Why hire a Care Manager?
Why hire a Care Manager?
Aging Life Care® Professionals are trained and skilled at caring for aging adults. They bring knowledge of geriatric issues that ensue as people age and can address problems that others may not fully understand. They know what resources are available for their clients and how to acquire them. These professionals are connected to a network of social workers, nurses, psychologists, elder law attorneys, advocates, and other professionals who are also knowledgeable and experienced in aging.
Questions to Ask
When the time comes to engage help for an aging person for whom you are responsible, it is important to ask questions. Some of these include…
- What is your experience and what professional credentials do you hold?
Aging Life Care Professionals have diverse experiences, education, and backgrounds. Many are licensed in their state in specific fields such as nursing or social work.
- How long have you been providing Aging Life Care management services?
- What are your areas of expertise?
While knowledgeable in eight core areas of Aging Life Care, individual professionals may have specific areas of expertise. You will want to hire someone who regularly handles clients with needs similar to yours.
- What are the primary services provided by your agency/business?
While some agencies provide only a management service, others offer home care services, medication management, travel escort, and other services. Some agencies may specialize in specific areas such as memory care or dementia.
- Is there a fee for the initial consultation and, if so, how much?
What are the benefits of using an Aging Life Care Professional?
Aging Life Care services are offered in a variety of settings such as in a private home or in a care facility. Professionals serve the needs of their clients by providing the following:
- Personalized, compassionate service. A Care Manager focuses on the wants and needs of the client and their responsible parties.
- Accessibility. Care is typically available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Continuity of care. Communications are coordinated between family members, doctors and other professionals, and service providers.
- Cost containment. By avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations, inappropriate placements, or duplication of services, we eliminate unnecessary costs.
- Quality of care. Aging Life Care Professionals follow the ALCA’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Professional Care Managers can also vet other facilities and services before recommending them.
The National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM) advocates voluntary certification for anyone practicing care management. Certifications are earned by studying and passing examinations, thereby ensuring the competence of an individual in a specialized area of practice. A Care Manager Certification (CMC) is well respected and provides validation in the care profession.
Case Studies: Real people using a Care Manager
The following real-life scenarios are from the Journal of Aging Life Care, Volume 27, Special Issue, March 2017: How Responsible Parties Value ALC Professionals’ Services
A responsible party using this service provided an example of how a family might come to engage an Aging Life Care Professional. The woman and her sister live on opposite sides of the Florida peninsula and share responsibility for their mother, who lives in a third city at least an hour’s drive from either of the sisters. The mother was living alone in a condominium when the sisters noticed her ability to care for herself “was starting to go downhill.” In particular, the mother was having trouble managing her medications and was experiencing frequent falls, although she insisted that she did not need outside help. Matters reached a crisis in 2012 when the mother was hospitalized after a series of falls, and the sisters needed someone to manage her care day-to-day. The mother initially resisted an Aging Life Care Professional, but she eventually accepted the services – first to find capable in-home help, then to transition to an assisted living facility, where the Aging Life Care Professional still helps manage medical appointments and provides updates and assessments for the sisters.
A responsible party who lives in the Midwest cares for his uncle who is in his 90s and resides at an assisted living facility in Florida. The nephew took over responsibility after his uncle’s daughter died and no other family members were close by. An Aging Life Care Professional goes with the uncle to all medical appointments, handles paperwork and banking, and stays in close contact with the nephew. The nephew says he has come to depend on the weekly phone calls and almost daily emails from the Aging Life Care Professional, who “keeps extremely good tabs” on his uncle’s status. He describes his uncle as “cognizant, but feeble” and says the Aging Life Care Professional makes it possible for the uncle to lead as full a life as possible in his final years.
Talk With a Nurse Today!
Kathy J. Broedlin, RN, CMC, CDP
is a Registered Nurse, Aging Life Care® Specialist,
and Certified Dementia Specialist