Updated: Mar 8
Also known as Geriatric Care, Elder Care or Aging Care Managers, a Geriatric Care Management Specialist represents a growing trend to help full-time, employed family caregivers provide care for loved ones living close by or needing long-distance care. Care managers are also particularly useful in helping caregivers at home find the right services and cope with their burden.
As with hiring any paid long term care provider to come into the home, hiring a care manager is the same principle. For those who desire to remain in the home, the care manager can help make that a reality and keep the care recipient away from a premature admittance into a care facility.
On the other hand, sometimes the family is attempting to keep a loved one at home when that is not the best choice. For many and various reasons care in the home may be impossible. For example consider the family where all family members are employed full time and both mom and dad need intensive care at home. There is also not enough money to pay for caregivers to come into the home.
In an attempt to cover the situation, the family trades off taking care of mom and dad in the morning and in the evening and on weekends. But they simply can't attend properly to the needs. A care manager may have a better perspective of the situation. In this case an assisted living facility or other facility setting could be a much better choice. If there is not enough money then a Medicaid facility may be the only choice.
Another example might be an individual who has Alzheimer's and has become difficult to manage. It just may not be possible for a caregiver in the home to watch out for this individual. Yet because of stubbornness or lack of proper judgment the caregiver is trying to cope. Again, a care manager can help in this situation and recommend a different care environment.
The value of a care manager is the value of a person who understands thoroughly the issues of caregiving and has seen many of the scenarios over and over again. This experience combined with the perspective of an outsider, who is not so close to the situation so as to impair judgment, is extremely valuable to families coping with the challenges of long term care.
Care managers can charge anywhere from $50.00 an hour to $ $200.00 an hour. Or they may charge a flat fee for a care assessment and plan. It is important to check out the background of the care manager for the situation you are trying to solve. For example if it is a family dispute, a care manager with a background of mediation would be best. If it is a matter of proper medical treatment, a care manager with a background in geriatric nursing would be valuable.
The family shoulders the cost of a care manager. Long-term care insurance may also cover the cost of a care assessment. Many policies will pay $250.00 to $300.00 for a care assessment. Policy language usually refers to this as care coordination.