What is a Care Manager?
A care manager — also known as a case manager or geriatric care manager (GCM) — is a health and human services expert, such as a social worker, counselor, gerontologist or nurse, with a specialized body of knowledge and experience related to aging and care issues. A GCM assists older adults and persons with disabilities in addressing issues related to their health, psychological, functional and legal/financial status. In addition, the GCM coordinates ongoing care and serves as an experienced guide and resource for families of older adults and others with chronic needs. The GCM respects the autonomy of the individual, services with sensitivity and supports the dignity of each individual.
How can GCMs assist family caregivers?
GCMs help families by assessing the needs of the elder and by offering information about local services available. We can recommend the most appropriate, available and cost-effective services that will support the older adult and the family. GCMs monitor and evaluate services and make adjustments as needs change. We can also help physicians provide better care by monitoring medical treatment compliance issues, help with medications, and assure that scheduled appointments are kept. For long-distance caregivers, GCMs can provide the ongoing supervision and communication link so often needed to avoid frequent and costly trips.
Under ideal circumstances, a care manager is involved with a patient before problems arise, but that’s not usually the case. We usually get a call from overwhelmed family caregivers dealing with such problems as repeated ER visits and hospital admissions, nursing home placement and entitlement coordination, dementia safety concerns, and terminal illnesses. Dealing with these problems can consume a caregiver’s entire life. We offer you a way to get your life back. Once clients realize the tremendous benefit and breadth of our service, the response is always, “I wish we found you years ago.”