Our seniors are the most vulnerable population in our country, even more so now during the COVID-19 crisis. Many seniors are now confined to their homes. Some are alone, some may be with a spouse but are barred from seeing any visitors. Families are doing their best to visit by waving through windows or driving by.
The Centers for Disease Control has identified those over 65 at a higher risk for becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19. The CDC goes on to list conditions, other than age, that contribute to struggling with the illness, if diagnosed. Most of our seniors are not only aged, but they also have chronic illnesses which puts them in further danger. It is critical during these unprecedented times that we seek the guidance of a professional Elder Care Manager to advocate for our families. Since our seniors are at the highest risk, we need to keep them safe from hospitalizations. Learn about the higher risk categories on the CDC site.
Elder Care Managers can place loved ones in assisted facilities and assemble care plans to make sure your loved ones are engaging in daily activities such as showering, eating and taking medications. Seniors are prone to falls as well as not eating and drinking, which puts them at a higher risk of hospitalization. Your Care Manager can assist in keeping your loved one out of the hospital during these frightening times. During this pandemic, hospital beds and resources are in need more than ever, and some facilities may be looking to keep beds free as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase. If your loved one becomes hospitalized for something minor, they can also contract the virus thus putting them in severe, unnecessary risk. An Elder Care Manager can help you obtain aides to care for your loved one in their home. Home care agencies are training and screening caregivers daily so they can safely enter the home. Having a knowledgeable and compassionate advocate can maintain your sanity, and keep your loved ones safe concurrently.
Medicare now has expanded extra benefits to recipients during this crisis, such as Telehealth and COVID-19 testing. Under Medi-Cal, Presumptive Eligibility requirements are extended, which means hospitals can streamline applications. Additionally, under Medi-Cal guidelines, a recipient cannot be denied care if they are quarantined. Current Medi-Cal recipients are getting extensions on mandatory yearly recertifications.
The Medicare and Medi-Cal guidelines are not easy to navigate. It is possible that your loved one is eligible for assistance to pay for home care through Medi-Cal’s In-Home Supportive Services Program (IHSS). An Elder Care Manager can guide your family through the application process. If resources are limited, the IHSS program can keep your loved ones safe at home and out of the hospitals with continued daily care.
Elder Care Managers, like the team at Visionary Care Consultants, are open and working remotely to assist their community. Visionary Care Consultants is providing minimal home visits, assisting in placements and doing Zoom calls with families. They also have a Brain Fit Program to stimulate seniors who are cognitively impaired, performed by Zoom or by phone. They can also guide you in finding your family an array of mobile care services such as laboratories, x-rays and physicians which can keep you from having to take your parents out of the home into a facility, further exposing them to COVID-19.
An Elder Care Manager offers support services that are invaluable to the families of senior loved ones. They act as a liaison between families and physicians, they act as friends, and they become part of your family. Now more than ever, we need support to help each other and stick together.