A geriatric care manager (GCM) generally assists families with the care, planning and management of an elderly relative. Professional certificates in geriatric health management are usually earned by health care professionals such as doctors and nurses who wish to better understand geriatric medical problems and health care. Geriatric management certification is offered through a few different private organizations, and applicants need to meet different education and experience requirements for each credential. Some programs may be available online.
For a Geriatric Care Management certificate, usually a degree in nursing, social work or related field is required, as well as one year of real world practice. For the Geriatric Health Management certificate, a medical-related degree is required, along with prior coursework in pathology or pathophysiology.
Geriatric Care Manager Certification
Three sponsoring bodies offer certifications recognized by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) for geriatric care managers. The National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM) offers the Care Manager, Certified (CMC) designation. The Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) sponsors the Certified Case Manager (CCM) designation, while the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) sponsors the Certified Advanced Social Worker in Case Management and Certified Social Work Case Manager (C-SWCM) designations.
All satisfactory applicants for certification must successfully complete the appropriate certifying examination. The exams are generally offered a few times per year, and advanced approval and registration is required.
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Professional Certificate in Geriatric Health Management
Graduates of a professional certificate program in geriatric health management are prepared to coordinate and provide quality medical care to the elderly population. The curriculum is comprised of courses that prepare health care professionals to better coordinate care for and understand geriatric medical health. Topics include:
- Physiology in aging
- Community systems
- Ethics in geriatric health care
- Health care delivery systems
- Health care planning
- Psychology in aging
Career Outlook and Salary Info
Due to the increase in the elderly population in the U.S., geriatric care managers -included among healthcare social workers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)- are increasingly needed. Employment for healthcare social workers in general is expected to expand 12% from 2014-2024, stated the BLS. In 2015, the BLS reported an average annual wage of $48,760 for healthcare social workers in nursing care facilities.
Continuing Education Information
In order to maintain certification as a GCM, the certifying organizations have varying requirements. However, all GCM's must adhere to an ethical code, and complete continuing education hours on an annual basis.
Popular Career Options
Many students who complete a graduate health management certificate program are seeking further education in order to pursue a leadership role within a healthcare delivery system. Specific positions may include:
- Geriatric nurse manager
- Home health care manager
- Long-term care manager
For individuals with an interest in geriatric care who already have some type of professional healthcare degree and experience, pursuing a certificate in geriatric management may open up several new career options. These certificates can lead to higher level positions in a variety of healthcare settings.