What is Care Management?
Care management is a holistic service that provides families with the comprehensive guidance they need when an older adult or disabled individual is facing ongoing health challenges. At the heart of this guidance is a Care Manager who works directly with the family to navigate the maze of medical planning, care decisions and obstacles they face as their loved one’s condition advances.
Care Managers are typically Social Workers, Registered Nurses, Gerontologists, and individuals with advanced medical knowledge and education in aging and disability planning. Care Managers are sometimes referred to as Geriatric Care Managers or Aging Life Care Specialists.
Our Care Managers
Our Care Mangers are premiere experts in the field of aging well and Geriatric Care Management. Also known as Geriatric Care Managers, our care managers are Professional level members of the Aging Life Care Association™ (ALCA) and differ from Patient Advocates, Senior Advisors, Senior Navigators, and Elder Advocates. ALCA members must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization and all members are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
“Senior Planning Group has done a tremendous job helping me as a caregiver for both my parents. Their patience, support, experience and expertise has helped me deal with the day-to-day issues as well as the health, legal and financial challenges that a family caregiver encounters. Barbara and her staff have been great advocates for my parents’ health and well-being.”
-Dan R., client
When Do We Need a Care Manager?
Our Care Managers start with the first phone call. We will ask the right questions and assess our client’s wishes, needs, abilities, personalities, supports, deficits, and implement a comprehensive multi-disciplinary care plan that helps us streamline the complications that arise in everyday life.
We connect the dots between providers and keep lines of communication open – resulting in a more cohesive and holistic approach from your doctors, home health care providers, rehabilitation facilities, non-medical in home care and list can go on.
Why is it vital that these lines of communication remain open?
Although we commonly think of the health care community as one entity, it really is a composition of separate functioning businesses. These separate businesses make negative impacts on an individual’s care by only treating their portion. Our Care Managers provide the full picture, advocating as the LEAD PROVIDER on behalf of our clients to ensure all of their providers are listening to the clients goals.
A Care Manager Can Assist Your Family in a Wide Variety of Ways
Did a medical incident occur that has left you and your family wondering what the next steps are with only a day or so to make executive decisions that will affect the rest of your life?
Our Care Managers can help with an emergency assessment and advocate for your rights that you may not be aware you have, point you in the right direction and ensure the quality of your life now and in the future is not compromised.
Are you or a loved one experiencing a change in memory? A new diagnosis of progressive memory loss can be overwhelming and confusing to say the least. Too often families are left wondering “what next”?
Questions about future financial and care needs go unanswered until a crisis arises. Our Care Managers can assist you and your family through this process, whether it is through in home cognition screenings to determine status of the disease or to address behavioral changes that are impacting the home.
Our Care Managers can help put an action plan in place to assist with the path that lies ahead.
Are you lost with too much information and too many options? Are you receiving limited or conflicting information from providers?
Our Care Managers are trained and experienced in conducting a comprehensive assessment to evaluate your current and future health care needs. We can assist with executing a plan of care that will help to maximize your quality of life.
Some patients may only require an assessment, which provides a road map for future care. Others may need ongoing Care Management as care needs progress. Some families choose to use our Care Managers a few hours a month while others will request assistance for specific services or complex issues only.
Quite often, families request that our Care Managers coordinate all of the patient’s medical and social needs to alleviate the overwhelming stress so common among caregivers.
One of the most common dilemmas families face is where a loved one will live. Our Care Managers can help with a comprehensive assessment that acts as a guide to determine the right type of care facility THE FIRST TIME.
There are many different levels of care offered in retirement communities today and many more options than ever before.
Please note that we are not a ‘PLACEMENT AGENCY” and do not get paid for referrals.
Our care managers help devise a strategy WITH OUR LIFE CARE PLANNING TEAM to ensure that all facets of aging are carefully planned to maximize asset preservation, legal protection, and overall health — issues that are of particular concern when older persons require care in assisted living facilities. When assisted care is needed, either for rehabilitation or long-term care, we can eliminate common missteps well-intentioned family members often take and maximize the chances of admission to a preferred facility.
What can non-medical care workers assist with? How many hours do we need a caregiver and can we trust that they will take care of my parents? When home care is required for elderly or disabled persons, our Care Managers are happy to refer families to only trusted providers that we would use for our own family members. Regardless of the referral source, however, home caregivers are entrusted to work otherwise unsupervised in patient’s homes. Our Geriatric Care Managers can provide you peace of mind by regularly conducting unannounced visits to ensure quality of care and that the services are warranted, that monies are not being misappropriated and to ensure that the services being provided are held to the highest standard.
Do you feel like providers are not hearing you? Are you confused by the explanations providers are giving you or what your options are?
Our Care Mangers support our client’s voice as a fellow provider in the field and we hold other providers accountable on your behalf. We are not afraid to ask the doctors tough questions and fight for best care!
One of our primary means to advocate is through regular communication with physicians and primary medical providers who have the greatest influence over your loved one’s quality of life.
We facilitate family meetings regarding care, enabling families to reach consensus and caregiving solutions, even when family dynamics are difficult or strained.
We know that life doesn’t happen just between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday. Each client has direct access to a Care Manager 24 hours a day, seven days a week for crisis and emergency situations.
Can a Care Manager Help Your Family?
Lack of direction – family stress – no support – sound familiar? Your family can greatly benefit from hiring a Care Manager if:
LACK OF SUPPORT
- The person you are caring for has limited to no family support.
- The person you are caring for has medical and psychological issues and they are unable to live safely on their own.
- The person you are caring for is not satisfied with their current care provider and needs assistance and direction toward a provider that can meet their needs.
- Your family cannot agree on care decisions.
- You have limited time and you feel “burned out” caring for your loved one’s needs.
- You neglect your own needs and those of your own family because you’re constantly exhausted, even after sleeping or taking a break.
- You feel confused about the options in care and decisions you’re faced with right now.
- The person you are caring for is confused and needs financial/legal guidance.
- Your family lacks direction in dealing with behaviors related to dementia.
“Barbara is a highly experienced geriatric care manager. She also guides her clients through the maze of public benefits and financial planning. Barbara also directs her clients to elder law attorneys for appropriate advice and works with the attorney to accomplish the clients’ needed goals. Senior Planning Group provides me with a solid referral source for geriatric care management on a constant basis. Not only do I highly recommend Barbara, but I enjoy working with her and I see firsthand the care she gives to her clients!”
– Joanne Leifheit, Elder Law Attorney, Waukesha/Pewaukee
Schedule a Complementary Consultation
If any of the situations above sound familiar, as a first step, we invite you to schedule a free consultation to get answers and alleviate the burdens of difficult decision-making and caregiving. Our highly skilled team of care management professionals will provide your family with all the direction needed so you can fully understand your choices.
With a 16 year track record behind us, we are not afraid to face the tough issues so you can focus on what matters most, FAMILY!