I'm often asked, "What's the difference between a geriatric care manager and a family transition coach?" In a nutshell, the geriatric care manager deals with a situation once it is happening, and tends to focus on the physical and clinical care for the care recipient. On the other hand, a family transition coach is involved with advance planning as well as with ongoing situations, and will focus on the big picture, including "the business of life", for the whole family.
A family transition coach will often have the opportunity to refer to a geriatric care manager, who will then be responsible for coordinating the physical care that is required, and will often accompany the care recipient to doctor's appointments and arrange for additional care such as home health services. At the same time, the family transition coach may arrange for other services such as managing the mail, paying the bills, or fighting with insurance companies. So, the two professionals are complementary and work together. This is only one example of how they might work together.
The role of the family transition coach is to help the family understand their caregiving (or future caregiving) reality, and then to identify potential situations and make plans to address them. The coach may work directly with the care recipient, or with his or her adult children or other family members. The coach serves as a resource, but also often plays the role of objective third party, and can challenge your thinking and facilitate decision-making. Whereas the geriatric care manager spends most of his or her time and focus on the care recipient, the coach will often spend as much or more focus on the caregivers.
If you are interested in learning more about family transition coaching, please click here.