We have shared information in the past about the Benefits of a Geriatric Care Management Assessment for getting a good picture of an elder’s situation, needs, affordable senior care options/resources and projected costs.
One of the things we find when we do assessments is that information is disjointed and there may not be a consistent record of information or health history. We often help families to confirm information with different providers and pull the information together in to an accurate health and personal record. The problems we see are a big part of the reason why there is great emphasis lately on electronic personal health records, and why we have been using these for our clients for years.
The other important feature of a comprehensive assessment is the review of multiple aspects of the person and their situation. We invite you to review some of the components of the geriatric assessment. In addition to the health history and current medical situation as mentioned above, a key element is reviewing the person’s functional status and daily living challenges. This can aide in anticipating problems, such as falls or poor nutrition and dehydration. The expert care manager assessing someone in the home environment observes carefully and may notice slight changes and warning signs that are otherwise hard to notice. For example, a client may have had some minor falls they have not mentioned to family members, or may be having difficulty reaching in the kitchen and thus limiting their cooking/diet. Vision changes or fear of falling may have led to the individual “sponge bathing” because of concerns in the bath or shower.
Much can be uncovered during a professional assessment, including listening to the client’s concerns, desires and worries. We talk to the client, as well as get appropriate input from family members, caregivers and providers. Our care managers provide dignified support and look toward solutions that will work for all involved. Often, we are able to provide not only a better picture of the situation and recommendations, but help clients and families agree on the best options to assist. Each assessment is individualized, there is no one-size-fits-all in eldercare and caregiving. The professional geriatric care manager offers creative, custom solutions for better outcomes.
Since we get asked most frequently about care assessments, we will be covering some additional aspects in other posts. In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, our next post will offer some information on how we assess nutrition and its impact/interaction with health status and well-being.