Editor’s Note: This is a guest column by Amy Seigel RN, BSN, CRRN, CCM, who is a Certified Case Manager with Advocare Care Management in Florida. She can be reached through the Advocare website.
We always figured it out ourselves. That tenacity is why our generation is considered incredibly independent and accomplished. But then suddenly you find yourself struggling with medical or cognitive concerns with a spouse or parent.
Do I take this on by myself or should I call a professional? Ask yourself three questions and it may help you make this decision:
- How quickly is the daily living situation changing?
- Am I aware of the resources available to help me?
- Do I have the knowledge and expertise to address the issues?
- Am I asking the physicians all the right questions?
With internet expertise abounding, some families conclude that there is sufficient information on social & medical resources to “do it yourself.” Professional Care Managers help families cut through the overload of available information and get right to the solution.
Through an in-person assessment, they determine what resources are needed and assist the family with first-hand knowledge to make the right choices. The professional Care Manager brings years of experience and helps seniors and their families navigate to local resources and options that the average person may not be familiar with.
Many seniors resist involving their adult children in their health and living affairs, as they don’t want to burden them or prefer to handle these issues themselves. Yet at the same time, when adult children live out of town, there can be tremendous stress and anxiety about their parents’ health and well being. A credentialed expert like a Professional Care Manager can serve as in-town expert to provide direction and support, and be available 24/7 if a crisis arises.
Sometimes Care Managers focus on a game plan to help you live life in your own home as safely and independently with help at home. Other times a Care Manager can help with other options such as a lifestyle transition to assisted living. They help maximize the benefits of Medicare, Medicaid, or Veterans benefits, so that limited discretionary savings can be used effectively. When you need solutions regarding medical, financial, and legal resources, a Professional Care Manager is the one to call.