Senior Care Advisors Explained

During this stressful time, you're trying to learn & understand a new language, new abbreviations, and the legal, financial & advisory resources that help service the senior health care industry.  Advisors are often "for hire", though some non-profit organizations can answer specific questions by phone or email. 


Geriatric Care Managers or GCM - Professional Geriatric Care Managers (GCM) and/or Private Case Managers help families find & coordinate care for older relatives, help identify problems and offer solutions. Private case managers may charge from $75 to $250/hour, depending on your services agreement.


Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys  - To protect home & savings from probate & savings, these resources also know whether it's better for a will vs. a living trust, and which impact elder care qualifications, Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran's benefits, etc.  These for-hire professionals will also help with optimum tax advantages.


Financial Planning Advisors for Seniors - These are investment advisors that are hired to specialize in managing an investment portfolio for returns that can optimize funding for care, based on pensions, savings, Social Security, real estate, IRAs, 401-Ks, Veteran's benefits, etc.  They may or may not understand the legal or impact on Medicaid qualifications.


Accountants & Tax Return Prep - Though any CPA or tax firm is able to file income tax returns, it's recommended to ask which firm or CPA has a greater knowledge of the tax code requirements for gifting, pension & retirement account draws, veteran's benefits, etc., that are more common for 65+ Seniors.


Medicare & Medicaid Consultants -  Eligibility is not determined by how much money you have but by how your assets (home, savings) are positioned.  These specialists, many for-hire though some are non-profit, understand what assets you can keep and then what amount of money you can obtain from the government.   These consultants complete the county-based state paperwork & qualify the person for benefits at an affordable fee.  NOTE:  Medicare is the US government-sponsored nationwide health care program of funds via taxes for those 65+.  Medicaid administers & pays health care expenses for seniors, accessing the national funds, but is administered state-by-state, and its rules vary state-to-state.  Medicaid paperwork is actually done at the County level, and each county form differs within the state they submit the forms to!  If that's not confusing enough (on purpose), states like California call their Medicaid program MediCal.


Social Security Counselors - These advisors can tell you how much Social Security remains for a person as well as the rules & laws associated with Social Security draws, limits of coverage, qualifications, etc.


National Organizations - For more specific information regarding specific illness' or areas of expertise, national organizations exist such as the Alzheimers Association, National Diabetes Alliance, National Council on Aging, National Family Caregivers Association, etc., which are all available to you through GeriCareFinder!