What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
A geriatric care manager is a health and human services professional, such as a gerontologist, nurse, social worker, or psychologist, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.
As our population has aged, Geriatric Care Management has become a rapidly growing field. A sampling of media quotes provides insight into how the Geriatric Care Managers of the Center for Elder Services can help you.
"To families struggling with the needs to aging relatives, the geriatric care manager can be a godsend. This emerging breed of specialists can assess a senior's physical, social, and financial needs and stitch together a patchwork of services to address them." Business Week, "Sometimes You Need an Ace," by Susan Garland, July 12, 2004
"A growing field of professionals can help you care long distance: geriatric care managers. Part social worker, errand-runner, family counsel, surrogate family member, and crisis worker; a geriatric care manager helps plan and manage care for older people, often overseeing household, financial, legal, health, insurance, and family issues." Better Homes and Gardens, "Caring Across the Miles: Looking After Parents Over Long Distances can be a Real Challenge for Even the Most Dedicated Children," by Betsy Rubiner and Irene S. Levine, April 1, 2005
"State inspection reports, required by assisted-living and nursing-home units, provide another glimpse into quality control -- if you can decipher them. Geriatric care managers offer insight into such reports, as well as the skinny on local retirement communities." Kiplinger's "A Home for the Rest of Your Life," by Jane Bennett Clark, May 2005.
Our Geriatric Care Managers work with our older adult clients and their families to create a plan of care that meets the needs of the older adult, and to help them learn what resources and options are available to meet those needs. In situations where family members reside out-of-state, our Geriatric Care Managers can be the family’s eyes and ears in New York. We provide peace of mind for our clients and their families, and suggest ways of avoiding abuses to this vulnerable population.
We provide assessment, coordination and monitoring of services to the elderly and their families, based on specific needs, preferences and location, including:
Budgeting and Funding Health Care
Our Geriatric Care Managers work with our elder clients to enable them to properly budget their incomes to meet their daily needs. (See Government Benefits and Entitlement Planning)
Bill Paying and Record Keeping
Our Geriatric Care Managers act on behalf of our clients by assisting with bill paying and record keeping. We straighten out neglectful bill management and set it on track to provide for consistent and timely payment. By doing so, our clients avoid possible late charges and the negative impact that seniors can face when bill payment and record keeping become too cumbersome and confusing.
Consolidation of Assets and Accounts
We’ve found that many seniors have a “bag full of bankbooks” from years of opening accounts to secure toasters and chasing the best interest rates. While at one time this seemed like a good idea, multiple accounts at different institutions can complicate finances as people age. Our staff untangles the jumble of accounts and financial institutions by consolidating our clients’ assets.
Home Care Decisions (See Placement Services and Home Health Care Consultation)
Power of Attorney and Decision Making
A Power of Attorney is a legal instrument authorizing one to act as another's attorney or agent. The person authorizing the other to act is the "principal" or "grantor (of the power)," and the one authorized to act is the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact." The attorney-in-fact acts "in the principal's name," signing the principal's name to documents. There are various forms of Power of Attorney. Our managers will act as agent if it is not practical for family members to do so.
Guardians help manage the personal affairs of incapacitated adults who can no longer make safe, appropriate decisions for themselves and have not executed advance directives such as Powers of Attorney or Health Care Proxies. Older adults may need a guardian and sometimes family members are too distant or untrustworthy to act.
We coordinate transportation to and from medical appointments, picking up prescriptions, daily errands, and other local travel.
Our staff will look for institutions and advisors that may be taking advantage of an elderly individual and seek solutions to prevent such activities from occurring. We will try to identify those persons in confidential relationships with our clients who may have committed fraud and abuse, or possibly exerted undue influence over them. When appropriate, such violations will be referred to the proper authorities.
Pre-Need Funeral Planning
Simply stated, Pre-Need Funeral Planning lessens the family’s responsibilities after the death of a parent. Individuals who have not planned for their funeral may leave loved ones to make economical and emotional decisions at a very difficult time. To avoid chaos at this traumatic time in the lives of your loved ones, individuals may consider pre-need funerals. A pre-need funeral requires an individual to plan in advance the goods and services of the funeral. It may also include planning the type of cemetery service.
For several important reasons, the arranging and funding of funeral services in advance of need is a decision many people are making today. Those reasons also include Medicaid considerations, financial advantages, estate planning benefits, and eliminating concerns about the impact of inflation.