Based on training, education, experience, and professional discipline, care managers afford the family a unique perspective that can help bring clarity to a complex situation. Having access to someone who has gone through many similar kinds of situations can help reduce anxiety and stress for involved family members. Having an “expert” available is extremely reassuring for family members who may feel less than confident as they navigate through new territory.
There are times when family caregivers understand the care managers’ role solely in the context of the concrete services that are requested. It is the task of care managers to demonstrate their professional expertise in the delivery of these services. As the relationship grows, the unique expertise of care managers should become apparent.
A professional geriatric care manager must have expertise in many, many areas. One of these areas is resolving conflict. Family meetings can be a great tool for a geriatric care manager. Resolving conflict in a family and facilitating a family meeting take real expertise
If the GCM has little background in mediation she or he should find an elder mediator out of the continuum of care in the GCM’s community. This is especially true if you are dealing with a dysfunctional family or even a nearly normal family with big issues to solve.