Care Comes in Many Forms
This post was developed in cooperation with Debbie Stumps, the Director of External Relations for Purview Life. The partners of Tallgrass Estate Planning are proud to work with the Life Care Managers at Purview, and we often refer our clients to them for help. No referral agreement exists between Tallgrass Estate Planning and Purview Life. Purview works with many attorneys throughout Oklahoma, and we at Tallgrass are honored to be among them.
If you are a caregiver for a loved one, you are making an amazing difference in that person's life. You are offering more of your self, your strength, your emotions, and your time than the rest of us can imagine. And while you are giving so much out of love, you are also likely living with a great deal of anxiety, stress, loneliness, isolation, and irritation.
For your sake and for your loved one's, you need help. Our goal in this post is to inform you about a little-known source of that help: the Care Manager.
What is a Care Manager?
The concept is pretty straightforward: A family caregiver hires a professional Care Manager to serve as an adviser, an advocate, a confidant, or a provider for a loved one. Their help can be short-term or long-term, part-time or full-time. It can be tailored to the specific needs of you, your family, and your loved one.
Care Managers see a need for helping families and professionals alike to deal with aging issues that extend beyond customary and traditional agencies. They are specialized professionals who advocate and direct the care of older adults and others facing ongoing health and life challenges. Their expertise provides answers at a time of uncertainty, and their guidance leads to the actions and decisions that ensure an optimal life for loved ones, reducing worry and stress.
Care Managers are an objective aging expert that act very much like the general contractor when you build a house, offering customized solutions for complex financial, social, and health-related issues of adult life care management.
In the same way you may hire a CPA to assist with your taxes or an attorney to assist in legal matters, you should consider hiring a Care Manager to help shoulder the responsibilities caring for a loved one can bring.
Who Needs a Care Manager?
For most family caregivers, this is the first time they've had to think about or take care of the needs and rights of a loved on in need of specialized care. Professional Care Managers, though, deal with these issues on a daily basis, and they know how to navigate these serious matters efficiently and objectively.
Here is just a partial list of what Care Managers do regularly:
Assess the level and type of care needed and develop a care plan
Take steps to start the care plan and keep it functioning
Make sure care is received in a safe environment
Resolve family conflicts and other family issues relating to long-term care
Advocate for the care recipient and the family caregiver
Manage care for a loved one while family is away (Yes, you need to a vacation.)
Conduct ongoing assessments to monitor and implement changes in care
Oversee and direct care provided at home
Coordinate the efforts of key support systems
Help with Medicaid qualification and application
Assist families in choosing care facilities like nursing homes and provide placement assistance
Arrange for services of legal and financial advisors
Manage a guardianship for a care recipient
Assist with the monitoring of medications
Find appropriate solutions to avoid a crisis
Coordinate medical appointments and medical information
Provide transportation to medical appointments
Every family caregiver has the best intentions to provide loving, quality, ongoing care, but few have the necessary time or expertise to do it continually. You have work, other family members, valuable friendships, not to mention your own personal needs, that also require your time and attention.
One of the biggest favors you can do for your loved one, as well as yourself, is to partner with a professional to do what you can't or shouldn't.
When Should You Hire a Care Manager?
Purview Life has developed the following graphic to help navigate this important question:
What Else Should You Be Asking?
The wonderful people at Purview Life has compiled a list of the top questions they get asked on a regular basis.
However, with all of the complexity that accompanies life care management, the answer you’re looking for might not be found on a website. If you need to meet with someone to discuss your loved one's care, then please contact Purview at 918-935-2020 to discuss your specific situation.
Here's the stuff we always put at the end:
If you want to know more, we would love to talk with you about it. Best part, the conversation about how it could benefit you doesn't cost anything. Call us at (918) 770-8940 (in the Tulsa area) or (405) 358-3848 (in the OKC area) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free consultation, either in person, video chat, or phone call.
Disclaimer: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship, and it is not formal legal advice. This is for information purposes only. Your best bet, always, is to speak with an attorney about your questions, assets, concerns, and needs.