Welcome to the latest Passare’s Expert Series, a forum for our experts to share their insights directly. Today we welcome Passare Expert Contributor Mark Zilberman, LCSW.
Mr. Zilberman is the Director of NorthStar Care & Guidance, LLC, a geriatric care management agency devoted to guiding and managing the medical, psychological and social needs of seniors, their families and disabled people of all ages. Mr. Zilberman has dedicated his career to elder care advocacy and management. He is a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) and National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
Passare: Welcome Mark. Please tell us about what a Geriatric Care Manager does.
Mark: I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and I specialize in substance abuse treatment and treatment for the mentally ill and homeless. I wanted to better serve my clients by expanding my skills to include support for the elderly, so I acquired geriatric care management training and credentials through the NAPGCM. I am now in my 14th year as a Geriatric Care Manager (GMC).
A professional GCM is a health and human services specialist who is a guide and advocate for families caring for elder relatives or disabled adults. GCMs are generally trained in many fields including nursing, gerontology, social work or psychology. My skills and social work background were a natural fit for supporting the special needs of the elderly.
Passare: Why did you choose geriatric care management?
Mark: As a LCSW I saw a concrete need to professionally address the needs of the elderly. Elder issues are present in many of the families and individuals I counsel, especially adult children who are caring for or managing issues related to elderly parents. Many need to help or support their aging parents yet are completely unprepared to cope or make decisions about their care. There are also cases where well elder adults are caring for a disabled or mentally ill adult child.
Sometimes, adult children are at odds with their siblings about how to handle their aging parents’ decline. There seems to be a natural, ongoing, critical need for elder advocacy as well as a need for managing complex family dynamics.
Read Mark Zilberman’s full interview here.