“Care managers wear many hats,” says Kristen Daniels, Director of Bethesda Senior Support Solutions. “They work with residents in senior living communities, or in private homes with seniors and their families.”

The profession requires a professional caregiver experienced in many areas of senior care needs. A care manager’s roles include:

  • Guides to explaining the complex Medical system Benefits consultant
  • Service needs assessor
  • Coordinator of resources
  • Problem solver

Cost-Saving Benefits

According to Kristen, a care manager can also save seniors and their families money by:

Recommending the right level of care. After assessing the senior’s needs, a care manager can determine the appropriate level and type of care services required. The appropriate care is designed for the optimum level of wellness without adding unneeded services. Effective management of chronic illnesses, dementia, and other physical and emotional challenges can be overwhelming for a senior and a family caregiver, sometimes resulting in additional unnecessary costs.

The care manager will also adjust the care plan as conditions change and coordinate the plan with other health care providers.

Sharing their benefits expertise. Care managers can assist with Medicare and Medicaid issues, and are knowledgeable about Veterans Benefits, providing insight about which seniors and their families may be unaware.

Awareness of special discount programs. An example of this benefit – some utility companies offer senior discount rates. Other cost-saving possibilities the care manager can discuss include reduced senior rates for the property tax on their home.

Making seniors aware of no-cost, or low-cost offerings. For example, Internet-based caption phones are available for the hearing impaired that display the phone conversation on large-text screens. The phone and services are free for people with hearing loss. The program is funded by the Federal Communication Commission. See more cost-saving information on caption calling on this website.

Finding economical transportation services. Care managers will be aware of the best quality and most efficient senior transportation services in the community, including which services will meet the particular physical requirements of the senior.

Medication reviews by nursing staff. A thorough review of medications may not only save money, it may save a senior’s life. As Director of Bethesda Senior Support Solutions, Kristen oversees the care managers and private duty caregiving team members for Bethesda. There is a nurse on staff dedicated to reviewing the medications currently being taken to ascertain if they are being taken correctly, if they have expired, or if they need to be adjusted to meet the changing needs of the senior. The nurse can set up a medication plan for the senior and stay in touch with both the senior and his or her physician.

Providing safety checks. Whether a senior is living in an apartment in a senior care community or in his or her home, care managers can advise as to the safety of the living space. “They will do a check of potential hazards—particularly tripping hazards like items on stairways, poor lighting, loose carpeting and many other safety problems,” says Kristen.

Cost-Benefit Summary

Some items listed above have a measurable cost-saving value. However, preventing costs through medication management, and safety evaluations could be worth thousands of dollars because they prevent harm that may require expensive treatments and therapies or result in the need for more intensive and expensive long-term care.

These are just a few of the ways care managers may help seniors cut costs. They can also advise in the selection of appropriate levels of housing or residential care and assist the in-home family caregiver who may be struggling to maintain a career while serving a senior loved one. Each situation is unique to the senior and his or her family, and a professional with the expertise and experience to effectively deal with each new challenge can be invaluable.

We understand the additional stress added from the responsibilities of caregiving. Let us help you contact a Care Manager today.