When you hear the words “Care Manager,” what comes to mind? Do you think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists? All of these people are part of the caretaking process, but they are not necessarily Care Managers. A Care Manager coordinates the doctors, nurses, insurance companies, attorneys, residences, home care agencies, hospitals, and equipment companies, along with other healthcare professionals, to help you make decisions and manage all of the complex daily work involved with caring for your loved one. Over the course of the next few articles, I will share stories of people who have benefitted from Care Management service, showing by example how we help.
Hal and Linda came to our Care Management company when the couple found out that Hal had Parkinson’s disease. They had no family living locally and at the time of Hal’s diagnosis, Linda was the primary caregiver and their driver. They knew very little about the disease, and while they trusted Hal’s doctor, Hal and Linda wanted to have a knowledgeable person to help them navigate through the tremendous changes this would bring to both of their lives.
When our Care Manager first met with Hal and Linda, the initial step was to assess the situation. The Care Manager reviewed Hal’s history and medical records, assessed his current status and living arrangements, and then developed a written Care Plan. Their Care Manager also worked with them to explore options such as moving to senior housing versus obtaining a live-in caregiver.
Next, the Care Manager provided Hal and Linda further education to help them understand what they may face and prepared them to handle the effects of the illness. For example, a major change that occurs in most Parkinson’s patients is impaired mobility. The Care Manager taught the couple about the physical restrictions and introduced them to a physical therapist that came to their home to provide in-home physical therapy treatments. This also gave Linda the chance to learn ways to help Hal as his body changes. Before meeting the Care Manager, Hal and Linda did not know this service was available.
Their Care Manager met them at doctor appointments, advocating for Hal by asking questions that would assist with planning and providing greater ease for both Hal and Linda. The Care Manager facilitated the coordination of all medical appointments, transportation, in-home therapy, caregivers, and home modifications. She communicated regularly with their children, gathering their input, and answering their questions. As independent Care Managers, we can objectively assess and provide recommendations that are beneficial to you and your family, while advocating for the best possible care for your loved one in the least restrictive environment.
At Feinberg Health Care Solutions we offer services in Care Management for families in all different situations. If you think that you or a loved one could use the support of Care Management services, please call for information regarding care-related issues. All calls are private and you may choose to remain anonymous. The number is 877.538.5425.