When you come to Independent Care Solutions for answers to these difficult situations, we help you perform an assessment to come up with the best course of action for the near and distant future taking into consideration what is best for all concerned.
Depending on the urgency of the current situation, a brief assessment might be performed as quickly as within a few hours or days. However, assessment is always ongoing. Our care managers are constantly reviewing your medical and psycho-social needs and making recommendations as change occurs.
A full comprehensive assessment takes into consideration 6 areas of a person’s life:
We assess medical needs and history, ensuring continuity of care and identifying gaps in the medical care plan.
Obtaining and maintaining a complete record of one’s medical history is not as easy as people think. What was the date of that gall bladder surgery? How long did Dad smoke cigarettes? When was mom’s first heart attack? Knowing the answers to these questions can ensure much better care coordination among medical professionals. We have the best medical care in the world here in America if we know how to use it properly. Guess what: the healthcare professionals don’t yet have access to all of our private health information electronically so that it can be shared easily throughout the system. Do we really want a government system put into place that does that? Or would you rather support a private option to keeping all of your records in one complete file that can be shared only by permission.
Knowing the past and current medical facts are necessary to creating a realistic plan of action. If a person has a potentially debilitating, chronic illness, perhaps moving from home into independent senior housing is not the best solution.
Reviewing, recommending, and obtaining copies of documents assures that all parties are fully prepared and informed as well as educating and updating families regarding the importance of updated Powers of Attorney, Health Care Living Wills, and Health Care POAs. Understanding guardianship issues, having access to the most trusted Elder Law attorneys are part of care management assessment and referrals.
What are your parents’ rights as individuals; to what extent do your responsibilities to your parents extend legally, emotionally, ethically?
Long term care is not free. It is private pay, and in some situations it is subsidized by the government through social service programs. There are eligibility requirements for these programs, and there are many nuances and circumstances to consider when ensuring the best long term care for seniors.
Planning for long term care, near and future needs, must take into consideration the assets available and how the client and family wish to utilize those assets. Sometimes there are not many choices in that regard. Professional geriatric care managers understand those issues and help families make decisions that are realistic and appropriate.
Can mom and dad stay home? If so, for how long, and what if any changes should be made to their physical environment?
Should they move? If so, to what type of setting and with how much care? What about their personalities, finances and health care needs (see how all of this ties in together?)
What type of socialization are your parents used to? What do they like to do? Are they loners or social butterflies? Will they thrive in an active senior congregate living situation or would they prefer more privacy as their care needs increase?
What part does spirituality play in their lives? How can we maximize meeting not just their psychological and medical but also spiritual needs?
When dementia is involved, socialization can be extremely important. A recent client spouse was resistant to adult day programs outside the home for his wife but finally relented to in-home dementia-trained caregivers. Within weeks we have seen an increase in her cognition from severe to moderate. She is much more emotionally engaged. Her children are thrilled to have more of their mom’s personality back in their lives.
- Cognition: Personality type
- Organically psychological makeup (pre-existing psychiatric diagnoses)
Independent Care Solutions has helped families dealing with all varieties of psychological issues and needs. The entire process of aging, gradual loss of health and independence, and planning for long term care can be grueling and taxing to even usually stoic and practical personality types.
Cognition impairment can complicate planning and cooperation in planning.
More people are now aging with chronic psychological conditions such as schizophrenia, asperger’s, autism, and developmental genetic challenges. The age limit has increased exponentially in these populations in the past few decades and their own aging parents are not prepared to deal with the fact that they are outliving their adult disabled child.
Consultations can lead to comprehensive assessments and ongoing care management, but sometimes one or two brief educational meetings can get a family on track to manage a situation, or assist in transitioning someone to a safer environment where the family can then resume the caregiving role.