The Best Senior Care Requires a Team Approach
Many families seeking in-home care for a senior or an aging loved one make the mistake of thinking that hiring a caregiver is going to solve the challenges they’re facing. Unfortunately, this is often not the case — and at no fault of the caregiver.
“Highly trained caregivers often don’t get the credit they deserve for the work they do day in and day out,” says Becky Eizen, Vice President of Community Outreach for Bridgeway Senior Services. “They can develop a relationship and a familiarity with a person that allows them to recognize when something is wrong.”
But what does a caregiver do when something is wrong? It’s in these moments that caregivers need the support of a professional, or better yet, a team of experienced professionals that has the knowledge, experience, and skills to manage a health crisis.
At Bridgeway, we call these professionals Care Managers. They’re the leader of a Care Team, and they work directly with caregivers, families, and medical professionals to ensure the client is receiving the highest level of care.
For each of our clients, the Bridgeway Care Process starts with a thorough assessment of a senior’s safety, medical, social, and mobility needs. This Assessment is led by a Care Manager, who works with the Bridgeway Care Team to develop an individualized Care Plan for a family based on its unique situation.
At Bridgeway, our Care Managers are qualified medical professionals — either nurses or social workers — who have the medical expertise and experience to effectively coordinate, manage, and oversee all aspects of ongoing care. This can include attending doctor’s appointments, where a Care Manager acts as a liaison between doctor and patient.
“Our Care Managers will be much more successful in communicating with medical professionals than a layperson,” Eizen says. “There’s a different level of respect when a medical professional speaks to another medical professional. Our Care Managers are able to fully hear what the medical professional is saying, which allows them to ask the right questions and advocate for the best possible care.”
Agnes Schare, RN, BSN, Vice President of Bridgeway, echoes Eizen’s sentiments: “In general, when you have health issues, there should always be someone with you at a doctor’s appointment listening to how the doctor explains things.”
Before joining Bridgeway, Schare worked as a nurse where she saw first-hand the value of a team approach to senior care. She calls the medical expertise Care Managers provide a differentiating factor in senior care.
“First and foremost, medications and how you manage them are so important,” she says. “So many seniors start missing their medications or wonder, “Did I take my pills today?”
This creates the potential for “medication mishaps,” which is one of the biggest dangers currently facing seniors — particularly the growing population of seniors that are struggling with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
“Think of someone with diabetes,” Eizen says. “If they’re taking too much or too little insulin, their health will suffer. They can even end up in a diabetic coma. While caregivers aren’t allowed to dispense medication, our team knows how to create protocols around taking medication appropriately that can have a tremendous positive impact. And if necessary, we can bring medical professionals into the home who can properly dispense medications.”
Don’t hesitate to call Bridgeway Senior Services at 248.702.6510 to take the first step in creating a care plan that will support your aging loved ones in living safe, healthy, and independent lives.