Questions to Ask When Looking for a Care Manager
Care Managers have diverse experience, education and backgrounds. Many are licensed in their states in specific fields (such as nursing or social work). They may call themselves consultants, managers, advisors or other titles. They all do not specialize in all areas of aging life care. When looking for a professional, find out her or his areas of expertise. You will want to hire someone who regularly handles clients with needs similar to yours.
Care Manager professionals who primarily work with older adults bring more to their practice than an expertise in geriatrics. They bring knowledge of aging issues that allows them and their staff to overcome the myths relating to aging and to focus on the problems at hand. At the same time, they will bring an experience of working with resources in your community. They are most aware of real life problems—health and otherwise—that emerge as people age and the tools that are available to address those issues. They are also connected with a community of social workers, nurses, psychologists, elder law attorneys, advocates, and other elder care professionals who may be of assistance to you.
It is important for the wise consumer to ask questions. Some of these include:
- What are the primary services provided by your agency/business?
- How many Care Manager professionals are in your agency/business?
- Is there a fee for the initial consultation and, if so, how much?
- What are your professional credentials?
- Are you licensed in your profession?
- How long have you been providing geriatric care or care management services?
- Are you available for emergencies?
- Does your company also provide home care services?
- How do you communicate information?
- What are your fees? (These should be provided to the consumer/responsible party in writing prior to services starting.)
The answers to your questions will assist you in determining whether that particular Care Manager and agency/business has the qualifications important to you for a successful relationship. If you have a specific issue that requires immediate attention, be sure to inform the Care Manager of this during your initial conversation.