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Senior Care Management

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August 2013

by Amanda Powell

Senior Care Management is a new and growing need across America, primarily due to the dramatic increase in the aging population.  Over one in every eight persons, or 13.3% of the population is an older American.  The population 65 and over has increased from 35 million in 2000 to 41.4 million in 2011 (an 18% increase) and is projected to increase to 79.7 million in 2040.  There is a growing trend of caregivers that live out of town and even out of state from their aging loved one.  This creates many barriers for older adults and their families as their health starts to decline and there is an added need for coordination of services to meet their needs.  For long-distance caregivers, a Senior Care Manager can be your eyes and ears on the home situation, and while you will still be involved as a loved one and decision maker, Senior Care Managers are there to reduce your worries and allow you the time to meet the other responsibilities of your life.


What is Senior Care Management?  


A Senior Care Manager is assigned to a particular case that meets certain criteria established by the agency or upon request of a client or family.  A Senior Care Manager advocates, educates, supports, coordinates, monitors, offers conflict resolution and crisis intervention, while helping to maintain the well-being, independence and dignity of seniors.  They reduce risk for seniors and they balance the needs of, handle problems for and provide support to involved family members.  They also implement, coordinate and monitor all needed services.     


How can My Loved One Benefit from a Senior Care Manager?


The Senior Care Manager ensures that a patient is getting all services that they are eligible for and may often times attend care plan meetings at hospitals, care facilities and family meetings to advocate on behalf of the client.  They dedicate their time to ensure that a client is not being abused or taken advantage of.  Senior Care Managers also coordinate medical appointments and oversee the hired caregiver.  The Senior Care Manager ensures that a senior is getting appropriate socialization and assists in the transition to another living situation when appropriate.  


How can Senior Care Management improve the experience with a hired caregiver?


The Senior Care Manager meets with clients and families to identify and discuss their needs, and an individualized and tailored care plan is developed based on those needs.  The Senior Care Manager works in conjunction with the family to select appropriate caregivers that they feel will be the best fit for that particular client.  The Senior Care Manager goes over the care plan in depth with the caregiver and also provides introduction at the first visit.  The Senior Care Manager provides regularly-scheduled supervisory visits and oversight of the caregiver to ensure that the client is receiving the proper care, family is satisfied with the care plan and to continue to reassess the needs in case changes need to be made.


As a social worker and a certified patient advocate, I have seen first-hand the struggles that seniors and their families go through trying to navigate through the aging process.  I am excited to be part of this new Senior Care Model at Western Illinois Home Health Care and feel that we are bringing a needed service to our rural community by providing a comprehensive care plan to help older adults remain independent and in their homes.  Western Illinois Home Health Care is the first agency in the area to offer a Senior Care Management model to its clients and offers free consultations to determine a care plan that is tailored to specific needs. If you, or someone you know, are in need of in-home services, please call our office at 1-800-228-5993.


Amanda Powell, BSW is Senior Care Manager for Western Illinois Home Health Care


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Senior Care Management Offers Peace of Mind to Loved Ones