May 30, 2023

What is a geriatric care manager?

Manny Cominsky

Caring for our senior loved ones as they age is a responsibility filled with love, compassion, and the desire to provide the best possible care. However, navigating the complex challenges of aging can often feel overwhelming, leaving us in search of guidance and support. This is where geriatric care managers step in, offering their expertise and understanding to help seniors and their families through this journey. Geriatric care managers, also known as aging life care professionals, are dedicated professionals who specialize in addressing the unique needs of older adults. To learn more about the invaluable role played by geriatric care managers, their responsibilities, and the numerous benefits they bring to seniors and their loved ones read our blog post below or reach out to the Sunbound team to learn more.

What is a geriatric care manager?

A geriatric care manager (GCM) is a trained professional who assists older adults and their families in managing the complex and often overwhelming challenges associated with aging. Also known as aging life care professionals, geriatric care managers have expertise in various aspects of aging, including healthcare, social services, legal matters, and community resources. They are dedicated to optimizing the well-being and quality of life for seniors while offering guidance, support, and advocacy throughout the care journey.

Geriatric care manager roles and responsibilities

Comprehensive Assessments: Geriatric care managers conduct thorough assessments to evaluate the physical, emotional, and social needs of older adults. They assess medical conditions, cognitive abilities, functional limitations, and overall well-being to develop personalized care plans.

Care Coordination: GCMs coordinate and oversee all aspects of a senior's care, ensuring that services are well-integrated and provided in a holistic manner. This involves coordinating medical appointments, managing medication regimens, and liaising with healthcare professionals, ensuring seamless communication and continuity of care.

Advocacy and Support: GCMs act as strong advocates for their clients, ensuring that their rights and wishes are respected. They provide emotional support, offer guidance during difficult decisions, and empower seniors and their families to make informed choices about their care options.

Resource and Referral Management: Geriatric care managers possess in-depth knowledge of local resources and services available to seniors. They connect families with appropriate community resources, such as home health aides, assisted living facilities, support groups, and legal and financial professionals, tailoring recommendations to the unique needs of each individual.

Crisis Intervention: During emergencies or unexpected situations, GCMs provide swift intervention and support. They act as a stabilizing force, making quick decisions, coordinating emergency services, and ensuring the safety and well-being of their clients.

Long-term Care Planning: Geriatric care managers assist families in planning for future care needs. They help navigate complex issues, such as end-of-life planning, advanced directives, and legal considerations, ensuring that seniors' preferences are honored and their long-term care needs are met.

Benefits of geriatric care management

Geriatric care managers provide a wealth of benefits that help both seniors and their loved ones. First, GCMs possess specialized knowledge and expertise in geriatric care, enabling them to navigate the complexities of aging effectively. Their guidance offers peace of mind to families, knowing that their loved ones are receiving the best possible care. This care comes in the form of highly personalized care for seniors. Geriatric care managers recognize that every senior is unique, tailoring their services to meet individual needs. They prioritize person-centered care, ensuring that the preferences and desires of older adults are respected and incorporated into their care plans.

In addition to providing a high level of care, geriatric care managers can also help seniors and their loved ones find the most cost-effective care solutions on the market. By utilizing their knowledge of available resources, GCMs help families optimize care while minimizing unnecessary expenses. They provide cost-effective solutions by connecting seniors with appropriate community programs and services.

Along with helping their senior clients get the highest quality, and most cost-effective, care possible, another huge benefit of geriatric care managers is that they can greatly help reduce the burden on families who are caring for their senior loved ones. Geriatric care managers alleviate the burden on family members by assuming the responsibility of coordinating care and managing complex care situations. This allows family members to focus on maintaining positive relationships and spending quality time with their loved ones.

Tips for finding a geriatric care manager 

Finding the right geriatric care manager for your senior loved ones is a significant step in ensuring their well-being and quality of life. By seeking recommendations, conducting thorough research, assessing expertise and compatibility, and considering factors like services, fees, and associations, you can make an informed decision that provides the best possible care for your loved one during their aging journey. Follow these tips to find the right geriatric care manager for your senior loved one. 

Seek Recommendations: Start by seeking recommendations from trusted sources. Reach out to healthcare professionals, social workers, elder law attorneys, or local senior centers for referrals. Additionally, ask friends, relatives, or support groups who may have had positive experiences with geriatric care managers.

Conduct Research: Once you have a list of potential candidates, conduct thorough research on each one. Visit their websites, read reviews and testimonials, and assess their qualifications, certifications, and years of experience. Look for professionals who specialize in geriatric care and have a proven track record of success.

Assess Expertise and Credentials: Verify the credentials and qualifications of the geriatric care managers you are considering. Look for professionals who hold certifications such as Certified Care Manager (CCM) or Certified Aging Life Care Professional (CALCP). These certifications ensure that the care manager has met specific standards of education and experience in the field of geriatric care.

Schedule Interviews: Schedule interviews with the potential geriatric care managers. Prepare a list of questions to ask, focusing on their experience, approach to care, availability, and how they handle specific situations. Inquire about their communication style, flexibility, and their ability to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals.

Assess Compatibility and Empathy: It is essential to assess the compatibility and empathy of the geriatric care manager with your senior loved one. Arrange for a meeting between the care manager and your loved one to gauge their rapport and whether they have a genuine connection. A compassionate and empathetic care manager can make a significant difference in your loved one's comfort and overall well-being.

Discuss Services and Fees: During the interview process, discuss the services provided by the geriatric care manager. Inquire about the range of services they offer, including assessments, care coordination, crisis intervention, and long-term care planning. Additionally, discuss their fee structure and payment options, ensuring that it aligns with your budget and financial resources.

Request References: Ask the geriatric care manager for references from previous clients and follow up on them. Speaking with current or former clients can provide valuable insights into the care manager's competence, reliability, and dedication to their work.

Seek Professional Associations: Look for geriatric care managers who are members of professional associations, such as the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA). Membership in such organizations indicates a commitment to ongoing education, ethical practices, and adherence to industry standards.

Consider Availability and Proximity: Take into account the care manager's availability and proximity to your senior loved one. Ensure that they can provide the required support and be available when needed, especially during emergencies or urgent situations.

Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts when selecting a geriatric care manager. Choose someone who not only possesses the necessary qualifications but also demonstrates genuine care and compassion for your senior loved one. Remember, building a trusting relationship is crucial for the well-being of your loved one.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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