- Are you a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers?
- Many people without the proper qualifications are calling themselves care managers. Most reputable care managers belong to the NAPGCM, but not all are equally qualified. Your care manager should be familiar with the NAPGCM Standards of Practice > and Pledge of Ethics >. Ask about their assessments and care plans. Are they independent care managers or is their business really home care?
- What is your educational background and ongoing education?
- The best care managers have extensive specialized training in gerontology, nursing, social work or a related field. Find out about their commitment to ongoing professional training good care managers are constantly updating their skills and regularly attend conferences and workshops.
- Are you familiar with all of the geriatric specialists and resources in the area?
- A professional care manager has extensive knowledge about the cost, quality and availability of local services, facilities and health care specialists, and will carefully match your needs with the appropriate resources.
- Is the company locally owned or part of a larger network?
- Large companies are beginning to enter the field of care management, but you are likely to get more personalized service if you work with a locally owned business. Ask if the care manager volunteers in and is involved in the community. Will you be working with the owner directly, or one of their many employees?
- What is your availability?
- Because of the nature of the work a care manager should be available to you on a 24-hour emergency basis, 365 days a year. Ask if they are available in the evenings and on weekends for phone calls or family conferences and, if so, if they charge extra.
- What is your fee structure?
- Is the fee structure straightforward or are there hidden costs? What exactly are they charging for? Dont pay for services you dont need.
- Are you willing to work with the caregivers already involved with the client?
- We often work with clients who have trusted caregivers already in place. We
respect these relationships when they work in the best interests of the
client, and are happy to collaborate and work with them. We encourage and
support family involvement and informal support in the caregiving. Beware
of care managers that insist on using only their own caregivers, as they are
- How thorough is your assessment?
- Because a comprehensive assessment is the key to the plan of support, it is important that a thorough, professional evaluation take place. While RN and social work care managers tend to emphasize different facets of the overall picture, a competent care manager will take a holistic approach. If the focus is solely on placement or on homecare needs, you are not receiving a completely objective assessment. Professional geriatric care managers should use a warm, respectful and non-patronizing approach that will set the older person at ease, and they will use a combination of clinical skills, standardized assessment tools, objective observation and intuition to get a full picture of the situation.
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