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Geriatric Care Management Education Requirements

Geriatric care managers require some formal education. Learn about education, job duties, and other requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Geriatric care managers assist the elderly population with identifying and coordinating a range of resources for health care and daily living. A bachelor's degree is required to become a geriatric care manager.

Essential Information

Geriatric care management involves providing counsel and assistance to elderly patients and their families. Care managers coordinate the services of government agencies, insurance companies, and home health care agencies, in accordance with the needs of each patient. Managers also might help patients use available services while staying in assisted living or nursing home facilities.

A bachelor's degree in a related subject is required, but not many of these programs provide specific training for geriatric care management. However, graduate certificate and master's degree programs in geriatric care management are available. Most professionals in this field require several years of experience prior to becoming managers.

Required Education Bachelor's degree, but master's degree recommended
Other Requirements Several years' experience in social work, elderly care or healthcare
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) Social and community services managers: 10%*
Median Salary (2016) $47,693**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ,**PayScale.com.

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Education Information

A bachelor's degree is the minimum required education for a career in geriatric care management. The degree should be in a related field, such as social work, nursing, psychology, public health, or gerontology. Professionals in these areas who wish to move into geriatric care management can get further education through graduate certificate or master's degree programs in geriatric care management.

Graduate Certificates

Admission to graduate certificate programs in geriatric care management usually requires either a bachelor's or master's degree plus paid experience in a human services job equaling four years for a bachelor's degree and two years for a master's. The goal of certificate programs is to allow graduates to manage the human services needs of their clients while focusing on the impact and concerns of the client and the family.

Programs vary greatly. Most are aimed at students who are employed full-time. Programs are usually self-paced and take between 15 and 24 months to complete. Many are partly or entirely online. Typical courses include introductory gerontology, ethical and legal issues in aging, psychosocial concerns of aging, and elder care services management. A practicum with a local agency is generally required.

Master's Degrees

Master's degree programs in geriatric care management generally focus on both the business and human services aspects of the field. Online and on-campus degree program options are available.

The courses in master's degree programs are similar to those offered in graduate certificate programs, but students are required to complete additional coursework. The curriculum might include classes in marketing, human resources, personnel management, and finance as they relate to services for the aged. Other coursework might include health concerns of the aged, economic issues of the elderly, and research methods in gerontology. Students usually complete a master's project or thesis.

Certification and Continuing Education

Geriatric care managers can earn voluntary national certification through the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Acquiring certification shows determination to provide quality, up-to-date care. Certification must be renewed every three years, and to do so, professionals must complete 15 hours of continuing education courses on a yearly basis.

Job Outlook and Salary Statistics

The BLS does not have specific job outlook data for geriatric care managers, but there is information on social and community service managers. For the decade 2014-2024, the BLS predicts that job openings for social and community service managers in general should increase by 10%. The above-average increase is noted as a direct result of an aging population, which might mean more jobs for social and community service managers working with the elderly. In 2016, PayScale.com indicated that the median salary for geriatric care managers was $47,693.

Geriatric care managers are relied upon by the elderly population and their families. They provide helpful information regarding a range of resources, such as community services, assisted living facilities, and hospice programs. A bachelor's degree is required, and there are also master's degree and certification programs are available.

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