Life for you and your family can change instantly with a medical, psychological, or physical crisis. Proactive planning today will ease the burden of stress and quick decision making that will fall on your shoulders when a critical situation occurs. You may not be around the corner or able to respond quickly, which is why a Care Manager can play a crucial role of support for both you and your family member who is in crisis. In an eloquent article, writer Judith Graham of Kaiser Health News shares her family’s crisis and highlights why having a Care Manager was a necessity for navigating her father-in-law’s care.
Help When You Need It
One of our proactive planning clients hired us to help ensure her health and well-being since she had no family nearby. She was in her late 70s and very active in the community and at home, so she didn’t need to see us regularly. We completed our initial assessment and then continued to call and check in monthly.
About two years after we met, she developed pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital. One of our Care Managers accompanied her to the Emergency Room with a complete list of her medications, medical history, allergies, and advanced directives. She was admitted to the ICU in the hospital. While in the hospital, we visited daily to ensure that she was well taken care of. While hospitalized, the Care Manager monitored her chart & labs daily, and caught several medication errors. The hospital never gave the patient her thyroid replacing hormone even though she had no thyroid because of surgery 15 years prior (they were aware of this because the Care Manager gave her medical history in the ER). Additionally, they had her on an antibiotic that had been discontinued by the physician the day before and never switched her to the new antibiotic. We resolved these errors and were able to assure that the proper medication was in place.
Our geriatric care management continued during the discharge process:
- We worked with the hospital discharge coordinator to ensure that all home equipment was in place for discharge; for example, a wheelchair and shower chair.
- We set up home care to make sure that her transition home was comfortable and safe.
- We arranged for physical & occupational therapy to regularly come to her home to help her build up her strength and endurance.
- One of our nurses worked on her pillboxes weekly to ensure that her medication was appropriate and taken correctly.
- We picked her up and took her to all follow-up physician appointments to monitor how her condition improved and address any concerns we had.
- We emailed her family and lawyers to keep them apprised of her health and well-being and ensure them of her progress back to peak health.
After several months, our client was back to her baseline health and was happy with her care and how well her care coordination went. She was back traveling and living her best life within the year.
Rely on Care Managers’ Expertise
A crisis can hit when you least expect it. Having a care manager in place that you can rely on will help you to navigate the uncertainty. Care Managers are experts in these 9 areas:
- Patient advocacy
- RN disease management
- Appropriate living environments
- Memory Disorder
- Financial and Legal concerns
- Local Resources
- Medication Management
- Family Dynamics
- Coordination of Care
Navigating a medical, psychological, or physical crisis can be immensely difficult without proactive planning. Choosing a care manager today will help you ensure that you and your loved one will have an advocate when difficult decisions are required. Call our Helpline today with questions or send us a message if you are ready to begin the proactive planning process!
About the Author
Rebecca Roskey-Brunner, RN, is the Executive Director of Complete Care Strategies. A Registered Nurse with more than 15 years experience, Rebecca has worked with patients who range in age from neonates to geriatrics. Rebecca holds bachelors in nursing from Temple, is certified in emergency nursing and is currently pursuing her Masters in Nursing. She has been involved in many different programs and created a bereavement information packet to help families cope with the strain after losing a loved one. As a skilled and reliable practitioner, Rebecca creates a compassionate care environment and is dedicated to improving quality of life for her patients and their families.
Complete Care Strategies consists of care managers, specialized human service professionals, who advocate and direct the care of seniors and others facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, its expertise provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Along with its licensed home care division, it can help clients safely remain at home under the watchful eye of skilled professionals. Families are afforded an integrated model of care that, with guidance and advocacy, lead them to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love