As our population continues to age, professionals are focusing more on specific issues regarding planning  for long term care.  Geriatric Care Managers (GCMs) are health and human services specialists, who serve as consultants to seniors and their families when planning for long term elder care.  Many people simply do not know what is available or where to turn when they realize more help is needed. GCMs are knowledgeable about the available resources for seniors and their families.  These professionals can be an excellent resource to connect your family with the resources in your area. Sometimes just a little assistance in one or two areas is all that is needed.

You can expect an initial comprehensive assessment that is intended to evaluate the client’s physical and mental health as well as their social, spiritual, economic, functional, and environmental status.  The initial assessment usually takes more than one visit, in order to be precise but not overwhelming.  Professional assessment tools, observations, and interviews are used to develop the client’s Plan of Care (POC).  The POC address each of the needs, concerns, or problems found.  The client may need a referral to a home health provider, a follow up with a physician, caregiving services, equipment, or possibly on-going GCM services.

The GCM will meet with the client and their family to review the POC and discuss short-term and long-term goals.   Our clients report that having a professional GCM  serve as a liaison helps make discussing these issues go much more smoothly. Note:  Professional Geriatric Care Managers adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice set forth by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.

Editor’s Note: This article was prepared by Dee Harrell, RN, C.E.O. at Always There In-Home Care. For more information about Geriatric Care Management services, please call 205-824-0224.