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Linda Aufderhaar: A Career in Geriatric Care Management

Making a Difference in the Lives of Seniors and their Families

What is a Geriatric Care Manager?
A Geriatric Care Manager is a health and human services professional, such as a gerontologist, social worker, counselor, or nurse, with a specialized body of knowledge and experience related to aging and elder care issues. A Professional Geriatric Care Manager (PGCM) is a geriatric care manager who is a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and has committed to adhering to the GCM Pledge of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The PGCM assists older adults in attaining their maximum functional potential.

The PGCM strives to respect the autonomy of the individual and delivers care-coordination and support services with sensitivity to preserve the dignity and respect of each individual. In addition, the PGCM is an experienced guide and resource for families of older adults and others with chronic needs.

What Does a Geriatric Care Manager Do?
The geriatric care manager’s role is complex and varied. While the primary responsibility is the client’s best interest and welfare, the geriatric care manager also functions as an advocate, liaison and support system to his or her client. Utilizing a comprehensive biopychosocial assessment, the geriatric care manager’s role will be established through the use of care planning and development. The geriatric care manager and the identified client system will maintain regular contact, open communication and awareness to the ever-evolving, constant changes and needs of the client.

PGCMs typically receive inquiries from adult children or other family members, including family members living at a distance from their older relatives. Referrals to PGCMs are typically made by elder law attorneys, physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, trust departments of banks, conservators, community agencies, employee assistance programs and the general public.

Services provided by Professional Geriatric Care Managers (PGCMs) may include:
•    Assessment
•    Care Plan Development
•    Placement
•    Education
•    Psychotherapy
•    Counseling
•    Advocacy
•    Consultation
•    Information and Referral
•    Financial Management
•    Crisis Intervention
•    Home Care
•    Financial and Insurance Review
•    Guardianship

Career Outlook
The career outlook for Professional Geriatric Care Managers is excellent.  The geriatric care management industry has grown tremendously during the past 20 years. 
In 1984, there were between 20 and 40 professional geriatric care managers working independently throughout the country. In 1985, about 25 of these individuals started the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Today there are more than 2000 members of the Association and probably three times that many individuals working in the geriatric care management field throughout the country. GCM membership is growing at a rate of nearly 30% each year.

Linda Aufderhaar, President
National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers

* The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers offers affiliate membership to students.

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