Most people are familiar with these terms but not familiar with their meaning because they are used to represent a variety of services. Care management sometimes refers to simply managing a staff of caregivers so they show up on time and do what they are told to do. Basically, the basic services of an agency. Advocacy most often refers to advocating for a patient in a medical setting, being there to ask questions and escort them through a medical process or procedural red tape.
We use these terms to represent the broadest range of support you can imagine. Here is how we define these terms:
We offer all types of day-to-day care management:
- Scheduling, coordinating transportation and often rescheduling medical, dental, podiatric, ophthalmic, oncological, and any other possible health related appointment. When you ask us just for a ride we call and confirm the appointment so there are no surprises that day.
- Scheduling and coordinating transportation for non-medical appointments such as hair and nails.
- Ensuring that all non-medical supplies like paper goods, latex gloves, adult diapers (if needed), and any other non-durable products are available at the home as needed.
- Helping families decide whether or not certain durable medical equipment (DME) such as walkers, grab bars, shower benches, and commodes are needed and then arranging for their purchase and delivery. While medical providers often make recommendations or prescribe these devices we handle making sure they are obtained and properly set up or installed.
- When it comes to home repairs nothing is ever easy, especially when mom and dad don’t live nearby. Most adult children would want to check the issue before mom or dad calls the plumber, electrician, or handyman and racks up a big ‘per visit” charge just to find out it is something simple. We are available to make that visit and confirm a repair professional is needed. If it is a simple fix we do it that visit or have our staff handyman schedule a visit where all you pay for is time and materials.
- When we see a need we do not simply send an email or make a call letting the family know something needs to be addressed. Instead, we combine that notice with a recommended course of action, a clear solution, or even a simple confirmation that the situation has already been dealt with. We see our role as stepping into the shoes of the family, not simply being your advisor.
We also offer out of the ordinary care management services:
- Coordinate overnight or day trips with our caregivers. We have helped some clients spend days at the Cape with family who are there on vacation, overnight trips to NYC and even a week long vacation in a beachfront Florida condo complete with 24/7 caregiver, rented DME, and transfers to and from the airport. All arranged through Extended Family.
- Our management team is often available to drop what they are doing to address an issue. Maybe it is a sudden need to see a doctor. Maybe it is a need to help clean up a wet basement (yes, complete with wet/dry vacuum in hand!). Maybe it is coming by to help you get a heavy spouse up off the floor after a no-harm-done fall. By accepting clients within a limited radius of our office in Metro West we are never too far away to lend a timely hand.
- When distant adult children come for a visit they often like to rely on their parent’s car for transportation. We have regularly provided rides – at no charge – between Logan Express – Framingham to a client’s home for incoming or departing family. It is simply one more service to make our clients’ lives easier.
With Medical Providers: When it comes to medical or health issues many clients ask us to work with their medical providers to be sure information is presented completely and understood. A patient does not always hear information clearly especially when dementia or emotions are involved. We sit in on appointments and take notes or else follow up with phone calls to be sure everything is clear.
With Other Health Care Providers: Often coordinating with other providers, notably VNA, physical or occupational therapists, or other insurance covered services is critical to ensure thorough and continuous care. We work with these providers to be sure our services complement theirs and everything is covered.
With Assisted Living and Rehab facilities: It is not uncommon for a particular resident to need someone to stand up for them with their assisted living or rehab facility. It might be asking for some additional services or to ensure that they are getting all the services to which they are entitled. Some families simply aren’t able to stay on top of these things so we are there for them.
With Health Care Options: We work with families to help them assess options when facing health care choices such as whether or not a move to a new setting is appropriate.
With Non-Health-Related Issues: Sometimes a client needs some support with creditors or service providers unrelated to health. Sometimes a vendor can be overzealous in pursuing an unpaid bill or a client is overcharged. Whether it is the client’s own mistake or the vendor’s unscrupulousness we are there to be sure the client is not taken advantage of.