To assess the value of geriatric care management (GCM) services from the perspective of individuals who receive the care—the “care recipients.” The opinions of these older adults—the current users of GCM services—were investigated by means of a cross-sectional mail survey.
The study setting was the home of the care recipient of GCM services.
This cross-sectional descriptive study applied survey research design. Survey questions were developed related to the following themes about the GCM role and function: (1) overall role, (2) health assistance function, (3) community resources assistance function, (4) advocacy function, and (5) contribution to the care recipients' quality of life. Survey questionnaires were distributed to 179 care recipients of member organizations of the Florida Geriatric Care Management Association. The questionnaires were distributed by mail during the spring of 2012. A second mailing was completed in the fall of 2012. The survey results were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
The care recipient survey respondents most frequently described the role of their GCMs as one of a health care professional. The respondents more frequently described the GCM as providing a health assistance and advocacy function. They indicated that the GCM greatly contributed to their quality of life.
Geriatric care managers appear to be very valuable in assisting their clients with critical health-related situations, as well as with more routine health care matters. Not only are they called upon to assist with health care emergencies and their clients' hospital stays but they also appear to serve an important role in facilitating physician–patient communications during the care recipient's routine visits to the doctor's office.
Judith Ortiz, PhD, MBA, heads the health administration programs at Webster University, Orlando, FL, and is a Research Associate Professor with College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida, Orlando. She has held positions in health care administration and marketing and has published in a variety of health care topics.
Mary Ann Horne, MHA, is a Community Outreach Specialist with MetroPlan Orlando in Orlando, FL. She has a background in journalism and social work and researched the roles of Geriatric Care Managers as part of her master's degree project, which was published in the 2011 Best of Webster.
Address correspondence to Judith Ortiz, PhD, MBA, Webster University, P.O. Box 4874, Winter Park, FL 32793 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors report no conflicts of interest.