Frequently Asked Questions
By Pamela D Wilson CSA, CG, MS, BS/BA
How Do I Decide if Services of The Care Navigator Can Help Me?
Pamela D. Wilson of The Care Navigator offers a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to allow you to present the details of your situation, to ask questions and to determine if The Care Navigator is able to provide support that is a good fit for your situation. The Care Navigator offers as little or as much support as desired — ranging from a one hour in office consultation to the services of care navigation, care advocacy, care oversight and care coordination, assessments and service as a guardian, power of attorney or personal representative. We tailor our services to meet your needs.
What If I Don’t Know the Questions I Should Ask?
The fact that you are asking this question proves that you are aware of the benefits of asking the right questions and the importance of this aspect in arriving at a positive outcome. During the FREE 15 minute phone consultation and throughout our work with you, you will be asked questions to help you understand the complexities of situations so that you become more educated and informed and better able to advocate for your situation.
What is Care Navigation?
Care navigation is a process of identifying needs and providing options, solutions and supports for managing aspects of daily life when health concerns or a health diagnoses necessitates a need for support due to changes in daily life, routine, physical or cognitive ability. The goal of care navigation is to provide direction, solutions and support to allow individuals and caregivers to make the best decisions for loved ones by avoiding indecision, lost time and potential mistakes.
How Do We Decide What Support is Beneficial?
A component of care navigation is the development of a care plan. A care plan is a document developed to include historical and current information about social and personal background, individual preferences, health history, medications and other relevant information to identify specific needs.
Development of a care plan is a participatory activity between The Care Navigator staff and the client and client’s family to identify and agree upon needs and beneficial services. The Care Navigator and/or family caregivers implement the care plan.
What is Care Advocacy?
Care advocacy is the provision of support for an individual, couple or family, with a loved one needing assistance because of advanced age or health concerns, in the areas of maintaining a home and everyday aspects of life. Care advocates possess knowledge and practical experience in navigating simple and complicated care situations by knowing what questions to ask and by having an awareness of a wide range of supports and services.
Consider utilizing a care advocate like you might a financial planner, a CPA or an attorney who are experts in their area of practice. Care advocates are able to save clients time and money through the provision of advice, care coordination and care oversight.
How Do I Know if Care Oversight and Coordination Is Beneficial to My Situation?
Care oversight and coordination provides support to ensure that available services are identified, provided and utilized. Services that relate to care advocacy range from monthly bill paying, ensuring a home is maintained and repaired, supervising in home caregivers or ensuring that all medical needs receive appropriate attention.
Only you can decide the level of time and commitment you are able to provide to a care situation. While family caregivers have good intentions, many become involved and subsequently experience feelings of overwhelm and stress that damages family relationships.
Care oversight and coordination is beneficial in situations where family caregivers wish to preserve the relationship with a loved one rather than becoming the “task worker” by accepting what may seem like an unpaid part time job or adding to an already lengthy to do list that never seems to be completed. In other situations family may live at a distance and frequent contact is not practical or possible. In other situations family may live nearby but prefer to spend time with parents rather than working for a parent.
While some parents prefer that their adult children serve in this task role, this is usually the role considered to be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back” because of career, financial, time, task and relationship pressures placed on adult children caregivers. This aspect of caregiving is frequently not considered and has the greatest potential to cause discord in family relationships.
What if My Loved One Has a Diagnosis of Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?
If you have a loved one diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, accessing the services of The Care Navigator is even more important. Understanding the effects of the diagnosis on daily life and making plans for the future are critical to ensure that a loved one’s wishes will be fulfilled. Some individuals with dementia experience significant changes in behaviors that threaten or frighten loved ones. Others refuse care. By having a better understanding of the disease process and the options for support you will be able to support needed care for your loved one.
What If I Feel Burned Out and Can’t Continue to Be The Caregiver?
Caregiver burnout, also called compassion fatigue, is common with the role of caregiving. The staff of The Care Navigator is able to step in to provide support on an as needed or regular basis depending on the needs of your situation. Caregivers often forget that if their health or well-being fails, there may be no one else to provide care for a loved one. It is important to make sure you have a “back-up” for care if you are the sole caregiver for a loved one.
Are You Able to Work Within My Budget?
Yes. We work with many care situations where a monthly budget is established for the services we provide. Call for a FREE 15 minute consultation to request more information.
What If I Only Want Information or Options?
The Care Navigator supports clients in the manner of their preference. Information, recommendations and options may be obtained by scheduling an in office consultation. You may then schedule phone calls, emails or consultations on an as needed or regular basis to fit the needs of your situation.
What Other Services Are Offered?
The Care Navigator serves in the legal roles of court appointed guardian, power of attorney and personal representative of the estate. Click on Legal Planning and Advocacy for more information on this subject.
We also support individuals and families through the transition of moving from home to a care community or from a care community to home. Click on Care Transitions for more information on this subject.
Click here to ask a question or to request a FREE 15 minute phone consultation or call Pamela directly at 303-810-1816.
©2014 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved.