Geriatric Care Managers or Aging Care Specialists, are an important member of an elder’s care team. They are the conduit between the patient, family, and medical team. They assist is determining the best use of resources based on individual needs and because they go into the home, they can see the big picture. They advocate for the patient with discussion about what the patient’s wishes are. They can be nurses, social workers, or elder care workers with a special certification. They can work for insurance companies, physicians, or can be independently employed.
Tara Cunningham RN shares her perspective as an eight year veteran Geriatric Care Manager and as a nurse. She offers great advice for families which include open discussion about end of life wishes, and suggests several tools to help with the conversation: The 5 Wishes Document and The Conversation Project
She also offers suggestions for finding out if you or your family have access to a Geriatric Care Manager:
- check with your insurance company
- ask your primary care physician
- Check with your local council on aging
- Do an online search