Senior Care Consultants - Walworth County
Addressing needs for long distance care-giving
The need for long distance care-giving has grown enormously with the increase in the average age of Americans and in the numbers of adult children who live more than an hour away. A survey co-sponsored by the National Council on Aging and the Pew Charitable Trusts found that more than 7 million Americans manage care for a relative aged 55 years and older and who lives at least an hour away.
Many adult children must help from a distance when older parents and relatives need help. A real emergency requires a personal visit, but other situations are difficult to judge over the phone when you can't see what is actually happening.
There are a number of elder programs that have developed over the last 20 years. Unfortunately they are not always easy to find or coordinate.
Case management services
Aurora VNA Senior Services offers an umbrella of case management services in the greater Walworth County area. Senior Care Consultants focuses on the elderly and their families. It includes:
- Skilled geriatric assessment by a Geriatric Case Manager
- Development of a personalized health care advocacy plan
- Coordination of care and services
- Ongoing monitoring and evaluation
- Assistance with transitions in living situation
- Health education
- Promotion and support of self care
- Liaison to families at a distance
Geriatric Case Managers are specialists who assist older adults and their families facing complex situations or sudden changes and in which there is an accelerated need to make carefully planned, sound decisions based on goals the client has defined. Geriatric Case Management services are not the same as Medicare and Medicaid services. Rules governing Medicare and Medicaid do not apply and fees are based on services provided.
The Case Manager may work closely with the client's physician if desired. A physician's order for Geriatric Case Management is not required.
If you would like more information on Senior Care Consultants or would like to refer someone to the service, please call (262) 613-5794.
What can you do?
There are general strategies to help older parents and relatives:
- Include the individual(s) involved in the planning to honor their independence. Remember they are adults. It is very difficult to "parent a parent"
- Plan before the crisis. Set up a network of friends and services that might be needed. Involve as many people as you can
- Closely evaluate safety issues, such as clutter, smoke detectors, old or expired foods in the refrigerator, unsafe driving, car inspection and maintenance, bills being paid timely
- Gather information from already existing community resources, churches, synagogues, word-of-mouth recommendations
- Sit in on a doctor's visit if possible, and consider a geriatric clinic or assessment center
- Get a copy of important medical, financial and legal information, including an Advance Directive, health insurance policies, wills and medical histories
- Get professional help if needed. Geriatric Case Management is a growing field in elder care. The National Association of Geriatric Care Managers has a list of certified providers in geographic areas around the country
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