“Geriatric Care Managers are professionals trained in assessing the needs of the older adult and accessing the necessary resources available to meet those needs. Geriatric Care Manages are a new often misunderstood breed. Geriatric Care Managers don¹t have limited contact with the client but look at all aspects of their clients life and stay involved as long as necessary to meet the needs of the client and the family. Geriatric Care Managers are client centered and often seen by the family as a “pseudo” family member. They provide services to the elders and their families who may be in various situations: nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or their own home with the major goal being to keep people in the least restrictive environment for as long as possible with an emphasis on the quality if life. Another goal is to anticipate future needs and hopefully, prevent crisis.” 1*

Geriatric Care Manager can work well with attorneys as an advocate when a guardian or conservator is appointed to ensure the personal care needs are being met in the least restrictive environment possible.

When attorneys need consultation regarding the care options and resources available

When support is needed for a client or family when client transitions into a alternative living facility such as nursing home or assisted living facility

Where there may be a need for multiple services – ie. home health care, companions, rehabilitation, daycare Geriatric Care Managers can help ensure continuity and quality of care.

Geriatric Care Managers can also be very helpful when there is a conflictual family situation and an objective assessment of the older persons needs is required.

When there is a history of repeated hospitalizations Geriatric Care Managers can help by determining if there are services needed to monitor medical status and help physician get a handle on what might be happening in the home.

Geriatric Care Managers can also be very useful when personal advocacy is needed for quality of care in nursing home or alternative care setting.

Geriatric Care Managers can also assist and act as a liaison between the older adult and public services.

Geriatric Care Managers can also assist families in finding an attorney who specializes in elder law if and when one is needed. When the older adult is in the early stage of facing a disability the Geriatric Care Manager can seek legal help to obtain the full range of services to retain control and have input as to future management of his or her personal care and financial needs. Planning for the cost of future long term care can be productive. If legal help is initiated after the onset of a debilitating illness there may still be an opportunity to clarify the older persons wishes and have them implemented by estate planning tools. At this stage if the older adult lacks private resources for permanent in home care this may be a means for the older adult to “spend down” assets. Once the older adult has reached the third stage of incapacity or crisis it may be time for legal measures to ensure the wishes of the older adult are met. Geriatric Care Managers work with lawyers to look at all the options the community has to offer in order to keep the older adult in the least restrictive environment possible while assisting to ensure quality care as well as quality of life.The Geriatric Care Managers is a very important part of the multi – disciplinary team

1* Information taken from Geriatric Care Management Journal Vol. 3 number 4 “How Lawyers Can Help Their Clients By Using Geriatric Care Managers” by Patricia Tobin, JD

Copyrighted by Sheri D. Fanning, RN,C