For over a decade, our team of Professional Care Managers has been helping people navigate the complex world of elder care. From comprehensive care management to court-related services, we have vast experience guiding families through difficult decisions that must be made on behalf of their aging loved one. Below are some questions we are frequently asked regarding elder care:
It is common to notice changes when visiting an aging loved one you have not seen in a while. The changes you notice could be related to medications, a medical issue not being addressed, the beginning of progressive dementia, or a host of other factors. It can be difficult to know that precipitated the change you have noticed. Our team of geriatric care managers can begin an assessment process where we visit your loved one’s home, review medical records, review medications they are taking, and conduct some cognitive testing.
With the appropriate releases, we can talk with physicians, healthcare providers and homecare providers and try to put together some understanding of where your loved one is mentally and physically and what is happening to her. In many cases, we are able to put together a plan that enables you to take some action to assist with what’s happening to your mom. If you are unable to take the recommended action, we are able to implement the plan on your loved one’s behalf through our care management services.
Concern about a parent particularly after the loss of your other parent, is very normal for adult children to experience; differences in opinion among siblings are also not uncommon. The thing to remember is that, in most cases, each person is coming from a place of caring for their parent and probably feels very strongly about their position. When this happens, it is important to look at the whole picture of who your parent is, what their preferences and needs are, their ability to make their own choices and their financial state.
Professional care managers can assist with evaluating all of that. A professional care manager can conduct an independent evaluation and then sit down with your family to review their evaluation. With an understanding of where Dad is at physically and mentally, the level of risk in his current situation, and his ability to participate in these decisions, siblings are often able to come to an agreement of how to move forward. It is important to keep in mind that an evaluation and family meeting doesn’t solve the problem, because there may be a number of different options available to meet Dad’s needs. A care manager can help you understand those options so you can make informed decisions about caring for Dad.
Oftentimes, discharge planners are unaware of the multiple complex medical issues and challenges that are faced by the spouse of an elder being released from a hospital or rehab. In many cases, elderly couples will disguise some of their needs out of fear and indicate to healthcare providers that they are getting more help than they are, or that they don’t need help that they need. Medicare does provide some services when an elder goes home from hospital discharge and hospitals are providing transition program services for these situations, but the elder’s needs must be made known.
When an elder is identified as an at-risk senior, they will be put in the program and get a little extra attention from medical providers as they transition back to living on their own. It is important for families to talk with the discharge planners about the whole picture in the home because without that information, the services that may be needed are not going to be ordered and will not be provided. At the same time, families often are shocked at how few services are provided for a senior who needs a good deal of help upon discharge, and the number of services Medicare will not pay for. This is why we created the Hospital to Home program, with this program a professional care manager can sit down with your family to explain and navigate all those systems for you, making sure your elderly loved one’s needs are met.