Some careers remain a mystery to us until we need their services and then we wonder how in the world, we ever made it without them! Care Managers are one of those stealth professionals that never draw attention to themselves. They tend to fly under the radar and yet, are providing extraordinary services.
Who Needs a Care Manager? Basically, anyone with family members who are feeling overwhelmed with the health care system. Individuals and families who are experiencing the challenges of acute and chronic conditions, physical disabilities and mental health concerns would benefit from the expertise of a Care Manager.
Do My Clients Need a Care Manager? If you are an Elder Law Attorney, Bank & Trust Officer, Guardian or Power of Attorney, Physician, Discharge Planner or Social Worker, chances are your clients or patients could be receiving services that would eliminate future complications. This short clip shows various ways a Care Manager can help stop little problems from becoming big problems!
Let me share a story that may be happening across America. Those who are struggling through a time like this may feel as if they are the only one going through these challenges. Sallie is the adult child of her sweet mother Maggie. Sallie lives on the West Coast and has for decades. Mom lives in the Midwest and has enjoyed a delightful and active life until recently. Sallie was not even aware that Maggie was experiencing cognitive issues until her Mom’s friends started to call Sallie with concerns.
Maggie and her friends had enjoyed a weekly dinner and a movie date for ten years. The past several times her friends came to pick her up, Maggie was not dressed to go out and seemed completely baffled as to why her friends were there. Clearly something had changed in Maggie’s health.
Sallie has a family and career of her own on the West Coast and was not sure how she was supposed to juggle travel back and forth to attend doctor visits with her Mom, let alone assess Mom’s safety. The idea that Maggie was living alone gave Sallie huge concerns. This is when a Care Manager would be extremely helpful!
The RN Care Manager would be the lifeline not only between Sallie and her Mom but also the one who would connect Maggie to the medical and social teams she may require. A Care Manager is like the hub of a wheel, arranging and overseeing the appointments, clinical assessments, medication management etc. The Care Manager is the one who develops individualized care plan and becomes an advocate for the patient.
Now in Sallie’s case, if her Mom was diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s and was no longer safe to live alone at home, the Care Manager would connect the family with a Home Care Agency. If Maggie had physical disabilities, a safety assessment for home modifications would be done by the Care Manager. If it was decided that Maggie should be in an assisted living property, it’s the Care Manager that would do the leg work on behalf of Sallie and Maggie.
Those who work in Long Term Care, Skilled Nursing or Residential Care Communities have been very familiar with the services of Care Managers. A family will often request that a Care Manager be brought in to work with their loved one who otherwise would not receive the individualized attention they need and deserve.
In Sallie’s case, Mom was moved into an assisted living community and it’s the Care Manager that oversees Maggie’s medical appointments, asks the physicians the right questions, manages Maggie’s medication, nutritional and social needs, all the while reporting the progress to Sallie. This outstanding service allows for Sallie to be the loving daughter and not have to take on a role she was not equipped to handle.
Considering our current COVID-19 challenges, all these services are now provided virtually! We are helping families with Advanced Directives and Nursing Assessments. With the help of smart phones, Skype and Zoom, RN Care Managers are using assessment tools to review vital signs, weight, hydration, cognition, infection control and more! HIPAA policies are followed closely. Families can now enjoy peace of mind, knowing their loved one is being cared for and they are not alone in this season of life.