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How to find a geriatric care manager

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If you have an elderly loved one who needs to transition from living alone to being in an independent living facility or maybe even living in a nursing home, you know the endless worry that accompanies making that important decision.

Which place will be the right fit for mom or dad? What kind of care will they need going forward? And can they — or you — afford it?

Read more: Top 10 best (and worst) states for retirees

That’s where a geriatric care manager can help

Care for the seniors in your life is such an important topic. You want to find the best place for them because the toll of making the wrong choice can be enormous, both financially and emotionally. That’s where a geriatric care manager can help. They deal with everything from diet and nutrition, to finding the right doctors, to placing your loved one in the right facility.

Unfortunately, a lot of people who have never been down this road before will immediately contact the national placement companies that advertise heavily on TV and radio as a first step. These kinds of businesses advertise themselves as being free to the family, but there is usually a catch.

“They get a juicy referral fee — often half of one month’s rent — when they seal the deal,” says Nancy L. Kriseman, LCSW. “And some of the national companies have placement professionals that don’t even live in the same state as where the referrals come from or have little or no professional credentials.”

So where can you turn?

If you are religious, you may want to explore senior care options through your religion’s extended network, according to Kriseman. Jewish Family and Career Services and Catholic Social Services are just two examples that come to mind. They offer care management and access to geriatric social workers in a non-sectarian environment. Ask at your house of worship for further info and contact details.

For another approach to finding a legit geriatric care manager, Kriseman recommends using several websites:

  • AgingLifeCare.com – The official website of the non-profit Aging Life Care Association.
  • AgingNetworkServices.com  – This is a national resource that offers referrals to geriatric social workers who have been vetted.
  • Alz.org – The Alzheimer’s Association advances research to end Alzheimer’s and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease. Their professionals will provide referrals to all sorts of care services including geriatric social workers and care managers in the area.

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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