Finances are always a concern in elder care. But the general public, including home care companies, may not be aware of the many ways that an Aging Life Care™ Manager can help stretch those family dollars.
Improving client outcomes
There is no doubt that an Aging Life Care Manager can improve client and family outcomes. In a previous blog post we listed some of those improvements in the context of when or why a home care company might call in a professional care manager.
A care manager is especially helpful for home care companies in the context of:
- Multiple medications
- Multiple doctors/specialists
- A sudden change in health
- Distant and involved family members
- Multiple family members
- Difficult family dynamics
While interviewing home care companies about their hesitancy to refer to Aging Life Care Managers, it became clear that they were concerned about bringing up the subject when families are already financially strapped providing for the day-to-day care needs of their loved one.
Financial benefits to clients and families
In that light, I went to the Aging Life Care Manager listserv to ask them how they can provide financial benefits and save families and clients money (not to mention headaches!). Here are some of their observations:
- Preventing problems (e.g., hospitalizations, institutionalization), including medication errors, adverse reactions, lack of adherence, or poor disease management.
- Reviewing available programs and benefits. There may be insurance coverage or benefits the client is eligible for that the family and home care company owner don’t know about or do not have the training to apply for (e.g., long-term care insurance, VA or pension benefits).
- Reducing time taken off from work. There are tasks, such as medical advocacy, that family members sometimes perform. Those tasks can wreak havoc, however, on the schedule of midcareer professionals. Home care providers can’t fulfill that role, but an Aging Life Care Manager can, and with greater effect because this is their area of professional expertise.
- Reducing travel for long-distance caregivers. For the 15% of families who live more than an hour away, coming to address Mom’s issues is not a cheap proposition. And with home care, long-distance families are a much higher percentage of their clientele. If a long-distance daughter or son can save one trip a year, not to mention the lost income while away, the financial savings become significant.
- Removing the extra costs associated with family discord. Disagreements among siblings do happen. And they are not “free.” With the involvement of an Aging Life Care Manager, there may be less likelihood of plans started and then stopped, fewer trips to visit the parents for emergency or discord reasons, and less time spent on the phone with quarreling siblings rather than getting work or other family obligations taken care of.
For all you home care companies out there in the blogosphere, these are GREAT financial benefits to mention as you make that suggestion about bringing in an Aging Life Care Manager. To find an Aging Life Care Manager in your service area, go to the member directory of the Aging Life Care Association™.
In our next blog post, we’ll be talking about how an Aging Life Care Manager can provide financial benefits for the home care company itself.