What is Geriatric Care Management?

Dr. Macie Smith explains what geriatric care management is and how this type of work supports sandwich-generation family caregivers.

As a licensed social worker, my main area of expertise is Geriatric Care Management. This is a growing field made up of professionals who help seniors and their families cope with the medical and social complexities of aging, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as Aging Life Care Management.

As an advocate and guide for family members who want to ensure their loved one is in the best hands, we develop care strategies that allow older people to remain independent for as long as possible – this is really important to most older adults.  We also assist in arranging for and assuring the quality of long-term care as appropriate to meet each individual’s needs.

Geriatric Care Managers provide expertise in areas that are time consuming or inappropriate for an attorney or a physician. For example, a Geriatric Care Manager can evaluate a senior’s home environment and make suggestions based on the senior’s physical, social and medical needs. It is the responsibility of the Geriatric Care Manager to be knowledgeable of the available resources in the community to assist the senior family with their daily needs.

Our day-to-day work involves providing various assessments to evaluate needs, developing care plans and then coordinating care. We coordinate with family members, community resources and physicians and also advise our senior clients and their family. We are also knowledgeable about insurance, as well as Medicaid and other forms of financial support.

What does care management look like?

Aside from home visits, it also involves:

  • Serving as the point person for families who may be hundreds of miles away
  • Being a source of emotional support for clients
  • Handling the process of hiring a professional caregiver including evaluating, arranging for and monitoring.
  • Arranging respite care for family caregivers.
  • Setting up doctor’s appointments and coordinating transportation.
  • Recommending local social services and programs that can be incorporated into the care plan.
  • Explaining complex or difficult topics to care recipients and their families.

There are several ways to locate a geriatric care manager near you. Your doctor or other health care provider may be able to provide a recommendation. Or visit the Aging Life Care Association’s website aginglifecare.org or by calling 520-881-8008. Additionally, you can contact a support group for diseases related to aging.

Dr. Macie P. Smith is a licensed gerontology social worker who is focused on helping families support their aging loved ones through long-term care. Specifically, Dr. Smith educates caregivers on how to care for seniors with dementia. She is an advocate for specialized care and assists others in finding a way to provide a better quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Dr. Smith has dedicated over 22 years of her life working in gerontology and assisting families in finding personalized solutions for dementia care. For more articles by Dr. Macie Smith, go to synergyhomecare.com/blog/.


For more information on caring for a loved one, download SYNERGY HomeCare’s free Caregiver Guide.

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