Geriatric Care Managers: When Do You Need One?

Geriatric Care Managers are certified professionals who understand how to navigate senior care and interact with a senior in order to understand their preferences and needs when it comes to senior care.  They are trained to understand all the care options and costs in a local area and know how to create a professional care plan.  Geriatric Care Managers charge an hourly fee, similar to the way an attorney might bill a client.  There is usually an initial consultation and the hourly fee can be between $60 and $150 per hour.  Geriatric Care Managers are called "GCM's" within the senior care industry.

When can a senior benefit from hiring a professional Geriatric Care Manager?

  • Adult children do not live nearby
  • No living heirs
  • Multiple medical conditions requiring monitoring and coordination of care
  • Financial fraud by family member or loved one requires third-party management of care needs
  • Unsure about senior care options and preferences
  • Long-term care planning for spouses
  • Memory loss requires third-party to make sure all senior care services are coordinated effectively
  • Full-time care needs require management by someone other than senior
  • Prefers professional to manage senior care
  • Unique medical conditions require traveling to a specialist

Geriatric care managers can find the best care services to meet the preferences of a senior and explain the costs of care and coordinate all of the care providers along with making sure all the possible Medicare or Medicaid benefits are in place.  As Medicare does not pay for long-term senior care, it may be necessary to allocate financial resources to allow for a senior or their spouse to "spend-down" their assets to qualify for Medicaid benefits.  Medicaid, for low-income seniors, does pay for nursing home care ongoing and a healthy spouse may keep the home and some assets.  This is just one example of how planning for senior care can be a bit complicated and a professional geriatric care manager can be very valuable.

Caregiverlist's guest columnist, Charlotte Bishop, has provided geriatric care management services for more than 20 years and shares her experiences about the benefits of hiring a geriatric care manager.

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