As a result of the growing trend of seniors and persons with disabilities deciding to age-in-place, a new faction of professional health care specialists is also expanding to meet the needs of those who wish to remain living comfortably and safely in their own homes.
These care managers are known by many names: Certified Care Managers, Geriatric Care Managers, Health Care Managers, and Professional Geriatric Care Managers—to name a few.
The Health Care Manager (HCM) is generally a nurse or social worker who is qualified to provide personal care and recommend services that can make seniors’ or persons’ with disabilities lives easier as they age-in-place. The objective of HCMs is to determine what is needed in order to maintain and improve their clients’ quality of life at home.
Care management includes duties such as the comprehensive assessment of an individual’s needs, communication with families and physicians, as well as post-hospital and rehab planning.
HCMs will assess the current, life-circumstances of seniors and persons with disabilities and recommend or provide the services needed to make living independently at home enjoyable, healthy, more possible, prolonged, and safe. This includes developing a personalized care plan, arranging and implementing care services, as well as continually reassessing and modifying their clients’ care requirements and needs as they change.
In addition to health-related services, HCMs can also provide general living assistance to their clients by being a source of information, locating community and social resources, managing finances, providing crisis intervention, reviewing legal issues, and giving referrals to other health care specialists. HCMs are often extremely accessible—offering services and care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The following organizations and their Web sites offer additional, specialized information on HCMs:
What current or future care challenges do you think you may face while aging-in-place?
How might a Health Care Manager help you deal with these challenges and allow you to remain living comfortably, safely, and independently in your own home?
Check out the upcoming issue of Home Evolutions’ e-newsletter, The Forever Home, for more on HCMs.