Frequently Asked Questions About Aging Life Care Professionals™ / Geriatric Care Management
What is a Geriatric Care Management?
Geriatric care management is a client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, the expertise of Aging Life Care Professionals™ provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress and time off of work for family caregivers through:
- Assessment and monitoring
- Planning and problem-solving
- Education and advocacy
- Family caregiver coaching
Aging Life Care Professionals are engaged to assist in a variety of areas, such as:
- Housing – helping families evaluate and select appropriate level of housing or residential options
- Home care services – determining types of services that are right for a client and assisting the family to engage and monitor those services
- Medical management – attending doctor appointments, facilitating communication between doctor, client, and family, and if appropriate, monitoring client's adherence to medical orders and instructions
- Communication – keeping family members and professionals; informed as to the well-being and changing needs of the client
- Social activities – providing opportunity for client to engage in social, recreational, or cultural activities that enrich the quality of life
- Legal – referring to or consulting with an elder law attorney; providing expert opinion for courts in determining level of care
- Financial – may include reviewing or overseeing bill paying or consulting with accountant or client's Power of Attorney
- Entitlements – providing information on Federal and state entitlements; connecting families to local programs
- Safety and security – monitoring the client at home; recommending technologies to add to security or safety; observing changes and potential risks of exploitation or abuse
Local, cost-effective resources are identified and engaged as needed.
A care plan tailored for each individual’s circumstances is prepared after a comprehensive assessment. The plan may be modified, in consultation with client and family, as circumstances change.
Why would I use a Geriatric Care Manager?
If you have serious concerns about a frail or disabled adult and need information and assistance to ensure safety, independence and quality of life or you have no family nearby, Geriatric Care Managers are here to help. They are not a replacement for family, but an extra member on whom you can rely to advocate for you – a professional who knows how to determine needs and can link you to appropriate services to make for peace of mind.
How does the process work?
An assessment is typically necessary for care managers to understand the environment that the older adult is living in, their level of functioning and their current support network. The assessment involves interviewing the older adult and family members, gathering relevant medical records, developing an individualized action plan and discussing the options with the older adult family members and caregivers.
How does one pay for Geriatric Care Management Services?
Most Geriatric Care Managers provide private care management on a fee for service basis but you will want to ask ahead of time about billing fees. There is usually an hourly rate for care management services. Fees are stated in written form and approved by the person accepting responsibility for payment prior to initiation of services.
What are the qualifications of care managers?
Innovative Healthcare's care managers are registered nurses and certified care managers licensed through their professional associations. At Innovative Healthcare they have a bachelor's degree or equivalent training in gerontology, social work, nursing, counseling, or healthcare management. They are also members of the Aging Life Care Association™
Are private care management services covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance?
No. Currently, care management fees are typically paid by the older adult, their estate, family members or other caregivers. Some long-term-care insurance policies cover care management services.
How can professional Geriatric Care Managers save you money?
Geriatric Care Managers can help you save money in several ways. First, they can help to plan effectively for the future and assist in avoiding a crisis. Second, care managers can often arrange for services to be delivered in an older adult's home rather than requiring a costly move to a retirement or nursing facility. Third, because care managers are aware of both the needs of older adults and the available resources, they can be efficient in matching service needs with appropriate agencies.
You may need an Aging Life Care Professional if:
- The person you are caring for has limited or no family support.
- Your family has just become involved with helping the individual and needs direction about available services.
- The person you are caring for has multiple medical or psychological issues.
- The person you are caring for is unable to live safely in his/her current environment.
- Your family is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions.
- Your family has a limited time and/or expertise in dealing with your loved ones’ chronic care needs.
- Your family is at odds regarding care decisions.
- The person you are caring for is not pleased with current care providers and requires advocacy.
- The person you are caring for is confused about his/her own financial and/or legal situation.
- Your family needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia.
What other services do Aging Life Care Professionals provide?
- While the majority of Aging Life Care clients are older adults, many also assist younger adults who face the challenges of disability or serious illness.
- Aging Life Care Professionals may help people who have:
- Physical Disabilities
- Developmental Disabilities, (e.g. Intellectual Disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, Autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome)
- Brain Injury
- Mental Health Problems
- Chronic or Serious Illnesses of any type
- Aging Life Care Professionals can often help parents who are concerned about a young adult or middle-aged adult child with disabilities. These life care professionals have experience and credentials to work with all ages. The life care professional conducts a comprehensive assessment and helps the family plan for the current and future needs of their adult child.