Lately I noticed several people who have decided they are geriatric care managers, mostly based on their experiences with their own parents. They advertise as experts in caregiving or care management, and purport to help families find appropriate care for their aging loved ones.
This is extremely disturbing. The number of caregivers in the work place is sky rocketing, and will continue to grow. Working caregivers, those with aging relatives, desperately need help. Many of them refuse promotions, reduce their work hours, or quit working altogether to take care of their frail family member. This will have a negative impact on their retirement years, as they will have less in savings, less in an IRA, and less Social Security income.
Currently the federal government is trying to reduce reimbursement for medical care by tinkering with Medicare, and many states are reducing what they pay for Medicaid. Options for eldercare are becoming scarce. Families need real assistance with a wide range of age-related issues. They need hard information, not based on one person’s experience with their own parents, but based on academic study of aging, continuing education in the field of aging, and years of experience with various types of age-related problems and situations.
I am a Professional Geriatric Care Manager. I hold a Master’s degree, I am licensed as a Professional Counselor, I am a Certified Gerontological Counselor, and I am a Care Manager, Certified. I have been in private practice since 1996, a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers since 1994, and started an internship in the field of geriatrics in 1989. There are only about 2,000 members of the professional organization (NAPGCM), http://www.caremanager.org. It is a growing field. We have already required credentialing of our members, and are working for more recognition of the profession, so that caregiving families will know where to turn for advice to real problems based on practical experience mixed with evidence based training.
The next time you are approached by someone who claims to be a geriatric care manager, ask about their credentials. It could make a difference in the quality of information you receive.