Some Florida adults have parents who are facing increasing life challenges due to declining health and may be considering hiring a geriatric care manager to give them advice and assistance on handling their parents’ conditions. Anyone who has not had any experience with a geriatric care manager should not feel intimidated. Knowing what kind of questions to ask can make your vetting process easier.
In determining whether a prospective manager is a good fit for you, U.S. News and World Report suggest asking the manager about his or her credentials. While care management is not a regulated field, there are ways to tell if a manager is professionally qualified. You can ask if the manager is certified by an organization like the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, or has received a degree in a field like psychology, nursing or gerontology.
You can also ask if the manager is a member of a nonprofit association. These organizations include the National Association of Social Workers or the Aging Life Care Association. If a manager is associated with one of these non-profits, it is a good sign because these organizations require their members to meet certain educational and certification standards, and also impose codes of ethics and practices.
It is also a good idea to see well how established a care manager is in the community. Ask for references so you can learn what the manager’s past clients think of the manager. You may also question care manager candidates on how long they have practiced in the community where your parents live. The reason is that a child of an aging parent would want a manager who is familiar with the service agencies that serve the parent’s community.
You can also ask how the manager will communicate information to you and your parents. You want to know that you and your family will understand everything that is being told to you about matters like treatment, care, and housing. It is also wise to learn about the manager’s fees and related payment information, such as how the manager tracks payments.
Sometimes your questions will be dictated by your particular needs. A Place For Mom explains that some people only need a care manager for an assessment of their parent’s needs, while others may retain a manager to help handle the care process for their parents. So how long you need a geriatric care manager for may dictate what you want to ask your manager candidate.