Geriatric Care Management

Aging and Geriatric Care Management

Seniors and families struggling to make their way through the maze of eldercare issues would benefit from the services of a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM). “Geriatric Care Management is the professional assessment, planning, coordination, supervision and management of healthcare and quality-of-life services. It is a preventive and proactive approach to healthcare.”1 Unfortunately, because the value of Geriatric Care Management is not well understood, many seniors are not benefitting from the care services and resources available to them.

A historic number of baby boomers are reaching the age of 65. This trend will continue through 2030 and on through 2050 for those reaching 85 and older. This change in demographics is emphasizing the need for compassionate and effective decision-making regarding complex senior issues. Care decisions that seniors and their families face can be difficult and in the event of a crisis, overwhelming. A GCM utilizes their experience and knowledge to assist seniors, family members and caregivers through these complexities and also decrease stress that is common along this continuum of care.

GCM’s have various backgrounds and experience in human services fields such as nursing, social work, counseling, psychology, or gerontology. Some have a combination of skills and experiences, including finance, that enhances their scope of ability in assisting seniors and their families. GCM’s are critical to and contribute significantly in addressing the growing need for senior care professionals. “. . . . . GCM services will allow greater numbers of older adults to age in place safely, improve their quality of life, and have the potential to decrease healthcare spending.”1

Data shared from referenced surveys in Home Healthcare Nurse1, indicate the following benefits for seniors and families after obtaining services of a GCM:

  • 100% of older adults with emergency department visits, hospitalizations and falls experienced a decrease in all of these areas
  • A majority of families reported improved medication compliance and enabled the senior’s ability to remain safely at home
  • 100% of respondents stated that they experienced a decrease in personal caregiver work, improved understanding of the senior’s illness and future needs and stated that they had received ongoing communication regarding the senior’s status
  • 96% said that they had an improved understanding of how to meet the senior’s needs and how to access resources
  • 83% experienced saving in caregiving and medical costs.

        1 Wideman, M., (2012, October). Geriatric Care Management: Role, Need, and Benefits. Home Healthcare Nurse, (30)9, 553-559.

Article provided by Anthony Hickman, Partner – ElderCare of Idaho

 

 

 

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