Care coordination can be a hectic process for any family member or trusted individual that is caring for their loved one. As people age, it is very important to make sure their needs are met, whether that pertains to physical or emotional health. By having proper plans in place, however, the care coordination process can become an easier burden to bear.
Managing Chronic Conditions: What You Need to Know
It is never easy to manage chronic health conditions, let alone trying to manage those conditions for an individual who may no longer be able to manage their condition themselves. In situations such as these, it takes a team of people – from family members to doctors to health insurance providers.
Families and Health Insurance Providers: Understanding What Role They Play
Both families and health insurance providers play a significant role in the care coordination process. It is crucial that both parties share the same desire to care for people in the least restrictive and most cost-effective setting. A key part of the process is making sure that the patient’s needs and desires are not only known, but communicated amongst the appropriate people to ensure that those needs and desires are properly met.
What Goes Into the Care Coordination Process?
The care coordination process involves a multitude of steps that must be taken to ensure proper care for the patient in need. These steps include the following:
- Communicating about specific needs and desires
- Agreeing on responsibility regarding care
- Supporting care transitions
- Managing medications
- Evaluating various goals for care
- Creating a care plan to ensure necessary steps are followed
- Connecting the patient with various community resources available
- Monitoring and responding to any changes in the patient’s needs or desires
Geriatric Care Managers: How They Can Help
One particular professional who also plays a key role in care coordination is a geriatric care manager. These are licensed professionals, typically either nurses or social workers, who can assist in identifying the needs of the patient and ways that those needs can be met. Geriatric care managers are especially helpful when the elderly patient does not have any nearby family, as they can check in on the patient to address any needs or changes with the patient’s needs.
Geriatric care managers can assist in many ways, including:
- Explaining complex topics related to medical care
- Evaluate at-home needs of the elderly patient
- Work with emotional concerns
- Make home visits
- Continually evaluate the needs of the patient, and make suggestions based on those needs
How to Know if a Geriatric Care Manager is the Right Fit for Your Situation
The needs of any patient will vary based on the person. As such, one may seek to determine whether a geriatric care manager is right for their situation. The following are some questions you should keep in mind when finding a geriatric care manager:
- Is the geriatric care manager properly licensed?
- What is the geriatric care manager’s availability?
- Does the geriatric care manager provide home services? If so, how often?
- How much do the services cost?
- How will the geriatric care manager properly communicate information?
Ultimately, the primary goal of care coordination is to ensure that the patient receives the appropriate healthcare services they need. This must involve an understanding and communication from all involved parties, from geriatric care managers to family members, on what exactly the patient needs.
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