Finding a Geriatric Care Manager in South Florida

Here is a great article for those who are looking for a Geriatric Care Manager for help with an aging loved one.  If you are looking for a GCM in the South Florida area, visit www.caremange.com.

Geriatric Care Managers – How to Find & Assess

By Allen Jesson

Once you’ve narrowed your choices down, it’s important that you meet with those Geriatric Care Managers (GCMs) in person to determine which one is the best fit for you.

Finding a GCM

Most GCMS are members of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM), an organization whose standards of practice are highly regarded within the industry. Every member of NAPGCM either:

* Holds an undergraduate degree or higher in a field directly related to care management, such as counseling, gerontology, nursing, social work or psychology, along with two years of supervised work in the field.

OR

* Is a registered nurse, without an undergraduate degree, and has provided elder client services under direct supervision for three or more years.

Assessing a GCM

Questions to Ask:

It’s best to phone a GCM before planning a visit, so you can spend your time meeting only those who you think will meet your needs. The following questions should be able to help you get a feel for how the care manager works.

Basics

* What is your professional background? Which degrees or licenses do you hold?

* How many years have you worked as a GCM?

* Are you or your staff members on call 24 hours a day and available for emergencies?

* Are you willing to provide references? (A reputable GCM will provide a handful of references and you should definitely contact them.)

* What is your caseload right now? What is an average caseload for you? (If the GCM’s caseload is more than 15 clients, it could mean that there is a potential that the clients are not receiving enough individualized attention.)

* How often do you reevaluate care plans? (Every 30 days and as needed is best.)

* What protocols are in place when you are ill or away on vacation? (There is no correct answer to this question; however, there should be some plan in place. Some GCMs ask trusted colleagues to oversee emergency situations when they are unable to.)

* What is your protocol in the event of a client emergency? (Again, there is no correct answer. However, a good plan includes the GCM contacting emergency services, then notifying family members and following up with physicians. Look for someone who will coordinate care well and will think of “everything.”)

* How will I be updated on my loved one’s status?

* How do you involve family members and your clients in the care plan?

Costs

Because every person has different needs, the fees will reflect that. Most GCMs charge an initial assessment fee for new or potential clients, after which he or she will be able to develop a care plan based on the assessment. GCMs should be upfront about costs and the services they plan to implement once the initial assessment has been performed, and you should not run into any unpleasant surprises later. Make sure you ask about the following cost-related issues.

* Will you explain all fees for care management services with me (or the person responsible for payment) before the services are rendered?

* What is your rate?

* Do you charge for travel?

* How do I pay?

* Are you willing to aid clients with the Medicare/Medicaid process? (This is only helpful if your loved one needs this type of help or might in the future.)

Please visit the Gilbert Guide for the very best in Geriatic Care and for more information about Geriatic Care Managers.

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