How Life Care Managers Help in a Crisis
One of the most important ways we as life care managers help our clients – and by extension, their families – is our ability to be present in times of crisis. Often, the children of our older clients live far away, or at least not close enough to respond quickly in an emergency. Whether it’s a busy life or distance that keeps families from being on site quickly, we can be there with your loved one’s best interests in mind.
The added challenges of a pandemic
Long-distance caregiving is challenging in the best of times; during crises like the COVID pandemic, it can be even more difficult. How would your loved one get to a hospital? Who could take them to a doctor appointment? Working with a life care manager who is near an aging loved one can ease the minds of long-distance family members. We can oversee anything from everyday assistance to a sudden hospitalization, providing in-person care and advocacy through it all. We think of ourselves as the long-distance caregiver’s “boots on the ground.” While it might take a long-distance caregiver hours or even days to arrange travel – even without a pandemic – we are on site, reporting back quickly and effectively.
A growing number of people find themselves alone as they age, whether by choice or circumstance. They may be single, have no children, or worry about burdening their family members with the task of being their health care proxy or decision maker. We work with LGBTQ couples and individuals who don’t have biological family or don’t feel supported by them. Even if they aren’t of retirement age yet, they value having someone they trust to honor them and their wishes.
The good news is that anyone can make key health care plans and decisions in advance. We can’t predict every crisis, but having a life care manager can give you peace of mind that if or when a crisis does arise, we are your advocates and support team. We will ensure that your wishes are known throughout the health system and all areas of life.
Neutrality when emotions are high
As parents age or a crisis arises for them, family emotions can run high. This is true even if the family is supportive, tight knit, and in the same geographical area. A life care manager is a neutral party who’s focused on what’s best for the aging client. Similarly, we can act as a sounding board for the client or family members, providing professional perspective on options for care, housing, financial planning, and other matters.
We start with an assessment
Our assessment process begins with an initial consultation with family members, either in person or by telephone. One of our associates will then visit the elder at home, in a facility, or at a family member’s house to conduct an in-depth evaluation of their physical, cognitive, and emotional health. Using the insights we’ve gained from the family history, we take the time to get to know our clients and help them feel comfortable during this process.