What are Care Managers?
Care Managers, or Geriatric Care Managers, also known as an Elder Care or Aging Care Managers, represent a growing trend to help family caregivers provide care for loved ones living close by or living far away. Often times, we see senior living alone with some or very limited support. Their family may be far away, a spouse may have passed, and friends may not be local or in well enough to take over. Unfortunately, if a senior has been living alone and isolated for too long, their mental and even physical state can begin to decline rapidly.
Care managers are particularly useful in helping family members and seniors find the right services along with organizing all doctor visits, medication management, and other health-related aids.
Care managers should be something every family takes advantage of, but in reality, very few families know to use them. Sadly, it’s is not talked about in the range of health care services. Many doctors do not know to recommend to families and even though it’s a growing trend, we are still quite away from where we should be.
How Can Care Managers Help Your Family?
Care managers help family members find better and more efficient ways of providing care for a loved one. The concept is simple. The family hires a professional adviser to act as a guide through the maze of long-term care services and providers. The care manager visits as many times as they need. The initial visit is typically the longest as the care manager performs a thorough assessment to include but not limited to: inspection of the home to make sure the senior is in a safe living environment, accurate medications or to set up additional services like home health if needed. At North Star Cares, we can also assist in locating an assisted living or memory care if the senior is no longer safe living by themselves. 24/7 home care can be an option; however, this tends to add up very quickly upwards to $13k or more each month. The average cost for assisted living starts at $3500/month.
Hiring a care manager should be no different than hiring an attorney to help with legal problems or a CPA to help with tax problems. Most people don’t attempt to solve legal problems on their own, just like the use of professional tax advice can be an invaluable investment. The same is true of using a care manager when it comes to ensuring their beloved loved one is being taken care of.
Having one individual be the point of contact for all health-related services is a real life-saver for many families. It eliminates most of that confusion when trying to keep up with several phone numbers of different companies. Family members have peace of mind that one individual is ensuring their senior loved one is being taken care of, whether it is through home health services, home safety evals, accurate medication management, or companionship.
What Can A North Star Cares Professional Care Manager Do for Your Family?
A detailed consultation will be performed by one of our Care Managers outlining a tailored care plan. Conducted Virtually or In-Person
HOME SAFETY EVALUATIONS
There are many unrecognized hazards in the home. Our Care Manager will help identify these to help prevent hazards such as falls. Conducted in Person Only
Serve as your parent or loved one’s personal, health, and medical care advocate. Conducted Virtually or In-Person
When you need it most, one of our Care Managers will be there if a crisis were to occur and will keep the family informed. Conducted Virtually or In-Person
Our Nurse Care Manager will conduct a head to toe clinical assessment. Conducted in Person Only
Improper or poor medication management is the #1 reason for medical complications and re-hospitalizations. Conducted in Person Only
ACCOMPANY YOU TO APPOINTMENTS
Have a Care Manager accompany you to your appointments and act as your advocate. Conducted in-Person or Virtually via Telehealth.
MEDICAL CARE COORDINATION
Conducted Virtually or In-Person
ASSISTANCE, COORDINATION & OVERSIGHT WITH:
- Legal Affairs
- Financial Affairs (Including Bill Pay)
- Insurance Appeals
- Downsizing and Move Management
- Liaison between care providers including physicians, home health, and private duty
THROUGH OUR SENIOR PLACEMENT SERVICE, WE WILL HELP WITH TRANSITIONS TO OR FROM:
- Assisted Living
- Memory Care
- Skilled Care Facilities & Nursing Homes or in-person
Here is an Example of How a Care Manager can Help:
Ann is taking care of her aging husband at home. He has trouble walking and has diabetes. He also cannot see very well due to his diabetes. She has to be particularly careful that he does not injure his feet since the last time that happened, he ended up in the hospital for four weeks with a severe infection. She is also having difficulty helping him out of bed to dress and use the bathroom. She relies heavily on her son who lives nearby to sometimes help her manage her husband’s care.
Ann’s friend recommends hiring a care manager, Susie, through North Star Cares, who helped her family with the care of her loved one. The cost of an initial assessment and care plan from the care manager is a few hundred dollars. Ann thinks that’s way over budget, plus she has the situation under control and how could someone from the outside come in and tell her how to handle the situation.
One day, Ann attempts to lift her husband out of bed and consequently, injures her back severely. She becomes bedridden and can no longer help her husband. Her son, who works fulltime, now has two parents to care for. From the advice of the same friend, he decides to bring in Susie, the care manager from North Star Cares, and pay the fee himself.
Susie does a thorough assessment of the family’s needs which can take up to 6 or even 8 hours. She arranges for Ann’s doctor to order home health which is covered by Medicare during Ann’s recovery. Physical Therapists arrive and help Mary with exercises and offer advice on lifting her husband in the future. Susie also recommends hiring a private duty home care caregiver which is paid privately to also come in and help with light housekeeping, cooking, and caring for both Ann and her husband. She also makes sure they are not from a registry and actually employed by an agency that takes on more responsibility than someone who is on their own.
Susie enlists the support of the local senior resources like agency on aging, physicians, elder law attorneys, and even a financial planner to assist with additional needs. Susie also calls a meeting with Ann’s family and explains to them their care needs and how they need to commit to helping with those needs.
She also explains she can be the main point of contact when it comes to all of these services mom and dad may receive. This greatly relieves their family as they know there is one dedicated individual to not only contact in a time of need but is ensuring mom and dad are receiving quality care.
With the help of the Susie, the care manager, Ann’s life and future have been significantly improved. Her husband, if he adheres to the care plan written, may end up having a much better quality of life for his golden years as well.
North Star Cares is Here for You
While this example may not be the case for every individual but it’s important to understand how beneficial a care manager can be for a family. North Star Cares is here for you. We know there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to caring. Our dedicated team of compassionate and experienced care managers wants to help you through the aging process!
Learn more about North Star Cares here. There, you can fill out a form to have an experienced care manager call you at your convenience or you may reach us directly at 407-796-1582.