Elder Law Attorneys and Geriatric Care Managers: A good partnership

A Win-Win Partnership:  The Elder Law Attorney and Geriatric Care Manager

An obvious combination of professionals is that of the elder law attorney and the geriatric care manager (GCM).  This combination can be a win-win for the professionals and the senior client.

What does a geriatric care manager do?  A GCM most likely comes out of the nursing or psychosocial fields, with additional course work in aging.  They often have certifications in geriatrics and case management.  The GCM takes a “big picture” look at the medical and social care needs of the older adult. They will develop, implement, and monitor a plan of care, as well as coordinating other services and resources necessary for the comfort of the elderly client.

Why partner with a Geriatric Care Manager?  When working with an elder law attorney, a GCM will advise on the current and future costs of care.  Together they can set up a long range plan for care expenditures.  Other benefits of working with a GCM include defining client care needs, medical condition, and Medicare/Medicaid coverage.  The assessment done by a GCM may lead to a less restrictive legal arrangement.  A local attorney who has worked extensively with GCM’s  states, “the geriatric care manager is an extra set of eyes for the guardian and can monitor the client’s medical status, address safety issues and make sure the physicians and caregivers are effectively doing their jobs.”  The GCM can partner with the attorney to help make the best decisions with an aging client.

Guiding seniors through the latter decades of their lives often requires a team of professionals.  The elder law attorney and the geriatric care manager working together build a partnership that is greater than the sum of its parts.  This partnership enhances the quality and safety of an older adult’s life. This combination of expertise can add value and is cost effective in the long run.  The partnership between an elder law attorney and a geriatric care manager truly is a win-win situation!

Published on May 18, 2012.