The career of a care manager, especially a geriatric care manager, is not for everyone. It can be exhausting and stressful, but it can also be incredibly rewarding for those who are qualified to take it on. A geriatric care manager is often someone who decided that, more than anything, they wanted to help others. They are patient, but they also have a strong sense of boundaries and know how to speak up for themselves and for their patient. It’s about more than just education. Here are some of the qualities that make up a good geriatric care manager:
There is a lot of paperwork involved in elder care, which can be overwhelming for the patient and for their family members. That’s where a care manager steps in to help. A care manager’s main role is to advocate for their patient, especially when they’re unable to do so for themselves. The patient may not be able to verbalize their needs or may not be of sound mind to do so. Family and loved ones might feel insecure in their knowledge of the healthcare system. A good care manager should have the know-how to navigate those fields, as well as the confidence and personality to stick up for their patients.
Detail Orientation, But Ability to Think on Their Feet
Care managers are just that: managers. They have many aspects of the patient’s care to coordinate, from plan of care and living situation to evaluations of current care and assignment of caregivers. Letting a detail slip through the cracks could have harmful effects on the quality of life for the patient. That’s why it’s important for care managers to plan thoroughly and be able to focus on every little detail.
But things don’t always go according to plan, especially when it comes to elder care. Situations might change in a way that throws a wrench in your plan. Care managers should also be flexible and able to change their plans when the needs of their patients change.
It takes a compassionate person to pursue a career as a geriatric care manager. However, care managers should also have a good handle on their own emotions and ways of coping. Those in their care already often live with depression and anxiety because of their situation, as do family members. In a stage of life that can be unstable, it helps to have a care manager who is stable. This does not mean that they are unaffected, but rather that they also take care of themselves by maintaining a healthy work-life balance, setting boundaries, and managing their own well-being.
Catherine Jonas of CJ & Associates Care Consulting has 20 years of experience as a geriatric care manager and has become something of an expert in the field. Through CJ & Associates Care Consulting, we can offer plans of care and evaluations of current care as well as consulting and assigning new caregivers. Interested in working with us for your geriatric care needs? Contact CJ & Associates Care Consulting today to learn more.