Unfortunately, somewhere in the process of caring for aging parents or other loved ones, a caregiving crisis will probably occur. It may be that late night phone call that your parent has fallen or been taken to the emergency room. Sometimes it is the point where the doctor says Dad can no longer live at home alone. Many times, the stress of the caregiving crisis is at its worst when you find yourself sitting at the hospital trying figure out what is going on and anticipating what will happen next.
These are times when our EasyLiving Aging Life Care Managers commonly get a phone call from the caregiver looking for help. When a caregiving crisis occurs, families often get referred to us or find us online when searching for answers. Today we’ll share a little bit about getting help in a caregiving crisis, as well as some ways to reduce the possibility of a crisis occurring and how to be prepared when they hit.
What makes Aging Life Care Managers a unique resource in times of crisis?
There are many services out there to help elderly clients and caregivers. Most, however, are focused on a specific area or system. Aging Life Care Managers navigate between various systems, locations, and providers with a focus on the multidimensional needs of the client and family. This means we can work with you in any setting and help navigate the transitions. Fortunately, there is now a greater emphasis on care coordination within the medical system, but there are still restrictions on the type of help that can be offered through a doctor’s office, insurance company, hospital, etc.
Aging Life Care Managers are uniquely positioned to help in a crisis because of their knowledge of resources and how to navigate more than just one silo of healthcare and eldercare. Additionally, most Aging Life Care Managers offer specific crisis/”on call” services in which they can provide support no matter when you need them. For example, our EasyLiving care management team offers an on-call program for clients who wish to have access to 24/7 crisis response. If you’ve ever been in an E.R., you know the value of ensuring someone is there with your elderly parent (and able to communicate to you about what’s happening). Even for families who live nearby, it is worthwhile to have an expert who understands how to get answers and knows the ins and outs of the system.
Being Prepared for a Caregiving Crisis
Though you can’t avoid a crisis, taking steps now can help prevent unnecessary problems. Consider starting with a care management consultation to get some advice on your situation and steps you should take. If your loved one lives at home, a home safety evaluation can reduce the likelihood of falls and other accidents. Engaging support services can be an affordable way to help your loved one stay safe and healthy (examples include transportation, medication management, household help, meal preparation, and care coordination of doctor’s visits).
Because not all crises will be avoidable, take a few steps to be prepared. Check out our aging wisely tips for being prepared as well as our thorough tips for long-distance caregivers (and additional long-distance caregiver hacks). Having easy access to the information you’ll need at the time of crisis is vital, so organizing documents and key contacts is one of the most important tasks. In addition to knowing the doctors’ and other professionals’ phone numbers, it is good to know a few local resources. This is why a care management consultation right now can be so useful.
Contact Aging Wisely for help with crisis management or to set up a consultation. You can also reach us via phone any time at 727-447-5845.