How We Serve the Family Caregiver
Family members of an aging loved one usually find themselves in the role of caregiver unexpectedly. However, they typically come into this role by one of two roads. Either an accident such as a fall or a fire has occurred involving an older relative, or family members gradually awaken to their caregiving reality after a period of time tending to a senior’s needs related to a chronic condition like Alzheimer’s or diabetes.
No matter how a person finds herself or himself taking on this challenging and earnest undertaking, Champion Advocates can help. With more than 45 years of aging services experience and diverse expertise ranging from benefits counseling, information and referral assistance, direct care and caregiver instruction, we know and understand the many aspects of senior services and support. Having been family caregivers ourselves, we know and appreciate the challenges you are facing.
Let us help you better clarify the care issues you face, tailor a care plan that will serve you and the one you are caring for, implement and engage the appropriate services and provide any professional advocacy that you may need.
Champion Advocates LLC provides Geriatric Case/Care Management Services to Portland-based elders and the family members, here and across the country, who care about them. Since 2008, our aim has been to help elders remain in their own homes!
Action for Compassionate Aging! is our unique approach to eldercare management. We begin by understanding and defining what the senior or older couple is looking to accomplish later in life, instead of simply focusing on basic needs. Our clients expect to fulfill lifelong dreams; not merely exist in clean and safe care settings. They have told us repeatedly that they want to live out life just as they have lived it all along… their own way!
And, who can argue with that? Therefore, we take the time to listen and learn about our clients. We look at the technical issues like insurance, medical conditions and finances as being only a part of a person’s life.
Because we know a person is much more than a condition or a set of challenges, we consider how they have lived their lives up to this point, what choices they have made and, most of all, why those choices were important to them. Only then, can we begin to tailor a care plan that will support them… and their dreams.
What Our Clients are Saying…
“I want to thank you and Anne for all the amazing work you have provided for our family over many years. You have set a solid foundation and voice for what my dad wanted and still wants in his life.
Your guidance in his insurance, health, safety, living conditions and family conflicts has been invaluable. You are the reason he and [his wife] were allowed to live in peace and caring for her final years. Thank you for extending his life for such important years.
[The local hospital] wanted to put him on Hospice 18 months ago – it was you and Anne that suggested a swallowing assessment which sent him home shortly after. During your years with us – we were allowed to enjoy our dad, rather than just getting all the “work” done for him.”
Action Planning Consult
Our Action Planning Consult provides the family caregiver and/or senior with a clear Action Plan based on goals of both the family and the senior. Prior to the Action Planning Consult, we review information you submit regarding your goals and challenges. Two case managers with different and complementary expertise will then meet with you and/or designated key family members to discuss these goals and challenges. We work to uncover the core issues that must be addressed in a successful aging plan. From there, care and family needs, along with their potential solutions, can be outlined and care objectives can be determined.
The Action Planning Consult includes a follow-up meeting to discuss the recommended Action Plan and next steps.
Focus Issues may include, but are not limited to:
- Benefits & Resources Review
- Health & Medical Issues
- Health & Medical Goals Planning
- Care Needs and Level of Care
- Home Safety
- Caregiver Challenges
- Family Relationships and Communication
- Cognitive Issues
- Counseling/End of Life/Bereavement
- Estate Planning
- Financial Concerns
- Housing/Care Setting Options
- In-Home Assistance
- Legal Issues
- Nutritional Concerns
- Out of Home Placement
- Physical Mobility Challenges
- Social and Spiritual Needs
- Case Management
- Other Service Needs
Family Caregiver Support
Care and medical issues for a loved one can create many stressful burdens for the family caregiver, no matter if the family is near or far away. Our care plans have the objective of significantly reducing stress for the family caregiver. Supporting family caregivers can ultimately serve the senior by clarifying misunderstandings and misperceptions held by family members. Having been family caregivers ourselves, we appreciate the worries that may keep you up at night. As experts in aging services with more than 45 years of experience, you can count on Champion Advocates LLC to see you through when you may, otherwise, feel alone. We believe in Compassionate Aging for senior and caregiver, alike.
Care Needs Assessments and Care Planning
Understanding what, when and how much care is realistically needed is a key to successful Aging in Place. We help assess care needs based upon life goals, health needs, mobility issues, cognitive and memory problems, social and spiritual needs as well as other contributing factors. Generally, other interventions can be put in place to help provide greater independence. Adaptive equipment and modifications made to the home can often reduce safety risks and the amount of care needed, while at the same time improving a person’s self-determination and sense of wellbeing.
Home Safety Assessments, Planning and Coordination
Innovations made to the home can offer simple solutions for better living. We provide comprehensive Home Safety Assessments for every room in the residence by evaluating the routine usage of each room by the care recipient and any caregivers. Our Home Safety Assessment and resulting recommendations are intended to support the goal of aging in place. Many times, our assessments will include simple and practical recommendations that offer significant results to the senior, yet do not require major remodeling and the related expenses. For more involved home modifications, we have worked closely with general contractors to ensure that the appropriate changes are made to meet specific and individual care objectives. Modifications made to key components of the home can improve the home not only for the currently residing individual or couple, but may increase the home’s value and overall appeal.
Helping you get the best results from your medical providers means facilitating clear communication. Your medical providers need to clearly and precisely understand your goals and wishes. Consequently, you need to clearly and precisely understand medical recommendations and diagnoses. In a system that can be fast moving and impersonal, we take the time and effort to make sure your needs are fully met and and your wishes are respected. We ‘champion’ your cause, so your health care serves you better. A case manager can attend medical appointments, make communications by phone or fax and advocate as needed to keep your health goals on track.
Health and Long Term Care Insurance Advocacy
Knowing how to get the most from benefits and resources can help you realize your goal of aging in place at home. We are experts in health and long term care insurance and have helped many clients with Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Drug Plans, Medigap, Retiree Insurance, PERS, Veteran’s benefits, Medicaid, Private Long Term Care insurance, Group Long Term Care Insurance and Long Term Care riders to other policies. Champion Advocates can help you maximize all of the benefits for which you may be eligible. We are able to review plan documents and insurance contracts with you. We can assist you in obtaining your long term care insurance benefits including eligibility determinations and claims. We have been very successful in obtaining positive outcomes for insurance appeals and can provide help with insurance appeals, if needed.
Dementia and Cognitive Issues
There are many different types of dementia ranging from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s, Frontotemporal to Hydrocephalus, Vascular dementia to Dementia with Lewy bodies, Mixed dementia and many others. We have been able to help people with cognitive impairments and dementias age in place at home to the end of life. Helping families get an accurate diagnosis of the type of dementia a loved one is experiencing is the first crucial step. By knowing the type of dementia, correct courses of treatment, the right medications and practical strategies for more positive outcomes can be offered to caregivers and families.
Hospital or Facility Discharge to Home
Discharges from a hospital or other care setting can be nearly as upsetting for a family or a spouse as the moment they learned of a patient admission. A hospital discharge is actually more difficult than the original admission, since many supports are gone once you leave the hospital. Home Health is rarely more than a stop-gap solution and often withdraws before a senior is solidly on their feet. Families usually want and need more care planning, support and services put into place than can realistically happen in the time allotted by Medicare and other insurance. We know discharge processes and have worked with many families and individuals through these challenging events.
Legal Care Issues Planning and Advocacy
You want to be sure that the documents you have in place are adequate to address your current needs. We can review your estate planning documents with you to make sure they reflect your needs and have been designed for your life goals and not simply for your heirs. We help you re-look at these documents with care needs in mind and can provide recommendations for your attorney as needed. You also want to be sure that documents such as your Advanced Directive for Health Care will protect and serve your specific goals and wishes in the future. A case manager can meet with you and your medical provider to help you craft a document that is effective in protecting your wishes. Champion Advocates can also help your appointed Healthcare Agent better understand your medical needs as well as your wishes and intentions regarding treatment.
Financial Care Issues Planning and Advocacy
Financial planning for care is essential for aging in place at home. You must first have a clear understanding of how much and what types of care you need currently in order to begin the process of financial planning for care. With over 45 years of experience in senior services, we can help you anticipate your care needs and care costs into the future. Champion Advocates wants you to have a solid care plan as a foundation for your aging in place goals. We discover how you can maximize your resources and plan adequately for care costs for the long term.
Services Assessments, Planning and Coordination
We can connect you with appropriate and vetted services to enhance and complement your care plan. By understanding your overall goals and needs, Champion Advocates works to find the best fitting services and then follows up with comprehensive coordination and oversight of those services to make sure you are supported well with whatever you need. We have identified and coordinated services for clients ranging from bookkeeping and housekeeping to personal trainers and personal chefs to professional attorneys and professional fiduciaries… and many others in between.