Elder Care Management, Guardianship Support, Life Care Plan, Medical Consultation

Geriatric Care Managers and Elder Law Attorneys Make a Perfect Match

 May 11, 2017

By  Deborah L Weiner Katz, OTR/L, CCM, CLCP

It takes a team of professionals to bring you into this world. It only makes sense that a team of professionals can be required to guide you through your twilight years. In the latter case, a partnership between a geriatric care manager and an elder law attorney are the center of most successful teams.

Geriatric Care Managers are medical experts from the nursing, occupational therapy, or psychosocial fields with experience in geriatrics and case management. Their job is to provide a comprehensive look at the medical and social care needs of the elderly. Then, they use this information to develop, implement and oversee a plan of care. Their sole focus is the comfort of the client and procuring whatever services or resources are needed to maintain it.

Elder law attorneys primarily deal with wills and trusts, taxes, probates and beneficiaries. However, like GCMs, they are also advocates for the elderly. The two professions are truly complimentary. For example, these latter days of our lives can rack up quite a bill. A GCM will define a clients care needs and medical condition. Factoring in Medicare/Medicaid coverage, the GCM and the attorney will be able to establish a long term plan for care expenditures.

Attorneys who partner with Geriatric Care Managers find that they are able to make better decisions on behalf of their client. With a care manager, attorneys no longer need to worry about whether or not physicians and caregivers are doing their job. They can rely on care managers to keep track of their clients medical status and address safety issues should they come up.

Housing is a perfect issue that this partnership has addressed with success over the years. An attorney will help a family sell their elders home. The care manager, meanwhile, will be the one that helps them figure out if it is the right decision. Geriatric care managers evaluate safety concerns and needs and discuss the findings with elders and their families to decide whether staying at home is still an option.

Old age can be a maze of paperwork and planning. It should also be a time when a person should have to worry about such things as little as possible. This is another key area where elder law attorneys are happy to share the load. Geriatric care managers will log in the hours required to seek out payment sources and public benefit programs in order to pay for care. They will fill out all the applications, help with hospital discharges and coordinate care between multiple providers. If that’s not enough, the best care managers are also the most valuable resources in times of emergency.

So how does a Geriatric Care Manager gather the information needed to advocate for clients? They ask questions, of course. With family present, a thorough assessment is conducted. Questions about medical status, living situation, legal issues and financial matters are followed by inquiries about eligibility for services or benefits programs. Most importantly, the process will always get as personal as possible. Both care managers and attorneys will want to know about trouble areas, or areas where the most help is needed. Such a partnership will want to know where it will fit in family dynamics. At all times, the elder will be encouraged to contribute to their own care, to the best of their ability.

If you or a family member is in need of this type of assistance, call us for a free consultation.

The AdvancedRM Advantage

Elder Care Management

Our case managers coordinate communication with all payer sources to facilitate reimbursement from all available avenues. Identification of community resources and assistance is pursued and every effort is made to obtain cost effective quality care to meet your loved one’s needs.

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