Making the Most of Every Dollar as a Care Manager
For many seniors and elderly patients, the cost of home care can be a challenge. These patients and their loved ones must grapple with a range of different expenses to make sure their healthcare needs are met. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the cost of long-term care can range from $225 to $253 per day for a semi-private or private room in a nursing home, $119 per day for care in an assisted living facility, $20.50 an hour for a health aide, $20 an hour for homemaker services, or $68 per day for services in an adult day care center. Over time, these costs can add up, taking a bite out of the family’s finances.
The Value of a Care Manager
For many elderly patients and their families, a home care company may not be enough when it comes to caring for the patient and managing their healthcare needs. To start, it’s important to remember that home care companies and care managers do not provide the same services.
A home care company will attend to the day-to-day needs of the patient such as dressing, bathing, eating, medication reminders, and transporting the patient to and from their medical appointments. But home care companies typically perform routine tasks without actively managing the patient’s health. That’s why a care manager can be so beneficial. Home care managers are trained medical professionals that understand the nuances of administering care.
A care manager may be responsible for:
- Corresponding with the patient’s pharmacist, managing multiple medications, reducing certain side-effects, avoiding adverse reactions.
- Managing the patient’s overall treatment plan by corresponding with multiple doctors, specialists, and care providers.
- Communicating with the patient’s loved ones, resolving difficult family dynamics, and advocating for the patient’s health.
A family may consider hiring a care manager in addition to a home care company if the patient:
- Takes multiple medications
- Has had an adverse reaction to their medications
- Sees multiple doctors or specialists
- Experienced a sudden change in their health
- Has family members that live far away
- Deals with difficult family dynamics
How Care Managers Can Help Reduce Expenses
Families should consider hiring a care manager despite the added expense, considering the instrumental role they play in managing the patient’s care. The patient’s family members may not have the time or resources to review the patient’s treatment plan, medical benefits, and other important information. This may result in added expenses that a care manager could have helped the family avoid.
Here are some of the ways a care manager can help the patient’s family save money:
- Prevent added health problems, such as hospitalizations, institutionalizations, medication errors, adverse reactions, poor lifestyle and poor disease management.
- Analyze the patient’s health insurance, eligible benefits, and available healthcare programs to lower expenses. The patient’s family may not be aware of these programs or benefits or know how to apply.
- Limit the family’s travel time and time away from work by advocating for the patient’s health, receiving and sharing important health information, corresponding with multiple care providers and specialists, and scheduling medical appointments.
- Resolve and deal with family disputes that may result in added expenses, delayed care, or lack of care oversight.
Families with an elderly loved one should be aware of the benefits of hiring a care manager. Home care companies should be willing to refer their clients to a care manager despite the added cost. These professionals provide lasting value that value that can help their clients save money in various ways, such as being familiar with the latest technology that makes aging in place possible: Stay Smart Care.