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Serving Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Schuyler, Rock Island, and Warren Counties.

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Care management for older adults is a growing trend. This service is especially helpful for out-of-town family members who are concerned about an aging loved one. You may hear these professionals called Geriatric Care Managers, Care Navigators, Elder Care Coordinators, or Senior Care Managers. The role of this professional is to be educated in areas of social work that affect an elderly person’s well-being. This may include healthcare services, long-term care options including in-home care and oversight of caregivers, financial criteria for eligibility of services, experience navigating resources and services, making referrals to community-based agencies, and communicating with families and other professionals such as doctors, attorneys and trust officers.  Below are some ways that senior care management might be helpful for you and your loved one.

Scenario: A senior needs in-home assistance in order to stay in their home. The Senior Care Manager meets with the families, develops a care plan and interviews and selects in-home caregivers that would best fit the needs and personality of that client. The care manager supervises the caregivers and is the point of contact for the clients, families, and caregivers. The care manager makes regularly scheduled visits with the clients to proactively address issues and concerns, give guidance on care, or provide crisis intervention. The care manager can also attend doctor appointments with the client and provide care coordination and update family members as needed.

Scenario: A senior can no longer stay in their home and they are choosing to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home. The care manager assists with pre-move planning, coordinates the move, and follows up afterwards to address any concerns. The care manager assesses the right level of care, schedules and accompanies the tours of facilities and assists with coordinating the move.

Scenario: A senior has moved into an assisted living facility and is not adjusting well. The care manager provides companionship and support with the goal of helping the client get engaged in the activities and life in the assisted living facility. They also help keep them connected to the activities they have always enjoyed such as hair and nail appointments, community activities or shopping trips. The care manager also communicates regularly with the facility staff on recommendations to that should help the client remain at the facility. They can also communicate with the family in order to keep everyone working toward the same goals.  

Scenario: A caregiver is suffering from burnout or is unfamiliar with how to care for a person with dementia. The care manager assesses the problems, identifies needs, and implements a care plan including counseling and monitoring on a regular basis. The care manager meets with the caregiver regularly to re-assess needs and provides interventions on an on-going basis. This may include overseeing outside caregivers to provide relief for family caregivers.  

Scenario: A senior who has been hospitalized is approaching discharge and there are concerns with safety and re-admission. The care manager can assess, coordinate, educate, and advocate for services that will help meet the client’s needs in their home as well as communicate with doctors, the home health agency, and family. This would include regular visits for monitoring condition and re-assessing needs on a regular basis.

Scenario: A family struggles to agree on care for their loved one or need planning for care in the future. The care manager provides assessment that includes physical, mental, and psychosocial status and written recommendations for care. They also meet with families and assist in difficult conversations and developing a care plan.  

Western Illinois Home Health Care is a provider that offers Senior Care Management services. If you or someone you know is in need of this specialty service, please call us at 800-228-5993.

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

July 2017

by Amanda Powell

Senior Care Management Can Help You and Your Loved One

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