The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) was formed in 1985 as a non-profit professional organization aimed at helping highly-qualified geriatric care managers succeed in business. NAPGCM has since evolved into an organization aimed at advancing the care management profession and ensuring the qualifications and abilities of its members. Working with several other organizations, NAPGCM helped to create the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM) to serve as a way for “knowledgeable, qualified and ethical” professional care managers to become certified and gain the credentials they need to set themselves apart in the industry.
NAPGCM holds its members to high standards. Members must have a bachelor’s degree, and many have degrees in fields such as nursing, gerontology, social work or psychology. Also, according to NAPGCM, “All members in the ‘Certified Geriatric Care Manager’ category must hold at least one of four approved certifications: Care Manager Certified (CMC), Certified Case Manager (CCM), Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (C-ASWCM), and Certified Social Work Case Manager (C-SWCM).” Because its 2000 members meet certain qualifications and have a proven record of excellence in the geriatric care profession, NAPGCM is able to bring recognition to the profession, assist members in better serving clients, and provide a service for consumers to help them find a qualified GCM in their area.
About Geriatric Care Managers
NAPGCM defines a geriatric care manager as “a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide and advocate for families who are caring for older relatives or disabled adults.” Families or elderly clients hire GCMs to oversee every aspect of care. GCMs assess clients’ needs, make a care plan, coordinate care, and oversee the care that is given. The medical needs of the client are only a small aspect of the care that GCMs oversee. According to NAPGCM, here are the many things that GCMs can manage for clients:
- Housing. GCMs help families make sure clients’ housing is appropriate, safe and clean. GCMs will conduct inspections of current or prospective housing.
- Home care services. GCMs help families and clients select a home care provider and make sure that clients are receiving the services they need.
- Medical management. GCMs oversee all of a client’s medical needs, from attending the doctor’s appointment to ensuring that a client is following the doctor’s orders.
- Communication. GCMs make sure that everyone involved in the client’s care is communicating, and family members are kept in the loop.
- Social activities. GCMs can help client’s find enriching social activities to participate in.
- Legal. When needed, GCMs work with legal counsel, such as an elder law attorney, to make sure all legal decisions are made in the client’s best interest.
- Financial. GCMs might oversee a client’s finances, possibly even assisting with bill paying. This may be done in partnership with an accountant or the client’s Power of Attorney.
- Entitlements. GCMs can help clients and families know which Federal and state entitlement programs they qualify for and help them to apply for assistance.
- Safety and security. GCMs monitor clients’ safety and security at home and in their everyday lives. They may recommend technology that could be of assistance or monitor those who come in contact with a client, to make sure the client is being treated fairly and kindly, and not being abused.
GCMs take on a vast array of responsibilities on behalf of their clients—and they are dedicated to their clients’ health and well-being. It is vital that GCMs be certified, knowledgeable, and trustworthy, and vital that they build business relationships with others in the geriatric care industry who share their commitment to providing quality, trustworthy services. As GCMs watch over clients and look for the best services to recommend, this presents a great opportunity for a home care business to build a relationship and work together with a GCM to provide valuable services for those in need.
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