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What is a Geriatric Care Manager?

A Professional Geriatric Care Manager (PGCM) is a health and human services specialist who helps families who are caring for older relatives. The PGCM is trained and experienced in any of several fields related to long-term care, including, but not limited to nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.

The PGCM assists older adults and persons with disabilities in attaining their maximum functional potential. In addition, the PGCM is an experienced guide and resource for families of older adults and others with chronic needs.

When considering whether to engage the services of a PGCM, you should evaluate whether you have the time, inclination, or skills to manage the challenges of geriatric care. If you are not sure, ask a trusted advisor to help you decide if an elder care expert may be helpful. Enlisting the support of other family member to consult a professional is a good way to build a consensus on the solutions. Questions that you may wish to consider:

What Can a PGCM Do for Me?

Some PGCMs also provide family or individual therapy, finance management, conservatorship or guardianship assistance, and/or caregiving services.

What are the Benefits of Using a PGCM?
Professional Geriatric Care Management services are offered in a variety of settings. Professional Geriatric Care Managers (PGCMs) can serve the needs of their clients with the following services:

Questions To Ask When Looking For a Professional Geriatric Care Manager

PGCMs do not specialize in all areas. When a PGCM says s/he practices "care management," find out her/his areas of expertise. You will want to hire someone who regularly handles clients with similar needs.

PGCMs who primarily work with older adults bring more to their practice than an expertise in geriatrics. They bring knowledge of aging issues that allow them and their staff to overcome the myths relating to aging and to focus on the problems at hand. At the same time, they will bring an experience of working with resources in your community. They are more aware of real life problems, health and otherwise, that emerge as persons age and the tools that are available to address those issues. They are also connected with a community of social workers, nurses, psychologists, elder law attorneys, advocates, and other elder care professionals who may be of assistance to you.

It is important for the wise consumer to ask questions. Some of these include:

  1. What are your professional credentials?
  2. Are you licensed in your profession?
  3. Are you a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers?
  4. How long have you been providing care management services?
  5. Are you available for emergencies?
  6. Does your company also provide home care services?
  7. How do you communicate information to me?
  8. What are your fees? (These should be provided to the consumer/responsible party in writing prior to services starting.)
  9. Can you provide me with references?

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Boomers Resource Guide is a special supplement to the Senior Citizen's Guide