How to Become an Elder Care Consultant

As the baby boomer population ages, senior care employment opportunities are growing. In 2011, approximately 39.8 million people worked in elder care, with that figure expected to rise over the next 10 years. Apart from dealing with health care needs, families must also plan for the financial and physical logistics of adequately caring for seniors. A new field has emerged, called elder care consulting, which employs people to help plan and set up proper management for older people. An elder care consultant may also work under the similar title of elder care planner or a geriatric manager. Find out how to become an elder care consultant.


  1. Image titled Become an Elder Care Consultant Step 1
    Volunteer in a hospital or nursing home. This experience will allow you to see if you can deal with the challenges of elder care. Working with seniors can be mentally taxing because you must deal with memory loss, death and health issues on a daily basis.
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    Seek an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing, counseling, social work or geriatric care. If you know that you want to be a geriatric manager, it is a good idea to opt for 4-year degree, because you may want to get a higher degree in the future. These degree programs will help you to work in the elder care field.
    • The geriatric care degree is popular among certified nurses assistants (CNA) because you can complete it by adding a semester to your CNA certification. If you want to work as a home health aid, a physical therapy aid or a patient care technician, this is a good educational path to take. You will need to complete a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training course and show proof of your high school diploma or equivalency in order to begin an associate's degree in geriatric care.
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    Spend approximately 2 to 5 years working in elder care. You can work in a wide variety of jobs, including hospital and clinic tech or assistant, RN, CNA, nursing home/assisted living aid, personal care assistant, at-home nurse or assisted living or hospital administration or customer service.
    • The value of your experience is in the diversity of issues in which you become knowledgeable. 2 years in which someone learns how to handle legal, financial, medical, dementia and therapy issues may be more valuable than handling 1 of those issues for 5 years.
    • 2 to 5 years of experience handling a family member's geriatric planning is very valuable experience. You can become well-versed in understanding how a family will respond to the many issues that arise. If you have been a carer, you may want to volunteer or work in an institution for at least a year before becoming a consultant, in order to better understand the health care system.
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    Consider getting a master's degree in geriatric care management. The coursework in this degree features financial planning, legal planning, the physiology of aging, ethnicity and aging, death and bereavement, health policy and practicum. Once you have this diverse training you can be billed as an elder care expert.
    • If you do not want to get a master's degree in this field, consider finding and taking classes in senior financial planning, legal planning, bereavement, elder health policies and more. You should be able to advise a family on all of these issues to be an elder care consultant.
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    Look for work as a geriatric care manager. Many hospitals, clinics and assisted living facilities are hiring people to advise their patients on senior planning. If you are not ready to start your own consulting business, you can apply for salaried jobs at a health facility.
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    Get a professional membership with the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). You will get access to courses, industry news and be able to list your services on their site. Anything you can do to give your practice more professionalism will be helpful to your business.
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    Start your own elder care consulting practice. Once you have all the credentials and applicable experience, you can start up a website, home or outside office and begin offering people services. The following things should be considered when starting an elder care consultancy:
    • Create a professional website. This website should be modeled after legal or medical websites, with extra attention given to your services, credentials and appointment scheduling. Consider having a review board where people can give testimonials about your services.
    • Create connections with local nursing homes, clinics, hospitals and health care professionals. Many facilities cannot afford to hire a geriatric care manager. If they see a family that needs help with elder care issues, a good connection will afford you a referral.
    • Research competition and price your services accordingly. You may consider giving a free consulting session at first, in order to show people what you can provide in person.
    • Make customer service your first priority. Most business is likely to come from referrals, from satisfied customers or health care professionals. You will need to ensure you don't over promise, you provide excellent value and you contact the family frequently to encourage these referrals.

Things You'll Need

  • Hospital/nursing home volunteer position
  • Associate's degree in geriatric care
  • Bachelor's degree in counseling, nursing or social work
  • 2 to 5 years work experience
  • Master's degree in geriatric care management
  • Health care policy, legal and/or financial training courses
  • NAPGCM membership
  • Geriatric care management position
  • Website
  • Networking with health care professionals
  • Referrals

Article Info

Categories: Aged Care