Care Management

Features of Hiring a Care Manager

  • Develops a care plan specific to the needs and wishes of the older client & family.
  • Coordinates and monitors implementation of needed recommendations.
  • Acts as a liaison between family members to assure good communication and understanding.
  • Provides knowledgeable resources and referrals so you can focus on other priorities.
  • Evaluates and recommends other housing options when living at home is no longer possible.
  • Provides advocacy and education of community resources available to older family member.
  • Offers counseling support to help relieve caregiver stress and burnout.
  • Helps families adjust and cope with the challenges within the process of aging.

Benefits of Hiring a Care Manager

  • Peace of mind knowing that a credentialed aging specialist is on board to help with the right level of care.
  • Improved communication between older adult, family and all healthcare providers providing care and by having a CM available to accompany the individual to doctor’s appointments to ask questions, clarify health issues, and bring up changing conditions.
  • Saving financial resources by recommending low cost or free programs and community resources that the older adult may qualify for that families are not aware of such as benefits through the Veterans Administration, utility companies and Medi-Cal.
  • Understanding long-term care insurance coverage, deductible days, filing a claim, billing the company for benefits and paying for care.
  • Reduction of unnecessary expenditures by reviewing insurance policies, pension benefits, excessive expenditures or telemarketing solicitations.

Avoiding lost wages or lost time at work by having the CM do regular check ins with the older adult with reports sent to designated family members.  This allows vacations to relax and not be wrapped up in a family crisis around the needs of your older family member.

Sample Scenarios

Cost-Savings After Hiring a Care Manager (CM) with Resulting Benefits:

  • An elder who had been in a terrible accident was hospitalized and in a coma and transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. She was transferred to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) near their only child. The CM was hired when the decision was made to transfer her for long term care near her husband. Upon admission to the SNF, the son signed a private pay agreement for care following her Medicare days. He was eventually presented with a bill for $15,000 and the promise of future bills. After the CM discovered there was an error in the billing, she urged the son not to pay the bill, which was clearly in error. Though receiving several threatening calls from the SNF , the CM was right and the family did not have to pay.
  • The CM helped families advocate for lost dentures and/or glasses in skilled nursing facilities by getting  the Ombudsperson involved.
  • Helped family negotiate for CM services with the parent’s long term care insurance company.
  • Advocated for more in home care services covered by the county Area Agency on Aging.
    • Identifying the Right Level of Care to Meet the Families Specific Needs–
      After being assessed by a CM, a spouse who had her husband in a nursing home plus 24-7 care was able to move her husband to a small residential RCFE owned by a nurse. It cut the costs to the family in half. His wife didn’t know he could be maintained at a lower level of care.
    • Identifying the Most Cost Effective Solutions–
      CM’s help families choose the most cost effective care plan (caregivers, agencies, care management). They recommend what services are needed to age in place, often times less expensive, and provide these options to the family. The family can then choose based on need.
    • Educating Families about Little Known Benefits–
      One veteran’s family saved $1,600 per month. This was money being paid out-of-pocket for home care services by the elder client’s son.
  • CM’s often know about free services that are location specific. For instance, one neighborhood provides free transportation to seniors for shopping at the grocery store, pharmacy, etc. There is a hospital that provides a volunteer help/companion service and transportation to physician visits.
  • CM is an objective third party who can accurately assess what an elder person needs and what problems or challenges may not be readily apparent to the family. Additionally, having a geriatric care management program in place allows family members to enjoy their elderly loved one without guilt, shame, or feelings of powerlessness that may overwhelm them without help.

Family Meetings

What is a family meeting? Do I need this?

  • A meeting
  • A consultation
  • Explore what the client’s needs are
  • A time to “put the cards on the table” – someone close to you needs help
  • A place to start – learning what the person will accept and how much it will cost

The family meeting gives you a starting point by talking to an Aging Life Care™ Manager who is an expert in these matters. Family meetings can take place at the Elder Options office with client/family participating or in the client’s home. Free teleconferencing is available for family members who want to participate but live out of the area.

Having a Care Manager facilitate the discussion helps to clarify the objectives, identify resources in place, allow all participants to have a voice and begin to design a personalized plan that addresses the concerns of both the client and their family.

Beginning with a family meeting before big decisions are made will save time, money and help make the right decision for all concerned.