When you don't know what to do or where to turn, a Sound Options Care Manager can act as your advocate to help you sort out complicated healthcare issues.
When you or a family member has a serious illness, chances are you feel overwhelmed. People who face important health care decisions benefit from an expert who can help them understand the available choices.
Sound Options' Care Managers are your advocates in guiding you through the medical maze. We help you:
- Understand new diagnoses, and evaluate options
- Know your wishes and ensure they are acted upon if you are incapacitated
- Find the right resources to meet your preferences, needs and values
- Listen to your concerns
- Help you navigate transitions as care needs change
- Go to doctor's appointments with you
- Interpret medical jargon
- Update concerned family members
Working with a Sound Options Care Manager will provide information for you to confidently make choices to ensure the best possible outcomes and the highest quality of life possible. We work with seniors and families in transition--older adults with a variety of health conditions often need services in different settings to meet changing needs. "Transitional Care" refers to when they move across settings. While a senior "transitions" they are treated by many different health care professionals. Poorly managed transitions can lead to physical and emotional stress for both patients and their caregivers.
During transitions, older patients are at risk in the following areas:
- Medication errors.
- Not receiving the right services at the right time.
- Not understanding how to manage their own care or who to call if they have a question or if their condition gets worse.
- Patients' preferences or personal goals in one setting may not be passed on to the next setting.
- Important elements of the care plan may "fall through the cracks."
Having a Sound Options Care Manager can ensure that each health care professional has the information they need about your conditions and your treatments.
Here are steps that you and your Care Manager can take to make a transition as smooth as possible:
- Keep a file of important health information and show this to each new health care professional. Keep a list of your health conditions, the names and phone numbers of your health care professionals, medications you are taking, and any allergies that you may have.
- Take charge of your medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter); know why and how to take each one, and any possible side effects to watch for.
- Make sure that you understand what services you will get at each new setting and how these will benefit you.
- Once you arrive at each new setting, let people know your preferences and ask that these become part of your overall care plan.
- Before leaving each setting, write down the name and telephone number of the health care professional you can contact if you have any questions or should your condition get worse.
- Before leaving each setting, ask what type of follow-up care you will need and how this will be scheduled.
- Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss how your needs would be met if you could not care for yourself.
- Planning ahead and knowing what Medicare (and any other insurance you may have) covers is a positive step towards making sure that any future transitions go smoothly.
Published on January 21, 2012.