Aging can be a challenging process, one that can leave even the most resilient of individuals struggling to keep up with the changes. As women age, it can be especially difficult as they may suffer from declining health, requiring additional support from healthcare professionals. This is where care management services can be of benefit as it offers invaluable assistance to aging women and their families. How can an Aging Life Care Manager/Geriatric Care Manager help an aging woman as her health declines, and she transitions to hospice care and even death.
Assessing the Needs
The first step that a care manager takes is to assess the needs of the individual. This would include a review of their medical history, current health status, and any current issues that they are dealing with. It is not just physical health but also mental and emotional health. Additionally, the home environment such as safety, the support of family and friends, as well as future life plans all feed into the assessment. This assessment leads to a personalized care plan that considers the unique needs of the aging person, ensuring that they receive the best possible care.
Coordinating Medical Care
As an aging woman’s health deteriorates, coordinating medical care becomes increasingly important. Care managers ensure that the individual is receiving appropriate care from healthcare professionals, coordinating appointments, and ensuring that medication is properly prescribed and managed. This can help reduce the risk of complications and ensure that the individual remains as comfortable as possible. They meet clients at the emergency department and visit the hospital to make sure that care is understood, and family caregivers understand decisions to be made.
Providing Emotional Support
As an aging woman’s health declines, it can be a stressful and emotional time for both the individual and her family members. Care managers provide emotional support, drawing on their experience to help families navigate this challenging time. This can include helping families understand what to expect, explaining next steps, providing reassurance and support, and connecting clients and families with other community resources such as in-home care, financial advising, elder law services, and even support groups.
Planning for End-of-Life Care
For individuals reaching the end of their life, planning for end-of-life care is essential. Care managers help individuals and families understand their options, including hospice and palliative care options. They also help ensure that the individual’s wishes are respected, such as ensuring that they receive the care they want and are not subjected to treatments they do not want. This can provide peace of mind to both the individual and their loved ones.
Supporting Families After Death
When a client passes away, care managers provide support to families. This can include providing resources for grief counseling and support groups, helping families navigate legal and financial issues that come after a death, and helping with funeral arrangements. They also understand what things need to be handled once death certificates are received. This support helps ease the burden on families during an exceptionally difficult time.
Aging can be a challenging process, but it doesn’t have to be faced alone. Care managers can provide invaluable support to aging women and their families, helping to ensure that they receive the best possible care, emotional support, and end-of-life planning. By working closely with community service providers and drawing on their experience and expertise, geriatric care managers ease the burden on families and help ensure that individuals receive the best possible care and support throughout their journey.
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