compress-care-manager-love-right-home-care-san-diego-e1426574891143Some of you may have heard this term while in a hospital or nursing home. Some may have heard the term in the private sector. There seems to be a lot of confusion about who they are and what they do. The role has changed somewhat over the last few years.  So let’s get to know who they are and how they can help you.

The role is different in facilities and hospitals.

Most case / care managers in the hospital setting or a nursing home are either social workers or nurses. They help mostly with discharge plans and rarely have the time to manage the patient’s care while in the facility. This is very unfortunate because the case loads are high and they are difficult to contact. They are under the gun to get the patient discharged, as this is their primary function.  Very few consider what is going to be the next step in the overall care of the patient, just the very immediate needs.

Hiring a case or care manager in the private sector is very different.

The role is to manage the patient in the home and to try to keep them there safely, with support, for as long as possible. They are professionals who know what to look for. They can make suggestions about safety, support, community resources, and other services or if needed, to help with out of home placement.
Usually, an initial assessment of the situation is made. This takes about 1-2 hours. They will ask to look around the home, check for safety, check the refrigerator for appropriate food, ask for a recent medication list, doctors information and much more.  Even though it may seem intrusive it is a way for them to know the needs of the client and if all is in order, or if issues need to be addressed.

They will want information about contacting family, as care managers are usually hired by family to look in on their loved one when they are not able or available. They are also able to contact doctors when medical attention is required or order home health to come in and address items from as simple as podiatry care to medication evaluations to wound care, ordering blood tests, possible physical therapy following recent falls or a social worker to help cope with the emotional aspect of aging, illness or disease.

Case / Care managers again are social workers or nurses with training and experience in geriatrics.

They are professionals who know what to look for in varying environments.

They will follow the client, through many situations and as long as needed.  It is not uncommon to see a Care / Case Manager have the same client for 5+ years.

Be Aware

Most insurance companies do not cover this cost, so it is important to know what the charges are before hiring a case / care manager. The cost can equal what you might lose for a days work.  If an emergencies come up or you have to take a last minute flight back to where your loved one lives.

Locating a case / care manager…

…can be done on the Internet, through a reputable agency such as Aging and Independent Services, or a local hospital social worker.  It is worth every penny!

Don’t forget, March is Social Work month.  Thank a social worker for all the hard work they do for patients, clients and their extended families!