As an elder law firm, our practice is different in some ways from a typical law office. One key difference is having on staff an Elder Care Coordinator. This position is filled by someone with social work or nursing background. At Burzynski Elder Law we are proud to have this key position filled by Sue Hendricks, with a background as a social worker with over thirty years of experience. An Elder Care Coordinator can help you at every stage make sure you are getting the best care. (The same is true if you are an adult child helping to oversee your parent’s medical care.)
While you are still living at home, your Elder Care Coordinator can help you through any short-term disruptions in your health.
Most often this will be a hospitalization from an acute medical problem, a fall, or elective surgery. Your Elder Care Coordinator should be notified by you or your family as soon as you know you are going to be admitted to a hospital. She can monitor the treatment and make sure you are “admitted” instead of under “observation status” if appropriate. She will make sure the care plan is appropriate to care for your needs while you remain in the hospital. If appropriate she will help you to transition to a rehab facility such as a nursing home with a goal to return to your home once you are high functioning enough to be safe at home. In many cases your Elder Care Coordinator will also be able to help put in place continuing therapy in the home to maximize your recovery.
While you live at home, your Elder Care Coordinator can help you locate a good home-care company to meet any needs you have. She can also make sure that you know the resources and vendors available to make and keep your home safe as you age in place. Examples might be how to pick a contractor to place grab bars, or getting a cleaning service to protect you from fall hazards. Or maybe you need your Elder Care Coordinator’s help in getting a good reliable meal preparation service.
If you are still at home, your Elder Care Coordinator can help you tour assisted living facilities to identify a “good fit” for when you are ready to make that next move. By getting to know your interests and style of living, she will narrow down the possibilities so you are only having to tour the two or three best choices for you. And after you make the move she will periodically come to see you to make sure you are getting what you need in the way of assistance. If the facility is not meeting your needs your Elder Care Coordinator will advocate for you with the facility hierarchy to make sure the deficits are corrected. If the facility cannot or will not comply, your Elder Care Coordinator can help you repeat the process to select a different facility.
If you are in a nursing home, your Elder Care Coordinator will be crucial.
She will attend at least the first “care plan meeting” to help train your other advocates such as your adult children what to expect and what questions to ask. Your Elder Care Coordinator may attend future care plan meetings to help you address issues or complaints that you have with the facility. And even between meetings she is often speaking with the nursing staff or physical therapy to advocate for any needed changes or upgrades to your care. The Elder Care Coordinator has been involved in matters such as altering a patient’s shower schedule, getting a different roommate, addressing bedsores and weight-maintenance issues. Sometimes a simple suggestion from an Elder Care Coordinator can result in the supervising doctor writing a new course of therapy to “skill” you for a different type of therapy.
Whatever stage you find yourself in as a senior, an Elder Care Coordinator is a valuable resource. She will oversee the coordination for your health and long-term care. She serves as your advocate and empowers you with the knowledge you need to make the right decisions at every stage of aging. Whether you are living at home, at an assisted living facility or in a nursing home, you can relax in the knowledge that your care is being coordinated by a team of caring professionals. Our Elder Care Coordinator has extensive knowledge about government benefits, health insurance plans, the costs, quality, and availability of resources in Southwest Florida. With an Elder Care Coordinator, you know that you have an advocate whose only motivation is maximizing your health and well-being.
If you think you could benefit from having an Elder Care Coordinator, call our office for a consultation. The sooner you have a team on your side, the sooner you can relax!