A Professional Geriatric Care Manager is an expert, such as a social worker, counselor, gerontologist or nurse who:
- Has a specialized body of knowledge and experience related to aging and care issues
- Assists older adults and persons with disabilities in addressing issues related to their health, psychological, function and legal/financial status.
- Assesses needs and coordinates ongoing care
- Identifies numerous ancillary services that help maintain independence
- Monitors and evaluated ongoing care needs and current status
- Monitors medical treatment compliance issues
- Determines best living situation for individual and older couples
- Identifies legal and financial gaps and refers to appropriate professionals
- Provides ongoing supervision & maintains communication link to limit out-of-town caregivers’ need for frequent and costly visits.
- Serves as an experienced guide and resource for families of older adults and others with chronic needs.
How do you know that an individual or family needs a Professional Geriatric Care Manager?
Your patient and their family may need a Professional Geriatric Care Manager if:
- A person has limited or no family support
- Family newly involved and needs direction about available services
- A person has multiple medical or psychological issues
- The individual is unable to live safely in his/her current environment
- Family is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions
- Family has limited time and/or expertise in dealing with loved ones’ chronic care needs.
- Family is at odds regarding care decisions
- Individual appears to require advocacy related to care providers
- Individual is confused about their own financial and/or legal situation
- Family needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia
Danger signals indicating a need for attention and possible intervention:
One or more unusual behaviors that appear to indicate that an older person is having some difficulties functioning means it is time for a loved one to step in and get expert help.
- Frequent falls or unexplained bruises
- Weight loss of 10 lbs. or more in a 12-month period
- Medication mistakes/overdose
- Bizarre or deviant behavior
- Getting lost while driving or walking
- Extreme suspiciousness
- Unpaid bills or uncashed checks
- Confusion or increased forgetfulness
- New balance or mobility problems and refusing to use cane or walker
- Health complaints / symptoms, but refuses to see the doctor
- One spouse overwhelmed or in poor health caring for a dependent spouse