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  • Karen Mcphail

Do I Need a Care Manager? The Answer is Probably Yes!

I was at a local health and wellness expo this past weekend and had many questions about what exactly is care management and what does a care manager do? So I decided to begin my blog this week by answering this commonly asked question!

A Care Manager is an essential member of your healthcare team that provides significant value in terms of cost and quality! Everyone as they grow older should have a care manager, but especially if they have complex or chronic conditions, a lack of family members to provide support or distant family members, dysfunctional family dynamics, or are someone who wants to plan for the future and ensure that all areas are covered properly and per their expressed wishes.

Care management is a wholistic, client centered discipline that helps individuals across the continuum of care. It is especially helpful for individuals of all ages who are experiencing chronic health and care challenges by assisting them to better navigate the health care system which is often a convoluted process. Care managers with Eldementals are leaders and clinical experts with knowledge in many areas including mental health, geriatrics, pediatrics, LGBTQ+, and more! They have years of experience and can provide expedited access to care, testing, and consults, better pricing for services, reliable resources, more effective clinical care management, advocacy, answers to complex questions and long term strategic care planning to minimize costs, maximize funds, and provide effective solutions for complex problems and care situations. They are a focal point for care, a liaison, and an ongoing support and resource especially in times of crisis and uncertainty. Care managers provide peace of mind not only to the clients they serve, but to physicians, elder care attorneys, care communities, home care companies, and more!

The goal of care management is simple yet complex:

The mission is to provide guidance, support, and recommendations to assist clients in making informed and knowledgable decisions and to support and ensure quality care and optimal outcomes based on their expressed wishes. That being said every client or patient situation and care needs are different and require customized time and attention.

Every patient or client is different in terms of their planning and management needs. Some individuals need care support due to a lack of family support, while others require an advocate and conflict resolution for complex care or dysfunctional family situations.

Recently, I have been seeing more clients in their mid 40's to 50's to do long term care planning. Again, this is especially important for those living alone, those without family support, LGBT older adults, and individuals with chronic health conditions. Taking a proactive approach in addition to having an advocate and plan in place to address most scenarios provides one with peace of mind and comfort. If an issue occurs a care manager is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can respond immediately by telephone and /or promptly in person. Care management is that extra layer or protection and security that can make all the difference!

In addition to the above areas care managers are frequently called upon to do the following:

- Connecting clients with reputable professionals and service providers, such Elder Care Attorneys, Accountants, Home Care providers, financial managers, etc. - Long term care planning to address all areas and avoid costly spending mistakes! - Quality review in care communities to ensure proper plan of care in place and to prevent errors or quality issues.

-Expediting consults and testing (especially in the ER)

- Providing in depth cognitive evaluations with recommendations and follow up

- Providing customized daily routines, brain rehab, and activity programs for those with cognitive impairments.

- Managing challenging client/family dynamics with counseling and conflict resolution support.

- Providing a detailed and wholistic evaluation with recommendations in an unbiased manner.

- Supporting and streamlining effective communication by serving as a primary point of contact for all involved parties. This is especially important for those with complex care needs!

- Overseeing all aspects of care for clients with family members out of town, those without families, or for those with remote families.

- Providing supportive and educational services to care partners.

- Collaborating with Home Care Agencies to ensure that individuals caring for the patient know best how to meet all their needs. Developing an individualized daily routine and prescreening and interviewing caregivers to ensure proper fit for care needs and client personality.

- Assisting with relocation and adjustment to change including acceptance of care and inability to drive.

- Coordinating relocation down to the smallest details- including care community selection support, full apartment turn key set up - furniture and personal item purchasing/ moving services, and transportation coordination and even escort for long distance relocation

- Coordinating tests, consults, homecare, and attending medical appointments with clients to ask pertinent questions, take detailed notes, and help client to better understand advised plan of care.

- Reviewing health history, treatment plans, and medications to ensure proper regime in place based on client health needs.

- Attending care plan meetings and ensuring correct, lowest level of care being billed.

- For those in rehab facilities or other environments - ensuring client wishes heard and respected!

- Proactively planning to limit and avoid costly care situations, especially those that effect quality of life such as nursing home placement.

- Supporting end of life care including funeral arrangements.

So basically if you can think of an area that requires assistance a care manager can handle and resolve it in a timely and effective manner!

If you still have questions, please reach out via our contacts tab!

Scheduling a one time consult and having a back up plan in place with a care manager may be the most cost effective and smartest choice you have ever made, as you will be sure to thank yourself later!

Clients are never billed unless a matter is active being worked on and financial heart ship is always considered by our organization.

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