What is an Elder Care case manager?
A case manager, also known as a care manager, is a professional who specializes in assisting older adults and their families in meeting long-term care arrangements. AJFCS’s case managers are all master’s level mental health professionals, social workers and registered nurses, with extensive experience working with older adults and their families. Many of our professionals are also licensed as clinical social workers.
When is an Elder Care case management needed?
An Elder Care case manager is needed when an adult is faced with decreased capacity to function due to complications of aging, illness, disability, altered cognitive status and/or loss of social supports. Case managers provide caregivers with assistance, especially when they are out-of-state and not available to provide direct care because of family and other obligations. Assistance with decision-making, issues with problem solving, family conflict, relocation, hospitalizations and monitoring for significant changes are often the reasons that families initiate case management services.
How does it work?
Case managers engage in an assessment process, develop an individualized care plan, and offer immediate support and options for care, with a focus on long-term needs. The qualified case manager can coordinate services such as meals, transportation, pet care, home maintenance, assistance in hiring providers for home care, medication management, financial (paying bills) and legal services, applying for benefits, as well as accompany the adult to medical appointments. The professional monitors health and providers of care towards enhancing the adults’ independence and autonomy; encouraging their ability to remain in their own homes.
Why would I use an Elder Care case manager?
Should you have concerns about a frail or disabled adult, or need information and assistance to ensure safety, a case manager can be a valued contact. Professionals are not a substitute for family, but as the local “eyes and ears”; they can be relied upon to help identify service needs, advocate for your older relative, and be a liaison to other service providers. Having a case manager can be an especially important mechanism to establish that a “safety net” for elders is in place, should a crisis occur.
How does one pay for Elder Care case management services?
Case management or care management services are usually paid for privately by family members, through an hourly fee-for-service arrangement. Fees are stated in written form, and are documented in a written agreement.
In some instances, AJFCS may be a provider for a specific long-term care insurance, which can be billed directly. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover case management services; they are paid for privately by family or other caregivers.
How can our professional Elder Care case managers save you money?
Planning for the future and averting a crisis are just a couple of the ways that case management can help save you money. It can be more cost effective to hire a professional than to try coordinating services alone. Our case managers have a wealth of knowledge and existing relationships with other health care providers in the community, which allow them to efficiently arrange for needed assistance. Having a professional “on the ground” to respond to crises may also mean that caregivers can plan their trips to visit, rather than paying exorbitant prices to get on a plane immediately when an emergency takes place.
How can you evaluate the Elder Care case manager?
Discussing your expectations is a good place to start. Negotiating how the service will meet your needs is an important aspect of understanding what you can expect and how you can evaluate the service. Some questions to ask include: