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The Geriatric Care Manager
by Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer
Costs vary from manager to manager, as
well as the detail of service being provided. Medicare
and Medicaid do not cover these services, but when
considering out of pocket expenses such as these, a
caregiver must evaluate both senior and caregiver needs.
Overstressed caregivers will require more medical and
psychological care of their own. By relieving some of
the natural pressure that comes with caring for another,
stress levels fall, health levels increase, and doctors’
visits gradually diminish.
Care managers may also find services that are low or no
cost (such as respite care), that will reduce or
eliminate the need for paying for companions or aides.
The ability to “find money” is part of a geriatric care
manager’s skills. They reduce the time expenditure in
trying to find particular services, which also helps
with caregiver stress.
Evaluating a care manager involves cost per hour, but
only in part. Years in the field, degrees currently held
(LPN, RN or higher degree), and any additional specialty
credentials (finance management or paralegal training)
should be considered. Caregivers must also be
comfortable and able to communicate with the manager,
because this is where information of all types can be
obtained. If the ability of the care manager to
communicate with effectiveness and compassion is not
present, it would be better to continue interviewing
others, regardless of any credentials. This individual
will be a caregiver’s first line of hope, and help.
Rather than viewing a care manager as someone who takes
the family out of the senior care equation, they should
be seen as a resource of information about the
individual needing care. Regular contact with the care
manager creates a feeling of well being within the
family structure because the constant anxiety of
questioning how the senior is doing is subtracted.
When a care manager steps in to assist client and
family, a new dimension opens up in the relationship
between senior and caregiver. The deeper bonds of
relationship are no longer submerged beneath stress,
tension and fear of “doing the wrong thing.” True
feelings of love and compassion are free to surface.
Health of both senior and caregiver can improve
dramatically when the right changes are made.
One person is no longer “in charge” of another, and the
feelings of resentment and/or guilt that can breed
between caregiver and elder dissipate. Individuals move
to a new level of relating to one another, and the
geriatric care manager can also guide this journey, too.
Caregiver and senior may have to adjust to new
circumstances, but their relationship ultimately becomes
To find a Geriatric Care Professional near you, visit
the National Association’s website at: