Advancing Your Career | Career & Finances | Specialties

What Is a Geriatric Care Manager & How Can You Become One?

  • The elderly population is increasing, resulting in a higher demand for geriatric care. 
  • Geriatric Care Managers are healthcare professionals who help families care for aging relatives by planning and overseeing their care. 
  • The advantages of being a Geriatric Care Manager include numerous employment opportunities, making a positive impact on patients’ lives, and helping elderly patients maintain their independence. Certification is not mandatory but can lead to more earning potential and employment opportunities.

Katy Luggar-Schmit


March 07, 2023
Simmons University

The Population Reference Bureau projects that the number of Americans ages 65 and older will nearly double by 2060. This growth among the elderly population means the demand for geriatric care will increase as well.  

If you have a passion for working with the elderly, and ensuring they receive quality healthcare, then seeking additional training and certification in geriatric care may be the right path for you.  

Let’s take a closer look at the role of a Geriatric Care Manager.  


geriatric care manager career

What Is a Geriatric Care Manager?

A geriatric care manager is a healthcare professional who helps people care for aging family members. As managers, they plan and oversee their patient’s care rather than provide it.

This role is often a great fit for the nurse who possesses years of hands-on experience working with the elderly. Geriatric care managers assist the elderly in a vital and meaningful way while also enjoying a chance of pace in a valuable healthcare setting. 

Where Do Geriatric Care Managers Work?

Geriatric care managers may work in supervisory roles in nursing homes, home care agencies, geriatric clinics, hospitals, nonprofits, or government facilities. Geriatric care managers may also be registered nurses (RNs) or social workers who are trained in senior care.

What Does a Geriatric Care Managers Do?

A geriatric care manager works with families to identify, plan, and oversee the care of their gaining or disabled relatives. They meet with families and patients to determine their individual needs, find ways to meet those needs, and manage care plans to ensure they are effective.

Typical job responsibilities include: 

  • Meeting with families and recommending services 
  • Determining which services patients are eligible for 
  • Presenting housing options 
  • Assigning caregivers 
  • Scheduling services 
  • Finding social activities patients can participate in 
  • Helping families with the financial and legal aspects of their relative’s care 
  • Visiting patients to assess their care and needs 
  • Creating short and long-term plans for patient care 
  • Updating families regularly

Advantages of a Geriatric Care Manager

There are several advantages to becoming a Geriatric Care Manager, including: 

  • Numerous employment opportunities 
  • Helping the elderly maintain their independence as much as possible 
  • Provide proactive healthcare management 
  • Make a positive impact on the lives of the aging population 
  • Play an essential role in patient care

geriatric care manager job

How Do You Become a Geriatric Care Manager?

Geriatric care managers need at least a bachelor’s degree and experience working in healthcare or social work. A background in caring for the elderly is also a positive. Degrees and courses that offer instruction in both healthcare and management can prepare you for a Geriatric Care Manager career.  

If you are considering senior care, you will benefit from coursework in the following subjects: 

  • Health economics 
  • Health services management 
  • Hospital organization 
  • Medical ethics and law 

It is important to note that some employers prefer candidates with master’s degrees. While it is not required to become a geriatric care manager, a master’s degree specializing in gerontology, public health, nursing, or health services will help expand your employment opportunities as well as your earning potential.  

What Other Skills Are Helpful for a Career as a Geriatric Care Manager?

Many of the skills you possess and utilize in your nursing career are the same skills you will use as a geriatric care manager, such as: 

  • Communication 
  • Empathy 
  • Decision-making 
  • Leadership 
  • Integrity 
  • Interpersonal skills 

Are There Further Opportunities for Career Advancement?

You are not required to be certified to become a geriatric care manager. However, doing so is advantageous for increasing earning potential and employment opportunities.

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGC) established an academy offering geriatric care manager certification to individuals who meet education and experience requirements. If you meet these requirements, you can apply for and study to take the exam by enrolling in prep courses and paying a registration fee.  

The Bottom Line

Our population will never stop aging. Therefore, there will always be a need for caregivers specializing in geriatric care. If you are a nurse with experience working with the elderly or have always been interested in elderly care, becoming a Geriatric Care Manager may be the right fit for your knowledge and skills.  

Additionally, if you are searching for an opportunity to step away from bedside healthcare while still providing meaningful insight into a patient’s overall treatment plan, then this career path may be a worthwhile pursuit. Geriatric care is a rewarding field that offers care to an often-overlooked population.  


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