A care manager is a professional who specializes in assisting older adults and their families in meeting long-term care arrangements. Alpert JFS’ case managers are all credentialed professionals with extensive experience working with adults, older adults and their families. Many of our professionals are also licensed as clinical social workers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When is care management needed?
Care management 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. Care 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?
Care 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 a care 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 can our professional care 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 care 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 care 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:
- What type of oversight is there for the case manager (who supervises the care manager)?
- What accessibility will I have to the case manager on weekends and evenings?
- Does the service feel personalized to meet the unique desires and needs of my family?
- Is the case manager responsive to my concerns?
- Does the care manager stay on top of things?
- Are the other service providers with whom the care manager coordinates meeting the need of my older relative?
- How does the care manager monitor the quality of the providers?
- Is the care manager pro-active, ahead of the crisis?