You may be asking what is a geriatric care manager? A geriatric care manager is simply someone who provides care oversight and coordination for an elderly adult who can no longer manage those issues on their own. Geriatric care managers generally have a social work, gerontology or nursing background and specialize in working with elderly adults. A geriatric care manager(GCM) can be a valuable member of the care team for an elderly adult in several ways.
Choosing a Nursing Home
First, the geriatric care manager because of her or his contact with many of the long term care facilities in your community will generally have a pretty good idea of which ones provide the best care. Because of this experience, the GCM’s insight can be extremely valuable in selecting the right facility for your parents. The outward appearances can be deceiving. Often, those facilities that “look the nicest” simply don’t provide the best care for their residents.
Second, the GCM can be an invaluable advocate for her or his senior clients. Frequently, doctors who treat senior patients do not have specific training in geriatrics and don’t know things like how different drugs may interact. A GCM with a nursing background often works directly with a client’s doctors to make sure that the care is appropriate and that nothing is overlooked, attending doctor’s appointments and communicating directly with medical staff. This service can be crucial in making sure that your parent or loved one receives the right kind of care.
Third, a GCM can act as your eyes and ears at the assisted living facility or nursing home. The GCM may visit at 3AM when the facility staff’s guard is down and can give you real insight into just what quality of care your parent or loved one is receiving. When you visit the facility during the day time, you might not get a true picture of what is going on since everyone is “on their best behavior”, that’s where a GCM can help.
Last, the GCM can create a care plan for the family that identifies specifically what issues the senior has and how those issues will be addressed in a systematic and detailed way. Having a detailed plan in place means that there is less chance of something being overlooked and ensuring that your loved one receives the best quality of care.