

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.