Brenda Lyle – Florida Today
Q: Is Care Management really important?
A: In my years at One Senior Place, I have provided over 10,000 free consultations and helped dozens of care management clients. When asked about the value of care management, I recount the following true story. After you’ve read this, you can decide if care management is important.
In May of 2018, I met with a couple in their 90s, living in their family home. They had no family in the area; their closest relation lived out of the country. The husband had dementia and his wife was the sole caregiver. Things were going well, so my initial care plan was to visit them once a month.
At One Senior Place, we frequently offer classes on balance and how to avoid falls –because a fall can change everything. Sure enough, on Memorial Day weekend, she fell and broke her shoulder, requiring extensive surgery. Overnight, their situation became critical. I arranged for 24-hour care for her husband, who now was missing his sole caregiver. As their Care Manager, I watched over her hospital course and her husband’s at-home care. Over the course of several weeks, she had multiple surgeries (including a pacemaker) and was still unstable. She decided she wanted to go home with hospice. We arranged for hospice and she passed away peacefully at home just before the July 4 holiday.
Her husband continued with at-home care. After a fall, he was hospitalized and took a turn for the worse. We brought him home on hospice and he passed away in September. My duty as Care Manager continued, as there was a house to empty and put on the market. Care Managers like myself work with a network of senior industry professionals. In our virtual rolodex are physicians, financial planners, attorneys, moving professionals, Realtors and more. I set about donating items to charity and arranging for an estate sale. My Realtor contact ensured the home was in the best shape for the real estate market. By December of the same year, the house was sold and the estate was settled. It all happened with very little burden to the family.
This couple had completed their estate planning and had their funerals pre-arranged. They faced the possibilities ahead and put a care management plan in place, ensuring their end-of-life went as smoothly as possible. Their wishes were carried out exactly as they planned…
Care Managers want every senior to live their best life possible. Start now. Visit OneSeniorPlace.com for free education and resources for successful aging. Because hope is not a plan.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to AskOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com, call 321-751-6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging.
Brenda Lyle is a Certified Care Manager and Certified Dementia Practitioner with One Senior Place, Greater Orlando.