February 1, 2012

Your Advocacy Connection

Your Advocacy Connection
Offering Comprehensive Care and Financial Advocacy

How can an advocate help you?

The professional team at GolderCare Solutions works diligently at keeping current with long-term care issues and how they may impact seniors or those that are disabled. An issue that has become a hot topic recently relates to hospital admissions and re-admissions. The hospitals are always working to improve the care they provide to the community and to save money. Hospital admissions and re-admissions can be costly to Medicare and other insurance providers so they continually strive to reduce re-admissions if it is not medically necessary. Let’s explore a few examples of how a patient in the hospital can benefit from having an advocate.

Gladys is an 82-year-old widow living in her home. Recently, she developed a bad case of pneumonia, which required her to be admitted to the hospital for a few days. She was discharged to home after she’d been placed on antibiotics and her condition appeared to be improving. A few days later, Gladys was taken to the emergency room by ambulance after she had fallen down at her home. Her daughter, Linda arrived at the hospital minutes after her mom arrived. In the emergency room, the doctor was able to ascertain from Gladys that she was not taking her medication as prescribed. Gladys was still suffering from her bout of pneumonia, and now she was dehydrated. The emergency room quickly began to administer fluids for the dehydration, and the nurse communicated to Gladys and Linda how important it is for Gladys to take her medication as prescribed. Linda had prepared a list of questions to ask the nurse to be sure she fully understood doctor’s orders for her mom. Linda arranged for a home health agency to stop by Gladys’ home in the mornings to assist Gladys with taking her medications and eating a little breakfast. Linda made a point of stopping by her mother’s home each evening as she left work to check up on her mom. She made sure mom would eat her dinner, drink plenty of fluids, and take her evening medications. Linda was acting as a caregiver herself, but she also advocated for her mom by being sure doctor’s orders were understood clearly, doctor’s orders were being followed, and by hiring an agency to assist Gladys. Gladys was feeling much better in a short time and was able to resume her previous lifestyle.

Ralph is an 86-year-old male living in an assisted living facility, and he had been recently hospitalized twice with congestive heart failure. Ralph has a son named Rob, who lives in the area but travels quite a bit for work. Rob was growing more and more concerned about his father’s health when he heard about the classic care coordination and advocacy services GolderCare Solutions provides. After meeting with the GolderCare team, he determined his dad would benefit from these services. Just about a week later, Ralph was taken to the emergency room for chest pain. He was admitted to the hospital for two nights.

Prior to Ralph’s discharge from the hospital and back to the assisted living facility, the care coordinator discussed the discharge plan and orders with the hospital nurse. During this conversation, the care coordinator was able to determine the prescription for new medications had been sent to the drugstore Ralph used prior to moving to assisted living. This could have caused a delay in Ralph receiving the new medications. The care coordinator was able to have the hospital re-route the prescription for medications to the assisted living facility, so there would be no delay in Ralph receiving the prescribed medications when he returned to the assisted living facility. Since Ralph’s current condition was compromised, the care coordinator advocated for additional attention from the assisted living nursing staff for him. Ralph was feeling better daily and has not had to return to the hospital. It was easy for Rob to see how care coordination and advocacy greatly impacted the health of his dad. Shortly after this medical crisis for Ralph, Rob was able to use GolderCare services to plan for Ralph to receive Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits, which help to pay for Ralph’s care at the assisted living.

GolderCare Solutions provides solutions and advocacy based on the wants and needs of each client. GolderCare Solutions helps you to preserve your health, wealth and quality of life.

Do you have any questions regarding long term care you would like to see us address in 50+ Lifestyles? If so, please email me at beth@goldercare.com or call me at (309) 764-2273 (CARE).

Beth Maxwell is a marketing and outreach professional who loves her job while currently working for GolderCare Solutions.