I read in some posts here that social workers come to people's homes to check on the care situation at home. Are these private pay social workers or state employees? If state, how is one qualified to receive a state social worker? Also, has anyone here hired a geriatric manager to help them navigate this confusing and frustrating world of dementia caregiving?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I offer elder care management services and sharing below some of what I do.
Everyone working as a care manage will have different skill sets and experience. It requires someone who can naturally coordinate, who enjoys talking to and communicating well; has compassion, takes notes-keeps records=tracking situations and behavior of elder. Be sure to check references and do a criminal record check on individuals offering services. Ask for a resume / work history / All individuals working with elders should have a yearly TB test.
Insure transportation / car insurance and registration is current.

Services I provide are very broad - key areas are:
Advocacy (writing letters re billing issues or when an elder feels they need clarification in business or other matters), including follow-up.
Work with health care professionals: social workers, hospital in-take/discharge nurses/staff; keep 'everyone in the loop'; call-pick up pharmacy medications;
Assist elders contacting their MDs re appts or emergency needs (through Kaiser often done on the computer);
Daily assistant: on-site care (prepare light meals, minimal clean-up/housecleaning.
Caregivers offers showers and handle hygiene/incontinence needs. I screen and hire caregivers (and contractors)
Research (shopping for medical equipment, clothes,home furnishings, grandkids gifts)
Organizational Mgmt: i.e., create filing systems; sort-go over mail, work with tax preparer and trust attorney(s);
Relocation Support: Handle move from beginning to end (or help as needed). Work with realtor(s), screen and hire contractors/supervise them; pack up: sort, toss, store (arrange for storage unit)
Massage - I am a certified massage therapist.
Interior Design/Space Assessment (I am a trained designer). Help with research-purchase furniture and containers to make new home cozy and comfortable.
Emotional Support: Am trained in various counseling modalities and offer compassion through active reflective listening;
Work with families; coordinate needs, offer support.
Currently -ongoing study of dementia and all the differences: This helps me work with more compassionate, understand what is going on (with the brain), and helps me work with families, care providers to help them understand. I want to be a trainer in the future.
Helpful Answer (1)

Lauren, your answer is very thorough, concise and helpful.
Helpful Answer (3)

Many geriatric care managers are social workers by training. Some are nurses, and some have training in a related field (like gerontology). They do not have a license (as pamstegma said) yet many maintain their social work or nursing licenses.

There is a lot of overlap in what social workers and care managers do. Care managers tend to work in the private sector, working directly for clients and focusing on their clients' individual needs and goals. Social workers tend to work for organizations, such as hospitals, senior living communities, government programs, insurance companies, and social welfare organizations. In my observation, social workers who work in such programs tend to have large case loads. They may not be able to spend a lot of time on any individual case.

Clients generally don't have to pay for a social worker's services directly when they are a client of the social worker's employer. For example, you don't have to pay to meet with the senior living community's social worker - the cost is covered by the amount you pay the community. Clients usually pay directly for the services of a geriatric care manager. Sometimes, a client's long term care insurance will pay for a care manager.

Which one is better? It depends. When you get a social worker in an organization, you don't get to choose (or maybe choose from a few). You can choose your care manager, and if your situation is unique or complicated, you might want to find one who has experience exactly in what you need. Additionally, a social worker with an organization may not be able to participate in care outside of the organization - for example, go to doctor's appointments with you, visit you in the hospital, etc.

You pay a premium for a care manger's help. If you have family members participating in care of an aging loved one, they can cover a lot of the direct support with guidance and direction from a social worker.

I hope this helps, and I'll be interested in seeing others' answers!
Helpful Answer (7)

Social workers who check on the welfare of patients in their homes are usually employees of the county social services department APS (adult protection service) On the other hand, nursing homes also employ social workers to help their own residents coordinate benefits, especially where Medicaid is in the picture. In most states a social worker is licensed by the state.
Geriatric Care Managers do not need a license to provide services. They charge a fee for managing care, which may or may not be covered by health insurance. The cost varies with the level of service you purchase. For example-- weekly checks? consulting with MD's? Transporting patients? Managing medications? Hiring aides? It can all add up really fast.
Helpful Answer (6)

Very good question. I will move this question back to the front page and hopefully we will get some answers for you.
Helpful Answer (0)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter