Aging Life Care Management During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Posted May 17, 2020 by Elder Care Consultants, Inc.
You are on this website because you are an individual who may need care or you are a family member trying to figure out how to help your loved one during these extraordinary times. Even if no one in your family is infected with the CORONA Virus, your situation may be urgent, and you may be finding that the options for care are more confusing and logistically complex because of the pandemic. No matter the options you are considering, you are striving to protect yourselves and your loved ones.
How Elder Care Consultants Can Help
Rapid Response and Knowledgeable Planning
Our care managers have always been well prepared to respond to emergent changes in our clients’ lives and their present and future care needs. That preparedness is more important than ever.
In order to form a good care plan quickly, it is critical to make a careful – and early – assessment. The more you can tell us about your loved one’s circumstances, the better we will be able to customize our recommendations.
That is where we begin. Then, in close consultation with you and drawing on our comprehensive knowledge of the various options, we form a safe and workable care plan together. Precise implementation of the plan, and meticulous follow-up are key.
The way to begin is with a phone call so that we can let you know how we can help you.
Careful Response: Protecting All
Whether an infection has been diagnosed or is presumed, our care managers know that it is important to lower the risk of infection or contagion by following the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommendations, to protect patients, caregivers, family members, as well as our care managers. We will help you understand and follow the guidelines as well.
Individual Care Plans Based on Experience
If the client is at home, depending on the situation, our care manager can visit with precautions, assess the care needs and determine whether or not those needs are currently being met. You may be faced with the task of finding caregivers quickly. You are understandably uncertain about which of the many home care agencies respond most carefully to the needs of patients and families. Depending on the circumstance in which caregiver services are needed, caregivers may be harder to find and the cost of home care may be greater than ever. We can help you narrow the choices to the agencies that will be a good fit for your situation.
Our care managers have many years of experience with home care agencies. Even as the situation with infection rates evolve, we are continuing to work with agencies as they strive to take adequate infection precautions, conduct caregiver testing and training, and provide the best caregivers.
Making the Most of Telemedicine Appointments and Follow-up
Just as we did with face-to-face doctor appointments, we help home care clients and their families make the most of telehealth appointments.
- We will gather the information your physician(s) may need and help you formulate the questions you need answered in advance of your appointment. The more prepared you are, the better the outcome.
- We can arrange to have the appropriate attendees on the telemedicine appointments.
- We can follow-up with changes in the medical care plan, getting prescriptions filled, for example, or making sure the home-care client has sufficient food and supplies available.
Staying Connected: Combating the Effects of Social Isolation
We can set up a home video connection so that family members who are unable to visit can still maintain the critical connections to their loved ones and maintain appropriate oversight. We attend to the social, mental health, and activity needs of our clients to help offset the loneliness or depression that may come with social isolation and lack of family contact.
Facility-based Care: Advocacy, Connection, Oversight, Follow-up
There are situations when – with or without COVID-19 infection – the client’s care can only be provided in a facility. Regardless of the location of our client – independent or assisted living facilities or nursing homes – we are, first and foremost, an advocate for the client. We have the knowledge to assess the quality of the care, to advocate for our clients, and to monitor the overall situation at each facility. Many facilities have been very hard hit and are striving to provide the best care while protecting their residents and staff.
Medical and Social Work Staff at facilities may be difficult for family members to reach. However, through our long-standing network of relationships at these facilities, we can often maintain critical contact with nursing staff and social workers to determine their responses to the current medical and mental health condition and needs of our clients.
Hospital Care and Discharge Planning: Getting the Care You Need During and After a Hospitalization
Hospitalizations for both emergency care and for scheduled surgeries have become more complex. Those affected by COVID-19 or other critically ill or injured patients may need to be hospitalized. Families are unable to remain with their loved ones in emergency rooms and after an admission cannot visit, except in certain circumstances. Patients, especially seniors, may find it difficult to advocate for themselves or even present a coherent medical history.
People are understandably fearful about hospital admissions, emergency rooms, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, even doctors’ offices. As a result, without careful planning, advocacy, and coordination, the senior may not get the care they need.
At times it is in the client’s best interest to postpone previously planned surgeries. For example, perhaps a scheduled knee replacement surgery followed by facility-based rehabilitation can, and should, be postponed. However, there are other hospitalizations and surgeries that should not, or cannot not be postponed. Because many hospitals and staff are nearly overwhelmed by caring for COVID patients, hospitals and surgeons may have fewer resources for other hospitalizations and surgeries. Our care managers can help plan for, coordinate, and serve as an advocate throughout these necessary hospitalizations.
As clients recover, hospitals are working on more complex discharges than ever and families are faced with daunting, and sometimes expensive, choices. They are unable to visit to assess the nursing homes or assisted living facilities suggested by the hospital discharge planners. Facilities may also be concerned about admitting people being discharged from the hospitals. Our experience with these facilities can help guide your choices.
Hospitals do have an obligation to plan for the safest discharge possible and families want the best plans possible for their loved ones. As in the past we can help discharge planners create the best plan for our clients’ care and often forestall a discharge when there is an unsafe or inadequate plan. Whatever the circumstance, we can be your advocate for the best care for your loved one and help you work with the hospital to formulate a plan for aftercare.
The earlier in the hospitalization our care manager is involved, the better the outcome.
Get the Help You Need Now
You do not have to discover and make these difficult choices alone. The call to our intake coordinator to determine how we can help is free.
We are an experienced and knowledgeable Care Management team. Read more information about the team.