What does a care manager/nurse advocate do for an elder?

Depending on the needs and circumstances we can do the following:

  • Conduct an initial care plan assessment to obtain a medical history, list of medications, current medical issues and identify the problems that need to be addressed. Maintain and update medical records.
  • Evaluate an elder at home and determine if home adaptive measures are needed to help the senior safely age in place. Determine what additional services are needed as the status of the elder changes. Discuss the wishes of the elder and provide any information so that expectations are set about the next steps in administering care relative to their aging process. Collaborate with the family to identify options in alignment with the elder’s goals.
  • Review options for optimal long term living and alternative possibilities to aging at home. We will accompany an elder or family member to a prospective facility and/or provide a list of questions and items for the family to review as they visit the facility.
  • Monitor the progress of a hospitalization to ensure optimum care and outcomes as well as collaborate with the healthcare team to facilitate a smooth and safe discharge.
  • Identify and facilitate setting up home care nurses or aids along with physical, speech and occupational therapists.
  • Be on an authorized list to address an emergency and meet the elder and /or family in an emergency room situation.
  • Attend physician visits and take notes and serve as the liaison to the healthcare team.
  • Review medications and provide education on the indications and side effects.
  • Visit elders in the assisted living and nursing home facilities to check on status/progress.
  • Research a new diagnosis or a recommended surgery and educate the elder and his or her family so as to create understanding and set appropriate expectations
  • Counsel and support on psychosocial issues. Provide health and wellness coaching to optimize life functioning.
  • Review medical bills and Medicare coverage and negotiate bills as well as conduct appeals.

What credentials and experience do the care managers have?

We are a team of registered nurses with more than 30 years of experience in a variety of medical specialties. In addition, we have two insurance advocates with more than 20 years of handling Medicare/insurance appeals/billing issues and negotiations.

How do client families pay for services?

We are a private pay service. We support a collaborative approach to our services and work closely with the extended family to determine what services we will perform and what services and issues the family can address with the complement of some educational support from us.

Where do you provide your services?

We work with seniors in their homes or in the assisted living and nursing homes, hospitals and emergency rooms in which they might be situated. We also offer telephonic support and dialogue with families via conference calls.

Can we sign on for services just for emergency backup if we live a long distance?

Yes, this is a very proactive step to take for your loved one. We can do an initial assessment and document the medical history, list of medications, allergies, etc. and obtain the necessary authorizations so that should your loved one have an emergency, we are equipped to meet them at the emergency room and advocate for them while you travel to the facility.

What is wellness coaching, especially as it pertains to older individuals?

This is a partnership between coaches and elders whereby elders have a person with whom they can discuss health and life challenges and changes and develop new ways to adjust and cope with these issues. Unlike behavioral health professionals, coaches do not act as experts but as partners. Though elders know themselves best, coaching assists them to identify and clarify what they really want. In addition, coaches can help to assist elders in identifying the action steps and behaviors they can take to achieve those goals.

What is a certified wellness coach?

A certified wellness coach is a professional who has typically taken a specific course on all aspects of health and wellness, and they adhere to the International Coach Federation (ICF) guidelines and core competencies. This year (2017) is the first year the International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching will offer a national board certification. Our coaches will be sitting for that first exam. We recommend that clients should vet any coach they hire regarding their credentials and experience.

Does the coaching go on indefinitely or instead have a beginning, middle and end?

Generally, it is most beneficial to sign up for a minimum of three months of coaching. During this period, sessions are held regularly weekly, biweekly or monthly. It is up to the client to decide what he or she wants and/or needs.

Is coaching helpful for changing behavior?

Coaching can be very effective in assisting someone to change a behavior as long as the individual is open to the process. Coaches are exceptional listeners and have expertise in facilitating behavior change. Coaching is also very helpful in facilitating family discussions and communications.

As a senior experiences significant changes in his or her lifestyle and control in managing his or her life, can a coach assist with this?

Absolutely, an elder often needs to talk about his or her emotional needs and the sense of loss they may be experiencing. Coaches are skilled at listening and can be instrumental in identifying alternatives and/or easing transitions. They can also support the elder when he or she must adjust to a new way of living and encourage that individual to view life in a positive manner, no matter the circumstances.

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It’s important to recognize the red flags that signal your aging parent may no longer be able to safely and independently live alone at home. Dina Frauwirth discusses some of the warning signs and recommends the steps you must take to get help.

Life Resource Plan

What is the best course of action for you and your loved one? Find out by talking to a consultant and creating a Life Resource Plan.

Life Resource Plan