Published in: AARP, December 2001, Vol. 42 No. 11, Washington D.C. p 9-13.
I will not promote or sanction any form of discrimination.
An aging life care manger, also known as a geriatric care manager is a person who has specialized training to provide care for older adults. Most GCMs hold graduate degrees in nursing, gerontology, psychology, social work or health and human services.
Geriatric care managers interface with family members and professionals in a variety of areas, such as legal services, health care, counseling and housing. Depending on their training, GCMs may provide assessments; placement; education; psychotherapy; counseling; advocacy; information and referral; crisis intervention; care management; entitlements; home care; insurance; and direction on guardianship or conservatorship.
The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers evolved out of an earlier organization that was established in 1984. This organization boasts a membership of 1,100 professionals throughout the United States who work in a variety of aging-related settings. Members must comply with relevant state and professional licensing and certification requirements as part of the GCM membership requirement.
It is the forte of geriatric care managers to answer questions involving in-home assessments; care options; arranging for the payment of social security taxes; finding the best living arrangements; community resources; alerting children who live at a distance; estate planning; and other legal and financial issues. By being able to explain options, arrange for services, coordinate care and monitor the changing needs of individual clients, GCMs provide continuity and serve as valuable resources.
Geriatric care management fees are dependent upon the combination of services to be provided and the complexity of the individual situation. In the case of my friend and her parents, a typical scenario might play out as follows: The client contacts ADVANCED Senior Solutions, Inc. and requests an initial consultation. The consultation is followed up by an agreement to perform a needs assessment, after which a meeting is scheduled between the GCM and the client(s) to discuss the findings. After the assessments are done, the GCM presents a range of care plan options, including a description