How to Advocate for an Elderly Loved One at Medical Appointments

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Doctors

It’s often difficult for older people to deal effectively with the health care system. By advocating for your elderly loved one in during medical appointments, you can keep their health care on track and increase their well being and independence.

At Care is There Geriatric Care Management, we advocate for many clients during their medical appointments. In this article, we share tips we share with family members who attend medical appointments with their loved ones.

How Care is There Geriatric Care Management Can Help

If you live at a distance from your loved one, or if your job or family responsibilities prevent you from attending medical appointments with them, we can help by being their professional advocates. Contact us at 800.434.1633 or Info@CareisThere.com for a free consultation and we’ll tell you more. Visit our website at www.CareisThere.com.

For more articles like this, see: Long Distance CaregivingAging in Place, Care for the Caregiver, Communicating with Senior Citizens, Memory Loss.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement, Aging Life Care™ services, and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.


AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. See the Team page of CareisThere.com for a list of our associates, and look for the Aging Life Care logo on the bio pages of our ACLA members.

Everyday Miracles

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Lifestyle Coordinators Create Miracles

Among the team at Care is There, we describe ourselves as miracle makers.

Miracle makers? Isn’t that a little over-the-top? Sure, we help with all kinds of everyday things, but… miracles?

We use powerful language intentionally. First of all, caregiving is difficult. Sometimes it’s a long slog of things that don’t seem very significant. It’s so easy to get discouraged and doubtful about the impact we have on people’s lives.

Yet the small tasks we do sometimes have a remarkable impact. When one of our teammates makes a tiny thing happen that makes a positive impact in a client’s life, we encourage, we cheer, and we celebrate!

Miracles Creates Joy

Consider one of my teammates who recently took a client to his audiologist for hearing aid adjustments. It’s a routine chore, but during the appointment, an amazing thing happened. The audiologist found the client’s ear was impacted with wax, and she cleaned it out.

You don’t think that’s amazing? We do! It made a huge difference to our client. He was not able to hear well at all, and because of his dementia, he couldn’t figure out why or even communicate that he was having a problem. When you can’t hear, you get shut off from the world and that’s pretty depressing. His world was shrinking, and we contributed to opening his world up again. The quiet, distracted, and introverted man whom our Lifestyle Coordinator took to the appointment was transformed on the way home. He could share in conversation with our Lifestyle Coordinator, and he was much more cheerful and lighter in mood. That’s a huge difference from our point of view.

Miracles in Advocacy

Another way we make miracles is through advocacy, particularly when we assist clients with their medical issues. Advocacy is defined as “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal” (Source: Merriam-Webster online dictionary, April 27, 2016). This definition is a little hard to understand; consider an actual situation where advocacy made a difference:

Through a series of unfortunate events, a client was preparing for the amputation of her left leg above the knee. She and her Lifestyle Coordinator (LC) met with her surgeon and the surgery date was set. The surgeon arranged for a representative from the hospital’s preferred prosthetic provider to join us and start the conversation about fitting for a prosthetic leg. They had a good conversation with the representative, and the appointment concluded.

The client’s daughter-in-law knew of another prosthetics company and strongly urged her mother-in-law (our client) to consider them. The LC first confirmed with the client that she did want to investigate the other company, and then made an appointment with them. The LC attended the appointment a few days later and helped the client thoroughly communicate about her condition, her questions, her goals, and her concerns. Because of this appointment, the client chose to work with the alternate prosthetics company. She made a more informed choice because she had more information. The LC made such a choice possible.

Sometimes seniors don’t want to seem uninformed or distrustful of their care providers and they agree to everything the provider suggests. In this example, the client was under a lot of stress and anxiety being ill, in pain, and anticipating life-altering surgery. People just don’t think clearly under these circumstances! Lifestyle Coordinators, as advocates, have the courage to speak up,  ask questions, and remain focused. They know their clients’ goals and they can share information that might be overlooked.

Learn How to be an Effective Advocate at CareisThere.com.

Miracles Through Relationship

A third way Lifestyle Coordinators make miracles is by supporting the family. Many of our clients do not have a strong support system near where they live. There may be only one family member nearby who is trying manage his own busy life. Other family members might be across the country and only get bits and pieces of information about what is going on with their elderly loved one.

We received this compliment from a client’s family recently:

Thanks [LC name], I cannot tell you how reassuring it is to know that you, who everyone trusts, are doggedly checking out these large unknown financial questions.

The Lifestyle Coordinator works primarily with this client’s finances, assisting with bill paying and managing her daily expenses. The compliment makes us proud because we know that the LC is someone that everyone in the client circle trusts, even if some of those people disagree with each other. The engagement with Care is There provides valuable reassurance to the family that their loved one is looked after and is less likely to get into financial trouble, such as scams or fraud. Finally, keeping up with the finances is the LC’s job, and she is focused on checking options and variables. Family members don’t have to spend their own time researching and investigating. The miracle is how we can get the job done, when family members might get caught up in drama from relationship histories.

Making a Difference is the Miracle

In any of these stories, what would it have been like, if we weren’t there? It’s hard to know. When things go well, few people think about all of the small decisions that had to take place before a big event, just to make everything go smoothly. At the time those decisions are being made, hardly anyone knows the potential impact down the line.

At Care is There, we know what it takes to make a difference. Sometimes the difference is more joy every day, sometimes the difference is a future with greater mobility, and sometimes the difference is a family kept whole. We love what we do, and celebrating both tiny successes and giant victories keeps us going, because making a difference for seniors matters.


 

For more articles like this, see: Resources for Central VirginiaNews and EventsResources for Central Virginia – Charlottesville, Resources for Central Virginia – Harrisonburg, Resources for Central Virginia – Staunton, Resources for Kansas City.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement, Aging Life Care™ services, and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. See the Team page of CareisThere.com for a list of our associates, and look for the Aging Life Care logo on the bio pages of our ACLA members.

Learn the Benefits of Therapeutic Massage

On Friday, May 20th Trisha Brown Leweke, a massage therapist with over a decade of experience, will talk to us about “The Power of Touch for Mind and Body Wellness.” She will discuss the scientifically proven benefits of massage therapy and tell stories about how it has benefited her aging clients.

Join us from 9:00 – 10:30am at Bridgewater Retirement Community (302 North Second Street, Bridgewater) in the Houff Community Center. Visitors are welcome – look for the signs!

The meeting will also feature a “member spotlight” presentation by Eric Barkey of Barkey Financial.

The winner of our monthly contest will have a chance to win a prize donated by First Choice Home Health!

Download the meeting agenda here.

About the Aging in Place Round Table from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce:  The Aging in Place Round Table seeks to educate the community about local services supporting vitality and choice in the second half of life and to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration about the issues surrounding aging in place. The group meets on the third Friday of each month from 9:00 to 10:30 am, and is open to visitors. For meeting topics and locations, visit http://www.harrisonburgseniors.com

Contact Information:

Chair – Phyllis Friesen
Design Concrete Builders, Inc.
540.383.2982

Care is There Welcomes Heidi White to the Team

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heidi white

Care is There Geriatric Care Management would like to welcome Heidi White to the team! Our newest lifestyle coordinator is a talented writer and editor who loves helping seniors put their stories on paper for future generations to enjoy.

Heidi White lives in Charlottesville with her husband and daughters. After moving there in 2000, she worked as part-time editor and writer for the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics and the Darden School of Business, a position she held for over seven years. After which she began volunteering with JABA’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor program and continues to do so today. Prior to joining the Care is There team, she worked with the Blue Ridge PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) in Charlottesville in Enrollment and Marketing.

Learn more about Heidi on CareisThere.com.

For more articles like this, see: News and Events.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement, Aging Life Care™ services, and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

 

 

 

 

 


AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. See the Team page of CareisThere.com for a list of our associates, and look for the Aging Life Care logo on the bio pages of our ACLA members.

Spotlight Blog – Amy Fields

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Amy Fields Bio Pic

Care is There Geriatric Care Management is operated by a group of like-minded people whose goal is to provide quality care and access to the necessary resources. Every month, we’re shining the light on the people who make Care is There what it is – a group united by that common goal.

Our April installment of Team Spotlight features Amy Fields, Lifestyle Coordinator at our Shenandoah Valley office. Amy brings to every project over 20 years of broad and valuable experience as both a private Certified Home Health Aide and as a care manager supervising other caregivers. We had a chance to ask a few questions about working at Care is There:

How long have you been working at Care is There?
I have been working for Care is There for a little over a year (14 months).

What do you do at Care is There?
I am a lifestyle coordinator. As a Lifestyle Coordinator for one of my clients, a few of the things I do include coordinating and overseeing caregivers through local home health agencies as needed. I help to facilitate communication between my client and her nursing staff to be sure her needs are being met and issues are tending to. I am also in touch with the client’s family on a regular basis sharing information and brainstorming for solutions issues that arise.

What is the most satisfying thing about working at Care is There?
The most satisfying thing about working with Care is There is being able to make a positive difference in my client’s life. Being able to help them navigate through challenges and find solutions to problems that arise.

Read Amy’s profile at CareisThere.com or meet the entire team on our “Team” page.

For more articles like this, see: Team SpotlightNews and Events.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

 

 

 

 

 


AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. See the Team page of CareisThere.com for a list of our associates, and look for the Aging Life Care logo on the bio pages of our ACLA members.

How to Be an Advocate for Your Elderly Client or Loved One

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how to be an advocate

Life can become frustrating and discouraging for people who have difficulty perceiving, communicating, or travelling –  especially when circumstances are unfamiliar. An advocate can provide valuable assistance by clarifying options, helping their client or loved one make their own choice based on their own values, communicating that choice, and doing the practical things necessary to implement the choice.

In this article, the geriatric care managers at Care is There discuss how to be an effective advocate for your client or loved one. 

For more articles like this, see: Long Distance Caregiving, Aging in PlaceCare for the Caregiver, Communicating with Senior CitizensMemory Loss.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.


AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. See the Team page of CareisThere.com for a list of our associates, and look for the Aging Life Care logo on the bio pages of our ACLA members.

Helpful Gadgets to Keep Baby Boomers Moving!

On Friday, April 15th our educational speaker will be Howard Lind, Account Manager at Roberts Home Medical. He’ll speak on the topic of “Keeping the Baby Boomers Rolling” by introducing us to medical products that may be beneficial for safety and movement, as well as our health and wellness. He’ll discuss how to purchase and obtain products, plus talk about helpful gadgets and their ease of use.

Join us from 9:00 – 10:30am at Sunnyside Retirement Community (The Highlands) 3935 Sunnyside Drive Harrisonburg, Virginia. Visitors are welcome – look for the signs!  

The meeting will also feature a “member spotlight” presentation by Randy Atkins of Valley Care Management!

In celebration of Spring and the time for planting flowers and gardens, you’ll win a prize if you are able to give the age of the oldest gardener you know personally or within your organization. Eric Barkey of Barkey Financial is donating the prize.

Download the meeting agenda here.

About the Aging in Place Round Table from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce:  The Chamber’s Aging-In-Place Roundtable’s mission is to educate the community about local services supporting vitality and choice in the second half of life and to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration about the issues surrounding aging in place. The group meets on the third Friday of each month from 9:00 to 10:30 am, and is open to visitors. For meeting topics and locations, visit http://www.harrisonburgseniors.com   

Contact Information:

Chair – Phyllis Friesen
Design Concrete Builders, Inc.
540.383.2982

Making a Plan for Successful Aging in Your Own Home

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realestate

Most older adults prefer to remain living in their own homes as long as possible. Adult children often worry about their parents’ well-being and encourage them to move closer to resources like family caregivers, health care, transportation, and social activities. This can cause conflict and stress for families.

Creating a plan for successful aging in place can increase the likelihood that older adults living at home will remain safe, well, and happy, and can also reassure worried loved ones and therefore improve strained relationships.

To learn how to create your own plan, see this article at CareisThere.com

You might also be interested in these other solutions:

For more articles like this, see: Long Distance Caregiving, Resources for Central VirginiaAging in Place, Care for the Caregiver, Communicating with Senior Citizens, Resources for Central Virginia – Charlottesville, Resources for Central Virginia – Harrisonburg, Resources for Central Virginia – Staunton.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. See the Team page of CareisThere.com for a list of our associates, and look for the Aging Life Care logo on the bio pages of our ACLA members.

Team Spotlight – Lauren Bond

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Care is There Geriatric Care Management is operated by a group of like-minded people whose goal is to provide quality care and access to the necessary resources. Every month, we’re shining the light on the people who make Care is There what it is – a group united by that common goal.

Our March installment of Team Spotlight features Lauren Bond, Director of Client Services for Care is There’s Overland Park office. There, Lauren is instrumental in ensuring seniors in the area have access to the help they need under the Care is There umbrella. Well, I’ll let her explain:

How long have you been working at Care is There?

I started working at Care is There in November 2014. In April, it will be one year and five months.

What do you do at Care is There?

I am the Director of Client Services for the Overland Park office. I am developing this market and I work as a Lifestyle Coordinator for some of our clients. As the location manager in this area, I am responsible for this office, marketing and advertising our services, obtaining clients, and developing relationships with the best service providers in the region. As a Lifestyle Coordinator, I work with three clients, helping them live the best lives they can.

What is the most satisfying thing about working at Care is There?

I find satisfaction in this job in two ways. As a Lifestyle Coordinator, I feel very satisfied when I help a client avoid difficulties because I anticipated a potential problem and made sure it didn’t happen. An example of this is when I was sitting in on a medical appointment with a client, and the nurse practitioner was about to wrap up the visit. The client was seeing this clinician to get the “OK” to start physical therapy. I  remembered that my client had a history of back pain, due to a car accident many years ago, but we  hadn’t discussed her back pain in this appointment. I brought up the subject in a gentle way, to make sure there weren’t any special considerations needed for physical therapy for her. It turns out there were some considerations. My client was able to get a pain treatment before starting physical therapy, which would make the therapy more comfortable for her, and help her get the most out of it.

The second way I find satisfaction is when I connect with a business colleague over what Care is There  does. It can be difficult to explain care management and the field is not well known. We know it helps  our clients, but unfortunately few people really understand how important it can be until they are faced with a situation where there is no advocate or manager. Seniors can be vulnerable, and we assume they will advocate for themselves; however, that is not always the case. We educate our colleagues and referral partners on what we do through lots of examples. It is exciting to see the “light” switch on when they truly understand our role and they can identify when a care manager would be helpful for a senior.

Is there anything exciting you’ve got planned for the Kansas/Overland Park office of Care is There?

I don’t know if we have anything “super” exciting planned. This year we are concentrating on growth, to hire some Lifestyle Coordinators and engage with enough clients to keep them pleasantly busy. I have been formulating a vision for how to grow within the Kansas City area – this city is much bigger than Charlottesville – and I am considering how we can grow to meet the needs of seniors all over the region.

I would like Care is There to be more involved in community outreach and this year I hope to develop a series of seminars on caregiving topics. These seminars could be offered to community groups, churches or support groups.

Read Lauren’s profile at CareisThere.com or meet the entire team on our “Team” page.

For more articles like this, see: News and Events, Team Spotlight.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas, or Charlottesville, Harrisonburg or Staunton, Virginia?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

 

 


AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. See the Team page of CareisThere.com for a list of our associates, and look for the Aging Life Care logo on the bio pages of our ACLA members.

Tips for Successful Aging in Place

On Friday, March 18th, Certified Aging in Place Specialist Elizabeth Swider will present “Tips for Successful Aging in Place.

Join us from 9:00-10:30am at VMRC (Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community) in the Detwiler Auditorium, 1501 Virginia Ave, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Visitors are welcome!

Elizabeth Swider is the founder and owner of Care is There Geriatric Care Management, a company that specializes in helping clients age in place as long as they can and make successful transitions when new care settings are necessary.

Elizabeth will give practical suggestions you can use right now to make it easier for you, your loved one, or your client to be safe and happy in your residence of choice.
The meeting will also feature:

Download the meeting agenda here: Agenda AIPRT March 18 2016

About the Aging in Place Round Table from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce: The Aging in Place Round Table seeks to educate the community about local services supporting vitality and choice in the second half of life and to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration about the issues surrounding aging in place. The group meets on the third Friday of each month from 9:00 to 10:30 am, and is open to visitors. For meeting topics and locations, visit http://www.harrisonburgseniors.com

Contact Information:
Chair – Phyllis Friesen
Design Concrete Builders, Inc.
540.383.2982

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