Frequently Asked Questions

With a fragmented health care system and increased difficulty in managing your loved one's needs, a Care Manager is able to pull all the pieces together while searching for ways to improve overall quality of life. A Care Manager can do a one-time assessment and provide a report that allows family members to get on track and have a plan going forward. Often times, the assessment is the beginning of a long-term relationship. A Care Manager works to manage all needs in the comfort of your loved one's home and is available in the event of a crisis, such as a visit to the Emergency Room. A Care Manager can be the eyes and ears for the family and guide family through the aging process.

Care Managers are used for a number of reasons. Some of the common situations include:

✓ Concerned family members who live out of town and are unable to visit often
✓ Family members who live locally; however, have many responsibilities and need assistance
✓ Fiduciaries who are responsible for the care of an individual and require an expert to assist and provide guidance
✓ Individuals living at home alone with little to no help and are showing a decline in health
✓ Hospital discharge planners who are seeking a safe discharge plan
✓ Attorney and trust officers who need assistance with their client's needs
✓ Home care companies seeking assistance with client's specialized and advanced needs

Forgetfulness can be caused by a number of factors. Discovering the actual reason why your loved one is increasingly forgetful is the key to knowing what options are available. Some time ago, increasing forgetfulness was considered a normal part of aging; however studies indicate that most people remain alert and oriented as they age. This is not to say that your older loved one will never be forgetful, because being forgetful at times is normal for everyone, young and old. As a person ages, they may need more time to remember things. Think of it this way, if you forget where you put your keys, then you are having a normal incidence of forgetfulness. If you forgot where you put your keys because you placed them in the refrigerator, then follow-up is indicated.

Forgetfulness can be due to a number of reversible causes. Some reversible causes of forgetfulness include:

✓ Fever
✓ Dehydration
✓ Vitamin deficiency
✓ Adverse reaction to medication
✓ Hypothyroidism
✓ Depression
✓ Disorders of the respiratory system
✓ Infectious processes

Forgetfulness can also be a symptom of Dementia. If you are concerned about your loved one’s memory impairments, answers should be sought. Senior Care Management Solutions can be a part of the process from assessing forgetfulness, evaluating for possible reversible causes of forgetfulness, assisting with setting up and going to doctor’s appointments, and advocacy for your loved one to ensure they (and you) get the answers you deserve. If you would like a free consultation to begin the evaluation process, call Senior Care Management Solutions at (480) 502-CARE.

Dementia is a broad term that describes disorders of the brain resulting in loss of mental and functional abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Some of the symptoms include memory impairment, communication and language deficits, decreasing ability to concentrate, impairment of reasoning and judgment, and changes in visual perception. A diagnosis of Dementia only provides insight into changes that are occurring over time, however is not specific to the actual cause of the disease, parts of the brain that are affected, or what the best option is for management of the disease. There are currently more than 50 different types of Dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease accounting for 60-80% of all Dementias.

Dementia leads to many changes over time and having a Care Manager throughout the process can assist with monitoring changes and providing consultation and education. Some family members make the decision to keep their parent at home while some choose to place their loved one in a facility. Either decision is viable as long as your loved one is in a safe environment with individuals that understand how to care for their needs. Keeping a loved one at home for the duration of their disease, up until their death, is becoming more common with the services that are made available in the home environment. Senior Care Management Solutions can assist with your goals by bringing services to your loved one in their home environment or assisting with finding a suitable facility and transitional care. There are many options available… Senior Care Management Solutions can help you decide what is best for you and your loved one.

Often times, Elder Care agencies are contacted due to a loved one having multiple visits and admissions to the hospital. In 2015, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began posing financial penalties to hospitals for readmission within 30 days for heart attacks, COPD, heart failure, pneumonia, cardiac bypass surgery and total hip or knee surgery. "Each year, roughly 2 million patients are readmitted, costing Medicare $27 billion, of which $17 billion is spent on readmissions (National Investment Center, 2016). Health care efforts has reduced readmissions; however, if a cognitive disorder is occurring, your loved one may not be able to follow up as directed after a hospitalization.

Even more important, it is difficult for the elderly to go back and forth to the hospital with possible admissions to rehabilitation centers and nursing facilities. Many readmissions are preventable with adequate care. Senior Care Management Solutions offers a wide range of services that enable early detection of potential health issues. Senior Care Management Solutions also applies the use of supportive home services to assist with improving health and preventing frequent trips to the hospital. If your loved one is in the hospital or recently discharged to a facility or back home, a home assessment, monitoring, and follow-up are helpful to keep your loved one at home. Not only will it provide comfort to your loved one and peace of mind for you, it will probably be a very cost effective method as well. If in the event your loved one is hospitalized, a Care Manager can respond, provide necessary information to the hospital staff, provide advocacy and assist with a safe discharge.

Although there is an expense to hiring a Care Manager, many client's families find a cost savings when comparing to the cost of trying to manage care from a distance. Consider the cost of traveling back and forth, loss of work and loss of time with family. Once your loved one is stable and in a routine, the costs generally decrease. There are many clients that need a lot of assistance in getting all medical needs in order, but once that occurs, they only need help at doctor's appointments and possible home visits periodically to ensure all is well.