Senior care management is a type of care management that involves planning, managing and coordinating care for seniors in an effort to prolong their independence, improve their quality of life, and ensure the highest level of health. Senior care management can be provided short-term or long-term, and it helps to reduce hospitalizations and readmissions. It is also known as geriatric care management and elder care management.
It is a client-centered, whole-patient approach to caring for older adults. Senior care managers are trained to first assess health concerns, lifestyle habits, family dynamics and to then use their knowledge of the ins and outs of the healthcare system and the associated costs, services, quality and availability in the community to help seniors embark on the right healthcare plan for them.
In addition to typical healthcare services, senior care management might also include things like nutritional support, financial assistance, housing needs, social contact and legal advice.
Seniors often experience disabilities, illness and other issues that come along with the aging process. The sandwich generation (those who are caring for both their own children and their parents) typically lacks the proper time, money and effort it takes to manage the care of a senior properly. And not every senior has family who can help them manage their care or family members who are local. Senior care management can be invaluable in these cases.
The Senior Care Manager as Your Care Planner
Your senior care manager will evaluate your physical and mental health, and work to understand your challenges. He or she will look at your health needs and how they affect your everyday life. Your manager will also help you determine your eligibility for special services, such as home care and community services.
Then, your senior care manager will help you create and put into place a personalized care plan that provides you with everything you need to address your health concerns and improve your quality of life.
The Senior Care Manager as Your Coordinator
With your personalized care plan in place, your senior care manager will work to coordinate all points of your care. He or she will start by sharing your personalized care plan with the healthcare providers and family members that are in your circle of care. Then, he or she will help you schedule and monitor all of the services you require.
Your senior care manager will also coordinate and consolidate your health insurance information so that it is easily available to your healthcare team. He will coordinate your advance directives with all members of your healthcare team so that your wishes will be understood by everyone involved.
He’ll oversee your transitions from one care setting to another so that the process is smooth and so that you understand and have everything you need to comply with the transition care plan.
Your senior care manager will also coordinate any other medical, legal or financial concerns you may have. He can help with obtaining referrals for specialists or even professionals such as accountants, attorneys, etc.
He is also there to help you with managing your Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and state or community program benefits and determining what you are eligible for, as well as supervising your in-home care.
The Senior Care Manager as Your Advocate
Your senior care manager is your advocate for everything that concerns your health. She is there to serve as a single point of contact so that you always know whom to contact. She will facilitate all communication between providers for you, making it convenient for you. She’ll be your advocate when you are in a nursing home, assisted living facility, rehabilitation facility, or even in your own home.
The Senior Care Manager as Your Wellness & Medication Coach
Your senior care manager will consult with your healthcare team to determine your nutritional status and create a nutritional and fitness plan that will help you achieve a state of wellness. She will ensure your mental and social wellness by facilitating social opportunities.
Your manager will also serve as a medication manager, helping to ensure you are using your prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs properly, and educating you about how they should be taken and how to recognize and respond to side effects. She will handle communications between your healthcare providers and pharmacist, and will also keep a log of all medications and any issues you have related to medication.
The Senior Care Manager as Your Safety Manager
Your senior care manager will conduct an environmental evaluation to ensure that the environment of your care setting is safe and secure. He’ll make recommendations and monitor anything that poses a risk.
The Senior Care Manager as Your Educator, Resource & Problem Solver
Your senior care manager is there for you on a constant basis to provide you, your family and your caregivers with ongoing education, information and to offer you practical solutions. He is your first point of contact for any question you should have.
He will help you understand your health insurance coverage so that you can make informed decisions and he will help with crisis intervention, providing any support necessary to help you make decisions and find solutions.
The Senior Care Manager as Your Peace of Mind
Senior care management gives families a tremendous peace of mind during times that are often uncertain. With your care manager’s guidance, you’ll be led to the decisions and actions that ensure a greater quality of life and care. It is a service that reduces so much stress, and gives families back their time and effort.
Depending on your particular case, senior care management might be covered by Medicare, health insurance or long term care insurance, and when that isn’t possible, private pay is always available.