What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
A Geriatric Care Manager is a health and human services professional such as a social worker, counselor,gerontologist or nurse with a specialized body of knowledge and experience related to aging and elder care issues.
The Professional Geriatric Care Manager (PGCM) assists older adults and persons with disabilities in attaining their maximum functional potential.
The PGCM strives to respect the autonomy of the individual and delivers care-coordination and support services with sensitivity to preserve the dignity and respect of each individual.
In addition, the PGCM is an experienced guide and resource forfamilies of older adults and others with chronic needs.
Do association members also assist other populations?
Geriatric Care Management services have been provided by members to:
- Individuals with disabilities
- Banks and Trust Officers
- Physicians and Allied Health Professionals
- Social Service Providers
- Senior Housing Communities
What kind of background does a PGCM have?
In order to join the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, individuals must:
Hold a baccalaureate, masters or Ph.D. degree with at least one degree held in a field related to care management, i.e. counseling, nursing, mental health, social work, psychology or gerontology; is primarily engaged in the direct practice, administration or supervision of client-centered services to the older adults and their families; and has two years of supervised experience in the field of gerontology following the completion of the degree.
Non-degreed RNs and other individuals with a baccalaureate, masters or Ph.D. degree, who are primarily engaged in the direct practice, administration or supervision of client-centered services to the older adults and their families and have three years supervised experience in the field of gerontology.
Who uses a PGCM?
Individuals, Families, Banks and Trust Officers, Physicians and Allied Health Professionals, Attorneys, Hospitals, Social Service Providers, Gerontology Professionals, and Senior Housing Communities.
What unique services can PGCMs bring to their clients?
Professional geriatric care managers provide services that are tailored and defined by the client’s individual needs. Consequently, one call to a PGCM can provide an expert who has extensive knowledge about how to assess an individual’s needs, how to determine the best living situation for them, how to efficiently manage resources, and how to provide the numerous ancillary services to maintain independence and the best possible quality of life under the current circumstances.
Are PGCM Licensed professionals?
Professional Geriatric Care Managers are licensed, as required by state laws, in their individual professions; i.e. nursing, social work, psychology, etc. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers has endorsed and does encourage members to obtain and maintain a certification in care management. Currently there are four accepted certifications: Care Manager Certified (CMC), Certified Case Manager (CCM), Certified Social Work Case Manager (C-SWCM) and Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (C-ASWCM).
How does someone pay for GCM services?
Most clients are private pay because most PGCMs are fee for service agencies and bill monthly. Some long-term care insurance policies cover care coordination. In addition, more and more employee assistance programs are covering care management as a benefit. Many care managers bill by the hour for all of their time like attorneys, some have flat monthly rates and some incorporate the cost with other services.
How can PGCMs assist family caregivers?
PGCMs can help caregivers by assessing the needs of the client and by knowing about the services available in specific geographic areas. They can recommend the most appropriate, available and cost-effective services. PGCMs can monitor and evaluate services and make adjustments as needs change.
They can perform important services to physicians by monitoring medical compliance issues and assuring that scheduled appointments are kept. For long distance caregivers, PGCMs can provide the ongoing supervision and communication link so often needed to avoid frequent and costly trips.
How do you know that you need a PGCM?
You may need a PGCM if:
Individual has limited or no family support.
Family has just become involved with helping the individual and needs direction about available services.
Individual has multiple medical or psychological issues.
Individual is unable to live safely in his/her current environment.
Family is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions.
Family has limited time and/or expertise in dealing with loved ones’ chronic care needs.
Family is at odds regarding care decisions.
Individual is not pleased with current care providers and requires advocacy.
Individual is confused about his/her own financial and/or legal situation.
Family needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia.
What are some danger signals to look for indicating a need for attention and possible intervention for the safety of an aging family member?
- Frequent falls or unexplained bruises
- Unexplained weight loss of 10 lbs. or more in a 12-month period
- Forgetting to take medication/overdoses of medication/mistakes in taking medication as ordered/abusing medication
- Bizarre or deviant behavior
- Getting lost while driving or walking
- Extreme suspiciousness
- Loss of interest in social activities/social isolation
- Neglecting to pay bills or cash checks
- A small kitchen or bedroom fire
- Not eating properly or regularly
- Abusing alcohol/drugs
- Unsafe driving/ getting driving violation tickets frequently and/or involved in driving accidents
- Confusion/judgment in question/increased forgetfulness
- New balance or mobility problems and refusing to use cane or walker
- Health complaints/symptoms, but refusing to see the doctor
- Forgetting things cooking on the stove or turning on burners or appliances and forgetting to turn them off
- One spouse overwhelmed or in poor health caring for a dependent spouse
How can one locate a PGCM?
Once I locate a PGCM, what are some of the questions I should ask?
- What are your professional credentials?
- Are you licensed in your profession?
- Are you a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers?
- How long have you been providing care management services?
- Are you available for emergencies?
- Does your company also provide home care services?
- How do you communicate information to me?
- What are your fees? (Should be provided in writing to the client prior to starting services)
- Can you provide me with references?