Depending on where an individual is academically and professionally, he or she can apply to a certificate or graduate certificate program in geriatric case management. Although both programs address physical and mental issues related to aging, certificate programs are intended for those with very little or no previous education, while graduate certificate programs are intended for working professionals with some level of formal education. They consist of coursework, as well as hands-on learning experiences in a supervised professional environment. A professional certification might be available to students who complete their studies and pass a skills examination.
Associate and bachelor's degree programs require a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as acceptable college entrance exam scores for admission. Master's degree programs require a bachelor's degree. Certificates may take under a year to complete. Associate's degrees can usually be completed in two years. Bachelor's degrees require four years of coursework, and master's degrees can usually be completed in two to three years.
Certificate Programs in Geriatric Case Management
Geriatric case management involves focusing on essential mental, physical, psychological and social issues related to senior citizens. Students interested in acquiring a basic education and skill set in geriatric case management might consider a certificate program. Programs look at a variety of issues facing the elderly, such as family dynamics, social support, special medical needs and financial issues. Courses typically cover the following subjects:
- Introduction to geriatric case management
- Aging and physical changes
- Family dynamics and marriage
- Introduction to social work
- Dealing with dementia and other mental issues of the elderly
Graduate Certificates in Geriatric Case Management Overview
Graduate certificates in geriatric case management are intended to provide additional education and skills to working professionals. Though not mandatory, the certificate may provide additional professional achievement. Certificate programs address the complex and unique issues of aging, such as self-esteem, dementia, end-of-life planning and physical restrictions. Some course topics include:
- Senior citizens and communication
- Ethical and legal issues in geriatric case management
- Senior citizens and community involvement
- Contemporary issues in geriatric care giving
- Issues with institutional and home care
Popular Career Options
Certificate programs provide additional education applicable to individuals pursuing career paths in a number of fields, such as social work, medicine and human services. Some possible career paths encompassing geriatric case management include:
- Nurse practitioner
- Social worker
- Home health aide
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to a January 2016 report by PayScale.com, geriatric case managers earned between $29,351 and $102,547 annually, with the median salary being $48,446. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 11% growth in employment for social and human services assistants, a group that included geriatric case managers, from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). This projected job growth was faster than the average for all occupations.
Students are encouraged to seek formal education at the associate's or bachelor's degree level. College degrees typically lead to increased employment opportunity. Students completing an educational certificate in geriatric case management might be interested in undergraduate programs in social work, human services or sociology.
Although not required for employment, individuals may become a Certified Geriatric Case Manager from the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, and this certification may be a beneficial professional credential. Individuals seeking certification must have a formal educational degree, previous work experience and pass a nationally standardized certification examination.
Certificate and degree programs in geriatric case management provide experience practicums and traditional coursework in essential subjects like aging development, ethics and legal issues, and family dynamics. Graduates may in work in the areas of social and human services.