Specialized Services | Alliance ECA

Specialized Services For Caregivers

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Assessment

The focus of the initial assessment phase is for the Care Manager to create a working relationship with the elder and their support system. We begin with an in-depth look at the client’s present situation through observation and information provided by their support system. ECA initially meets with the family (or significant others) to identify the key factors that would direct the design of the care plan. They then visit the elder at home or where he/she presently resides. Lastly, a written care plan is synthesized from the data gathered that includes specific recommendations for the client.

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Comprehensive Care Planning

A Comprehensive Care Plan is based on the multiple factors identified in the Assessment. It respects the unique personality and life history of the elder and offers strategies based on:

  • Legal and financial issues
  • The elder’s medical and cognitive status
  • Home environment
  • Accessibility to services and social and family support
  • Specific goals and recommendations for problem solution direct the CM tasks and activities

To name a few.

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On-going Care Management

Once a Care Plan is designed and appropriate resources secured, ECA provides ‘quality assurance’. All aspects of care are monitored to ensure quality of care and quality of life for the elder. This can include regular telephone and face-to-face supervision of caregivers for support, weekly evaluation of in-home staff ‘communication log’ (daily notes), escorting to medical appointments, arranging for and monitoring therapies, and serving as a liaison with family and collateral.

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In-home care: Securing, Screening and Arranging

ECA is not a Home Care Agency but has long-term working relationships with many experienced and certified nurses’ aides, nurses and therapists. Our primary goal is to make a positive match between the care provider(s) and client to insure consistency and longevity of care. The relationship between the formal caregiver(s) and the elder is dynamic and needs on-going support and reworking; maintenance is a primary task. ECA also fosters team work among caregivers and takes responsibility for all employment issues. ECA helps families set up payroll services for caregivers in compliance with all tax requirements.

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Long Term Care Insurance

Since Helene Bergman is a Licensed Social Worker, ECA is recognized by Long Term Care Insurance Companies as a “Licensed Health Care Professional” and in that capacity, can activate and manage a client’s LTC policy. We establish a working relationship with the Insurance Company and transmit all necessary on-going documentation to ensure timely reimbursement to the client. We provide a ‘Plan of Care’ and update as requested.

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Referral & Linkage

ECA has links to quality geriatric resources such as, but not limited to, Physicians, Ancillary Medical Professionals, Persons and programs for Neuropsychiatric Evaluation and Treatment , Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, multi-discipline therapists, and reliable vendors of equipment and supplies. ECA always does due diligence for all their referrals.

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Coordination of Resources

A comprehensive care plan includes many people and activities to enhance the daily life of an elder. ECA taps into community resources and monitors all parties involved to insure appropriateness and quality of each activity. Not every program is appropriate for every elder given differences in religion/culture, personality, life history and preferences. ECA’s knowledge of available resources and their personal relationships in the community help facilitate success.

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Daily Financial Oversight

Often elders, especially those more vulnerable due to chronic disease and/or dementia, may need help with money matters such as bill paying, check writing, organizing paperwork (i.e. insurance forms), and monitoring cash spending. Too often elders are targets for scams or financial abuse and need a trustworthy fiduciary. ECA provides this assistance and trains in-home help to budget and maintain reliable record keeping. ECA works closely with an elder’s legal fiduciaries and provides all receipts for spending to family members and client guardians.

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Coaching

ECA offers ad-hoc support for caregivers whether family, friends, or the professionals providing direct care to the elder. Usually a specific problem – behavioral, emotional, or environmental- is the basis for a call to the Care Manager who will then guide the caller toward a solution. Caregiving is an ‘art’ and a ‘science’ and coaching empowers and educates families on how to cope and adjust. Careful attention is always given to confidentiality and HIPPA regulations.

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Entitlements

If a client is eligible for any community program such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, Medicare/Medicare D, SSI/SSD, Access-a-Ride or Rent Reduction (SCRIE), ECA will assist with the application process and troubleshoot as needed. We will help our client and family navigate the complex New York Medicaid system and link them with Managed Care and Home Care agencies as needed. Too often clients are unaware of criteria for needs-based programs and neglect obtaining services they qualify for. ECA resolves this through education and direct assistance.

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Crisis Intervention

Elders who live with chronic physical and/or cognitive conditions are vulnerable to unexpected events. It could be an acute episode of a chronic disease (i.e. elevated sugar or blood pressure) or a behavioral issue due to dementia (i.e. disorientation and wandering from the home). ECA is available 24/7 to provide direct support when needed or coaching for formal and family caregivers. Although infrequent, falls occur and ECA intervenes and escorts clients to ER’s when needed.

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Long Term Care Consultation

Most elders express the desire to live at home as long as feasible. When family members become ‘caregivers’ and ‘fiduciaries’, they focus initially on the elder’s present situation but while doing so, voice much concern about covering the future cost of care. ECA offers education on the range of options available to an elder along a ‘continuum of care’ and advises families what they need to do to cover the exorbitant long term cost of care. The goal is always to gather enough information now to allow the client and their family to make an informed decision in the future.

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Family Support & Counseling

Caregiving is a demanding role, no matter whether it is for a spouse, a parent, another relative or a friend. It requires patience, problem solution and decision making. The stress and burden of caregiving can have a deleterious impact on the emotional and physical health of caregivers. Siblings may have differing perceptions on care for their parents and families may need objective mediation to resolve these differences. Although ‘Caregiver Groups’ are very beneficial, not all caregivers have the time and opportunity to take advantage of them. ECA offers on-going 1:1, family and group supportive counseling and mediation sessions.

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Relocation

In certain situations, elders relocate. Many older adults who retired to ‘the sun’ in their 60’s often return home when they can no longer sustain independence. They may relocate to live closer to adult children or because their present living situation does not offer easy access to resources, or is just no longer viable. Sometimes an unexpected emergency, like Hurricane Sandy, can hasten such a move. Sometimes medical, cognitive or financial issues can precipitate a move especially if the elder’s environment is not adaptable to ‘aging at home’. In those instances, ECA, in collaboration with colleagues in the area of relocating from or to, will assist the elder and the family effect the most timely and most cost effective relocation.