We've heard it many times: Americans are getting older. Today 33 million Americans are older than 65. By 2030, 70 million will be. If you do not already assist in the care of an aging parent or family member, most likely you will be at some point in your life. When your parent gets sick or cannot live alone any more, who do you turn to for consultation and facilitation?
For over 10 years, geriatric care managers, primarily social workers and nurses, have been addressing the care needs of the elderly and their families. They provide services that include assessment of individual need for services, identification of specialized services such as housing, transportation, homemaker service, socialization programs. elder law and financial planning.
When an older family member falls ill or needs assistance, stress and conflict often arise in families as they try to sort out the options available and negotiate with agencies, insurance companies and each other. This is particularly difficult for family who work or live at a great distance but want to remain involved with the care giving role.
Geriatric Care Managers (GCM) New England is a professional organization established ten years ago to address the needs of aging Americans and their families. Members live in all of the New England states and provide a variety of services including assessment, placement, education, psychotherapy, counseling, advocacy, consultation, information and referral, crisis intervention, care management, entitlements, home care and guardianship. A referral service is available to locate a qualified care manager in other parts of New England or across the country.
In order to join GCM or its chapter, a qualified individual must have a degree in a human service field (social work, psychology, nursing or gerontology) and must have experience in delivering services to the elderly and their families. GCM defines and promotes a set of Standards of Practice for members to follow in their private practice. Members of the New England Chapter must meet or exceed these standards as a requirement of membership.