As seniors age, completing day-to-day activities that seemed mindless before may become increasingly challenging and stressful. Tasks like driving, cooking meals, and completing chores around the house may become out of reach, especially if a senior citizen requires special medical attention.
As family members, we do everything we can to help a senior loved one transition into these times, which may look like helping out with the cooking, cleaning, and driving, or even hiring a caregiver to assist your loved one for a few hours a day. However, if your senior has a complex medical situation that requires professional attention, or if the responsibility of caring for them becomes out of reach for your family, looking into case management for your senior loved one may be ideal.
What is a Case Manager?
A case manager is a licensed medical professional who is trained to advocate for their client’s needs in order to help them attain their highest quality of life, from creating an individualized care plan specific to their short and long-term needs, as well as coordinating both medical and non-medical services.
Case managers educate parties about what services are available, how much they will cost, and why they are important for your senior. Here’s a brief breakdown of some of the services that case managers offer:
- Navigating a complex medical system on behalf of their client, taking some of the burden away from family or caregivers
- Making medical referrals to specialized care and services, such as dementia care, 24-hour services, disability management, and more.
- Booking appointments and follow-ups
- Advocating for the most cost-efficient care plan, from negotiating with pharmacies and insurance companies to finding financial aid programs and grants.
- Coordinating transportation and meal deliveries
- Coordinating care with designated caregiver (if applicable)
- Home visits to speak with and support family members
- Home safety evaluation
- Locating community resources that the senior or family may not have been aware of before
It’s also important to remember that case managers don’t provide a one-time service. Case managers are invested in their patients’ long-term care, offering continued monitoring, check-ins, and changes to their life care plan as needed.
Who Needs a Case Manager?
There are many reasons as to why a senior citizen may choose to work with a case manager. Even if a senior has a caregiver or family member helping them, their family members or caregivers may not be qualified to suggest medical services for their loved ones. Being a caretaker can also be physically and emotionally taxing, and a case manager can be there to help take the load off while providing resources, direction, and structure for the senior patient’s needs.
A case manager can be especially useful for a senior when:
- Family members cannot decide or agree upon which care services are best for their senior, and need a professional’s input and advice
- The senior is looking for new care providers but needs help on how to locate and secure them
- The senior and their family lack understanding about housing, medical, financial, and/or legal options
- The senior exhibits signs of dementia and needs an advocate who can speak on their behalf when they are unable to speak for themselves
When is the ideal time to work with a case manager?
Locating, hiring, and investing in a case manager can be unfamiliar and even uncomfortable to most. After all, case managers are strangers who will be taking a close look at every aspect of their client’s life. However, investing in a case manager can be the most effective way to guide a senior patient through their care delivery, ultimately maximizing their quality of life.
At CRC, we believe in providing a tailored, multidisciplinary approach to each and every person we serve. Our qualified case managers take a holistic approach to supporting patients in safe, effective, and timely ways. If you are a senior or are a loved one of a senior who is interested in learning more about Case Management services, contact us at 305-299-4817.