I am beginning a new series of blogs on geriatric care management today. We will start with exactly what is a geriatric care manager.
What is geriatric care management? It is a series of steps taken by a professional geriatric care manager (GCM) to help solve older people’s problems. A GCM, who may be a social worker, a nurse, a gerontologist, or another human service professional, serves older people and their families. The GCM usually steps in when the older person or family is in crisis. Geriatric care management is also a preventative service rendered on demand, increasing the quality of an older person’s life, managing all the players rendering services to the older person, and offering assurance and peace of mind to the adult children of the older individual. How does the GCM solve these problems and render these services? The GCM uses classic social work and nursing tools, including client assessment, care planning, service coordination, and referral and monitoring.
What is the job of a professional GCM? Geriatric care manager’s jobs are similar to the role of all case managers, (neonatal, medical, adolescent) GCMs use all the classic tools of all case managers.
But unlike other case managers, GCMs specialize in serving adults aged 65 and older and offer very personalized services. GCMs historically have had much smaller caseloads than case managers have (especially those in public case management settings), giving GCMs great flexibility in delivering highly individualized services to their older clients. Unlike many case managers in public case management settings, GCMs are generally available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They respond to client needs at the convenience of the client, which enables the GCM to cross the line from public sector human services into the for-profit service business. The GCM’s product is service, and that product must be available at all times to be useful to older people, their families, and third parties such as trust departments and conservators, who are willing to buy the product if it is offered in this manner.