Creating Independence in Older Adults
Care Managers are funny creatures, we truly are. We have been taught to start assessing a situation from the moment we meet you or your loved one, so that’s what we do! Care Management is a calling that when responded to for the right reasons, becomes a gift. Some people call it a spiritual gift because we have the ability to care for our client as we would care for our own loved one.
Sometimes the care we give is received with kindness and love, and sometimes we deal with clients that are not so grateful for that kindness. Fear has entered their minds with all of the "what if's" of what could happen to them, especially within the older adult population when a client’s health is declining and they can no longer care for themselves in the manner they have in the past.
They see themselves becoming dependent on their family more and more and that creates a sense of fear, anxiety, and stress for them. They come from a generation where "you fend for yourself and you take care of your family." When this is no longer an option, fear sets in. This is where a Care Manager truly shines, because most of the time we are able to keep a degree of independence alive in their lives! Being able to sit and talk with a client about their goals, wants, and needs is very comforting to them. Once they see we want them to be as independent as they can be and will help them get there and stay there as long as possible, we tend to see the tension immediately leave their face. Those fearful thoughts turn into kindness and willingness to progress towards a “ new normal” for them. Care Managers strive and advocate for their clients fiercely and in my opinion, we never give up on wanting them to enjoy every minute they can!
Written By: Care Manager: Melissa Kauffman, RN CCM