October 11 – 17 marks this year’s week-long celebration of Case Management Week. What is case management? It’s a collaborative process that provides both medical and emotional support for people in the health care system, including seniors. When a nursing home or other professional institution is not an appropriate care setting, case managers can help to find the correct solution so that the senior’s medical and social needs are met.
More and more, seniors prefer to age in place in their own homes. Independence is their highest priority. Case managers can assess the needs and home environment of the seniors, ensuring that it is safe and fall-proof. A few advantages of working with case managers:
Geriatric case managers are professionals with specific training in aging and the needs of seniors. They may be social workers, nurses, or counselors who have moved into case management. A Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) can provide support when the family is traveling or lives far away, coordinating communication between family members, professional caregivers, and doctors. GCMs are also helpful in providing guidance to family and friends of seniors, particularly those dealing with dementia.
The skills of case managers can help reduce hospitalizations. Ongoing monitoring of a senior’s medications and health status can detect problems early on before they become chronic. Frequent medical appointments may be reduced with a clinically trained eye on the senior, proactively treating the senior’s health. Older people can rest easy with care managers, as they are specifically trained to respect the elder’s independence, their dignity and sense of self-worth.
The goal is to maximize the client’s self-esteem, their health, and quality of life. They will coordinate the care and services to meet the full social, emotional, and physical needs of a senior. Lastly, a GCM will record all the activities, care visits and services for the senior, and submit reports to their family members and healthcare professionals.
Seniors will find that their lives are very well organized and comfortable. When it comes to coping with the effects of old age and striving to enjoy these later years, the helping hand provided by a GCM will undoubtedly help guide seniors along.
An important detail to be aware of when considering including a GCM in a senior’s life is the fact that their services are generally not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. However, the GCM may be able to assist in finding other funding for their services!
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