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A geriatric care manager ensures the smooth daily operations of a facility that specializes in caring for the elderly. She is usually in charge of personnel administration, program development and implementation and communications with clients and families. Her job may be in a large or small hospital, daily care facility or retirement home.
Success in this position requires active and attentive involvement in all of the daily activities at the facility. Interacting with clients and families enables the manager to assess the level of satisfaction and make adjustments as necessary. She is generally expected to vigilantly monitor health-care practices to guarantee they meet the highest standards. Regularly checking with the administrative staff keeps her aware of changes in insurance industry requirements and alerts her of any cases pending investigation or resolution.
If outside sources are needed to adequately serve her clients, a geriatric care manager is frequently required to interact with independent care providers, family members and doctors to set up treatment programs or arrange services. She may assist in coordinating home care for recently discharged clients or set up appointments with specialists not readily available at her facility. If conflicts arise in arranging any of these provisions, a geriatric care manager is typically asked to apply her mediation skills to facilitate resolution.
Besides oral communication skills, a person in this job is often required to submit reports and summaries to regulatory agencies and organizations that determine eligibility for elderly guardianships. She is also normally expected to revise client care plans as conditions change. If community resources are required by clients or their families, a geriatric care manager is commonly asked to write a letter of referral. In some cases, the manager actively assists in finding extended care facilities for clients who can no longer be properly served at her location.
A good geriatric care manager is generally expected to maintain a balance of empathy and professionalism. She is often required to provide emotional support to a client or family member one minute and step into a rigidly constructed business meeting the next. Her ability to remain compassionate while adhering to industry standards is imperative to her success.
A bachelors’ degree in gerontology, social work or a related field is normally required to be considered for this position. A degree or license in nursing is highly desirable. A minimum of two years experience in patient services, health care administration or geriatrics is often a prerequisite. For upper level management positions, a master’s degree may be mandatory.
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