It’s a difficult reality to face, but the children of many senior advisors’ clients will come to a point where they have to consider moving their parents to a care facility or at least consider finding someone to help.

Geriatric care managers are professionals who specialize in helping older people and their families with care arrangements. Their knowledge of the cost, quality and availability of services can be invaluable to a family. But, families want to get the best for their parents, so they should know what to look for. The group Aging Parents and Adult Children Together has a short list of qualities to look for in a geriatric care manager:

  • Ask about candidates’ training, education and background in geriatrics. Look for how long they’ve been a GCM and whether they belong to a professional association.
  • Find out about their responsiveness. How long do they take to return calls? How are after-hours emergencies handled? Will one GCM be assigned to a parent, or will several be responsible?
  • Determine the scope of the practice. Some practices provide assessments and care consultation. Others will follow people on an ongoing basis. Some offer money management and home care.
  • Look into the GCM’s reputation. Get letters of reference and names of previous clients.

These may not be services senior advisors think about often, but knowing how to help the family of a client can go a long way toward solidifying a relationship. To find out more about choosing a GCM, consult the Area Agency on Aging, the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and the National Council on Aging.