Case management is an important resource for families living with chronic illness. It is easy to become stressed out with the demands of the disease and with the red tape of the health care and social services network. Case managers need to have a basic understanding of the special needs of persons with chronic illness.
Case management skills are very helpful to families when there is a change in the person's physical state or in awareness and understanding. Should this happen, a case manager can take another look at the person's needs and at community supports. This may be necessary in the following instances:
- when the person loses the ability to process information and help is needed to identify issues and provide follow-up with a course of action
- when there is a change in the caregiver situation or support network that can easily become a crisis for the family as a whole
- when there are fewer financial resources and the family is no longer able to pay for the resources they need
- when safety issues arise that can put the ill person at greater risk
These issues and others require that case management continue as a long- term resource so that the case manager can step in when needed to provide more support.
To learn more about case management or find a case manager in your area, contact:
- the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, Inc. at (520) 881-8008 or www.finda caremanager.org
- your local Visiting Nurse Association
- Area Office on Aging
- hospital discharge planners