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    Dementia Symptoms & Caregiver Strategies: Geriatric Care Management

    What Is Professional Geriatric Care Management?

    Professional geriatric care management is the process of planning and coordinating the care of the elderly and disabled to improve their quality of life and maintain their independence for as long as possible. Health and psychological care are integrated with the best possible combination of services such as: housing, home care services, socialization programs, financial and legal planning.

    A care plan tailored for each individual’s circumstances is prepared after a comprehensive assessment. The care plan is modified when necessary based on the professional geriatric care manager’s monitoring of the effectiveness of the components of the care plan. Professional geriatric care managers accomplish this by combining a working knowledge of health and psychology, human development, family dynamics, public and private resources and funding sources while advocating for the individual throughout the continuum of care.

    What Is A Geriatric Care Manager?

    A Geriatric Care Manager is a health and human services specialist who helps families who are caring for older relatives. The Geriatric Care Manager is trained and experienced in any of several fields related to care management, including, but not limited to nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.

    The Geriatric Care Manager assists older adults and persons with disabilities in attaining their maximum functional potential. In addition, the Geriatric Care Manager is an experienced guide and resource for families of older adults and others with chronic needs, including helping those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinsons or exhibiting symptoms of cognitive impairment or dementia.

    Geriatric care managers who are members of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) are committed to adhering to the NAPGCM Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

    Do I Really Need A Professional Geriatric Care Manager?

    When you are considering whether you need the services of a Geriatric Care Manager, you should evaluate whether you have the time, inclination, or skills to manage the challenges of geriatric care by yourself. If you are not sure, ask a trusted advisor to help you decide if an elder care expert may be helpful. Enlisting the support of other family members to consult a professional is a good way to build a consensus on the solutions.

    Questions that you may wish to consider:

    • Are the problems that you or your loved ones are facing becoming larger and more complex than you can comfortably manage?
    • Are other demands and responsibilities now so great that you are not able to provide the desired level of supervision and attention to your loved one’s problems?

    What Are The Benefits Of Using A Geriatric Care Manager?

    Professional Geriatric Care Management services are offered in a variety of settings. Geriatric Care Managers can serve the needs of their clients by providing:
    • Personalized and compassionate service — focusing on the individual’s wants and needs.
    • Accessibility — care is typically available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • Continuity of care management – communications are coordinated between family members, doctors and other professionals, and service providers.
    • Cost containment — inappropriate placements, duplication of services, and unnecessary hospitalizations are avoided.
    • Quality control – care management services follow NAPGCM’S Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.
    How Do I Find A Geriatric Care Manager?

    There are many places to find a Geriatric Care Manager. One way is through the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM), an organization of practitioners whose goal is the advancement of expert assistance to the elderly and their families. Membership in NAPGCM as a Certified Geriatric Care Manager is open only to qualified individuals with specialized degrees and experience in human services, including social work, psychology, gerontology or nursing, and who hold one of four NAPGCM-approved certifications. They can be reached at (520) 881-8008.

    You may also want to check with local agencies or hospitals to obtain a list of local referrals (see below). Health professionals and elder law attorneys are other excellent referral sources.

    Bay Area Care Management Referrals

    Adapted from National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers
    3275 West Ina Road, Suite 130 | Tucson, AZ 85741-2198
    520.881.8008 | 520.325.7925 Fax

    Cognitive Impairment can have many causes. The patient’s doctor should be consulted to determine a specific diagnosis and treatment options. But whatever the cause, the symptoms are often alike, and the Caregiver Strategies are often similar.

    The information in the resources listed above was compiled by the Ray Dolby Brain Health Center through clinical experience and commonly available published materials. For information on additional Caregiver Strategies, go to: