May is National Geriatric Care Managers Month. We honor those professionals who provide families with the best solutions to complex problems that arise when a loved one experiences challenges due to aging or medical issues. Working with families, their expertise provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. These managers’ guidance and advocacy leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love.
What Is Professional Geriatric Care Management?
It is the process of planning and coordinating the care for elderly and disabled people to improve their quality of life and maintain their independence for as long as possible. Health and psychological care are integrated with the best possible combination of services such as: housing, home care services, socialization programs, financial and legal planning.
A care plan tailored for each individual’s circumstances is prepared after a comprehensive assessment. The care plan’s effectiveness is based on the professional geriatric care manager’s monitoring of various components and modified when necessary.
GCMs typically do not provide hands-on care; they help families hire and supervise in-home caregivers or shop for a senior-living community.
How Do I Find A Geriatric Care Manager?
The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) is an organization of practitioners whose goal is the advancement of expert assistance to the elderly and their families. NAPGCM is committed to maximizing the independence and autonomy of elders and strives to ensure the highest quality and most cost-effective health and human services.
Do I Really Need A Professional Geriatric Care Manager?
When you are considering the services of a GCM, evaluate whether you have the time, inclination, or skills to manage the challenges of geriatric care by yourself. Are the problems that you or your loved ones are facing becoming larger and more complex than you can comfortably manage? Are your other demands and responsibilities now so great that you are not able to provide the desired level of supervision and attention to your loved one’s problems?
In May, we honor these professionals for their personalized and compassionate service, their accessibility and their quality control. We honor professional geriatric care managers for their honesty, diligence and accountability in the provision of services. They act in a manner that is consistent with the professional values of integrity, loyalty and responsibility. They respect their clients’ rights and dignity. A professional geriatric care manager behaves in a just and fair way in all professional and business relationships. A professional geriatric care manager does not promote or sanction any form of discrimination.
When the care of an aging or disabled family member becomes overwhelming, please consider the help of an expert GCM.
Lois Young-Tulin, PhD, is an Assistant Geriatric Care Manager at Complete Care Strategies