When Robert had a stroke, and we were informed that he was in rehab, we suggested the family hire a geriatric care manager to help coordinate care in the facility, but the idea was not accepted.
Then, when it came time for Robert to go home from the rehab facility, we suggested that the family hire a geriatric care manager to coordinate the transition home. However, the family chose to handle everything themselves. The family took on much more than they had planned for as they worked to put in place the services that Robert would need, and addressed emergencies.
The family hired a home health aide agency to provide round-the-clock care for Robert. Durable medical equipment was ordered, but lack of communication from the vendor had the son frantic as to whether the hospital bed, wheelchair, walker, and commode would arrive in time.
Once Robert was home, the family discovered that they needed prescriptions filled and personal care supplies immediately, and the regular delivery of future supplies. In addition, they needed the medicines to be pre-poured since no one in the family lives with Robert.
Because of his stroke, he could not easily move around without help. The aide suggested getting a Hoyer lift for everyone’s safety. So, research needed to be done and the Hoyer lift ordered; there was about a week before it arrived.
The next concern was how to arrange for visits from a doctor to Robert in his home. Before that could be arranged, as a result of not having medical supervision in the first few days, Robert had another brief stay in the hospital.
Eddy & Schein’s job was to help with the financial side of Robert’s care. We walked the son through the process of being recognized as the Power of Attorney on Robert’s bank account. Diane Lansing calculated what assets and income Robert had so that the family could stop worrying about how to pay for Robert’s care. She also submitted the claim for benefits under Robert’s long-term care insurance policy. In addition, she was asked to arrange a credit line at a local supermarket.
Even the best planning might not have included the next problem encountered. The extra bedroom was to be used by the live-in aide, but as the aide was making the bed, the aide discovered an infestation of carpet beetles. Diane brought in an expert pest detection and extermination crew, and she worked with building staff to move furniture and remove old carpeting to facilitate the extermination. She also arranged for a thorough post-extermination cleaning of the entire home.
Robert is now recovering comfortably in his home, with all the services and care needed to promote his well-being, but much of what the family took on could have been handled more smoothly by a certified geriatric care manager.
Whenever someone is coming home from a facility, we encourage families to plan ahead to avoid confusion and last-minute scrambling. Ideally, such planning should begin when the patient first enters a hospital or rehab and should include a certified geriatric care manager. Click here for a checklist to use if you are helping to coordinate a homecoming.