Case Management: What Is It and How Can It Benefit My Loved One and Me

affordable home care assisted home care at home caregivers care for older people non medical senior care elder care in Minnesota eldelry home assistance elderly home care service help for senior caregivers home care companies home care in MinnesotaAnyone caring for elderly family members knows the amount of time it takes to coordinate their care. There might be in-home senior care providers involved and medical appointments to schedule with multiple physicians and specialists. There is also the task of making sure your family member makes it to the appointment and that someone is there to help process all that the doctors say. Then there may be a need to keep on top of medication changes, make sure there is enough food in the house, monitor health status changes, sort through insurance EOB’s and medical bills, and on and on. The role of family caregiver is an important role to play, but it really is taxing and stressful to keep track of everything.  Often, clients tell me that when their daughter comes over, she never just sits and visits because she is so busy taking care of everything that needs to be done.   

There is help available! It’s called case management.

What is case management? It’s when a case manager (usually a social worker or a registered nurse) is responsible for linking and managing services for a client who has multiple needs. It’s planning and orchestrating the delivery of these services in a systematic and timely manner, a comprehensive approach to ensure that a person’s needs are being met even when there are multiple agencies and individuals involved.

The role of a case manager involves all or some of the following:

  • Identify needs of client and/or family
  • Develop a plan to address these needs
  • Identify what is working and what is not
  • Give direct personal support to client and family members
  • Intervene in crisis situations
  • Develop a care plan to prevent crisis situations
  • Facilitate family communication
  • Provide objective information/mediation when families disagree
  • Monitor changes in medical conditions or family situations
  • Advocate for client and family
  • Assist with accessing needed services and with coordinating these services
  • Relocation assistance
  • Plan for long-term changes
  • Cost containment

affordable home care in home help for seniors non medical senior care respite for caregivers care for older people home care in Minnesota elderly home assistance elderly home care service assisted home careA case manager is especially helpful if clients require multiple services and resources or have complicated medical conditions, particularly if they cannot access these services and resources on their own. Seniors might need a case manager because they lack physical or cognitive abilities, the specialized knowledge it takes to navigate medical systems, verbal ability, or assertiveness. Often, it may be that an adult child simply lacks the time it takes to coordinate services for their elderly parent who lacks the skills or ability to manage their own care.

Case management can be utilized on a long or short-term basis, depending upon the client’s needs. Case management costs range anywhere from $90-120 per hour. Although this sounds expensive, case managers are familiar with medical conditions and systems, and they have skills and experience in navigating these systems. In all actuality, case managers are a good investment if you value your own time and sanity and want to ensure that your loved one has a comprehensive plan in place to address all of his or her changing needs over time.

Julie Ellingson, LSW


April 15, 2015




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