What the heck is a geriatric case manager?

I like to think I have a way with words, but boy do I get tongue-tied when I’m asked, “what exactly do you do, Wendy?”

Private geriatric case management is still a new concept in Canada, although it’s getting more traction with our aging population and rising demands on family caregivers.

Simply put, family caregivers and seniors use our services to ensure seniors are receiving the right type of support at the right time.

We provide advice and help navigating a health-care crisis or age-related transition.

We also offer ongoing support and management to co-ordinate the broad range of services a senior may need.

We are the “keystone” – the service that connects and supports clients to the various, but related, parts of eldercare.

We can help when your mom is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and needs more help to stay in her home safely but you don’t know what needs to be done or where to find the information you need. Or when your dad suffers a stroke and doesn’t have other family available to care for him when he leaves hospital.

Sometimes you just need someone to support you in your new role of caregiver – including how to initiate uncomfortable conversations with aging parents, how to navigate the complex social and health care systems, where to find help and how to avoid burnout.

Another question that comes my way is, “how are you different than a public case manager?”

A public case manager works on behalf of the local health authority and their mandate, whereas families or seniors hire us directly to work solely on their behalf. BC Health Authorities provide many specialized senior and geriatric programs to the community at no cost. It is the first place we start when working with clients.

Each community offers different levels of support depending on their own funding ratio. Whenever possible, publicly funded elder care services will be identified and accessed through your Geriatric Care Manager.

However, private geriatric case managers can be more creative with solutions and are able to support families and seniors with a broader range of services. We assist family caregivers with numerous issues, including:

•Ongoing case management, observation and assessment of seniors

•Acting as a liaison to oversee the care and support for seniors with out-of-town families; assisting in system navigation

•Accompanying clients on medical appointments to ensure their needs are communicated clearly and medical directions are understood

•Screening, arranging and monitoring in-home help and other non-medical services and support

•Helping seniors transition during a move – to or from medical facilities, independent living facility or a long-term care home

•Organizing and maintaining key support documentation, such as emergency contact lists, medical and functional health, power of attorney, advanced directives, etc.

Helping with applications for benefits or entitlements

•Referring and coordinating community resources, transportation and services

Essentially, I’m here to help seniors and the people caring for them. If you have any questions, I’m here to help.

 

 

 

Wendy Johnstone is a gerontologist and is the founder of Keystone Eldercare Solutions. Her column runs regularly in the Comox Valley Record.

 

 

Just Posted

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ in Courtenay to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Cam Levins sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The 29-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

Most Read