Most families have never heard of a Geriatric Care Manager(GCM), and the services GCM’s provide can be invaluable to many seniors and families.
What does a Geriatric Care Manager do?
A Geriatric Care Manager does a variety of tasks focused on assisting the elderly with overall health and well being. They often can act as a liaison between a relative located far away and local medical professionals or other service providers.
Typically, a GCM will do an assessment of the senior, including medication, mental status, home safety, nutrition, socialization, and then develop a plan of care around their findings. They communicate and coordinate with the family, medical professionals, and other service providers to insure safety, medical (and medication) compliance, and appropriate resource usage.
The GCM is often a nurse or social worker who knows the landscape locally of hospitals, rehab facilities, assisted living facilities, visiting nurses, home health care providers, adult day health facilities, durable medical equipment providers, etc. They are well versed in the local resources available, and help match their client with the appropriate provider. Often, the GCM will act as a “stand in daughter” if the family is far away or unable to attend medical appointments.
For example, during her assessment of an elderly client a GCM may determine that the client is a fall hazard when showering. The GCM may arrange for hand rails to be installed in the shower of the client. She would call the service provider (whom she most likely knows) and coordinate and oversee the installation. This is just a small example of a non medical situation where the client’s family might be unaware of the need, too far away to handle, and not know any local providers. The client herself may be uncomfortable or feel overwhelmed trying to arrange and oversee the installation and not know exactly what she needs or a reputable contractor.
The GCM frequently assists with organizing household management tasks, can often help with bill paying and record keeping. Working with a Geriatric Care Manager is a good idea for many families and a resource that should be explored by most.
If you need the name of a good Geriatric Care Manager in the Boston area call North River Home Care at 781-659-1366. We work with and can recommend a number of excellent GCM’s.