On a cold winter afternoon, I was enjoying a coffee with a colleague I had met through a business networking group. She told me about her great aunt and some of the challenges she was facing. Overall, her great aunt was doing pretty well, living alone at home, with a grandchild or two nearby to provide support when needed. My colleague mused that maybe her great aunt would be a good client for Care is There.
Then, she paused and thought for a moment. “But when is it the right time to bring in a care manager?”
This is an excellent question! I hadn’t really thought of hiring a care manager in this way before. Most of our clients come to us later than we would like, when there has already been a loss, a sudden decline in health, or a hospitalization. Then, we become part of a care team rushing around to handle the crisis as quickly as possible. The older adult and their family support system faces an overwhelming situation; they need all hands.
This method works, and we’re well-practiced at coming on during the whirlwind of a crisis. But ideally, we would prefer to become involved much earlier.
Five situations that indicate it is a good time to hire a care manager:
- The elderly loved one has become forgetful and missed appointments.
- The older adult fell, had a medical crisis, or is showing signs of declining health.
- The spouse/partner has passed away and things are “returning to normal” after the funeral.
- You worry about your aging parent, that he or she is vulnerable or at risk.
- Your family life or job has suffered due to your caregiving responsibilities.
Many times, and elderly family member can still get along alright in the above situations, but it can be difficult to tell if these situations are one-time events. You may think that things will “get back to normal” soon. Yes, “back to normal” is possible. However, you may be on the path to a new normal.
It’s always better to avoid a crisis, if you can.
Bringing in a care manager earlier is a strategic approach to managing the aging process.
- The care manager and the older person establish a relationship before things get stressful. Should an emergency happen, the care manager is known to be a trusted consultant, minimizing stress.
- The care manager gets to know the client when things are normal, not just in a crisis situation. This allows the care manager to be a great advocate.
- The care manager serves as a guide through common problems and situations. This expertise can help to avoid pitfalls and mistakes. Small problems don’t become big ones!
Care is There designed our care model to provide support for clients as their needs change. We work on an hourly basis. Early on, the family may not need the care manager as often. When there’s an emergency or an important event requiring support (like a complicated medical procedure), more time can be scheduled. The client and her family receive full support precisely when it is needed most.
Rule of Thumb
A good rule of thumb is when you think it might be time for help, it probably is. Care managers are a great first member of the support team for your older loved one. Reach out (call or email) and find out more about how care managers can help!
Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?
Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management 800.434.1633 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement, Aging Life Care™ services, and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.
AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. See the Team page of CareisThere.com for a list of our associates, and look for the Aging Life Care logo on the bio pages of our ALCA members.