An update on care coordination for seniors
November 1, 2017
Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska is pleased to announce the expansion of our Care Coordination Program to include individuals of any age with a disability. Moving forward, our program Care Coordination Resource of Alaska (CCRA) will continue to be the intermediary and a safety net for seniors across the state. We will continue to assist individuals with dementia and frail elders 60 and over to access services and get the right kind of assistance when they need it.
As we age, it can be difficult knowing what services are available and how to access them. Care coordination relieves some of that burden by guiding individuals through the maze of health care, financial assistance and social services. However, the overlying goal for all care coordinators is to ensure that people receive services that they choose and are best suited to their needs.
Care coordination can be short term or long term and is typically used when a person needs assistance remaining safely in their own home or an assisted living facility. Anyone who is applying for, or using, the Medicaid Waiver Program must have a care coordinator. A care coordinator may help the individual or caregiver juggle multiple ongoing services like Personal Care Assistance (PCA), Respite and acquiring medical equipment. The care coordinator continues to check-in with that person face-to-face to ensure everything is working properly and all the person’s needs are being met.
If a person is finding it more difficult to be mobile and needs help around the house, a care coordinator may assess the person’s situation and realize they could benefit from having an in-home service worker, home delivered meals and environmental modifications around the house. Care coordination will then put the individual in contact with service providers based on financial abilities, help the individual get and fill out the proper documentation and apply for any grants available in their community.
In both instances, one of the primary issues is that these items and services are expensive. This does not necessarily make them unattainable. It just means that additional steps may need to be taken to apply for grant or government assistance. Our highly experienced team of over 20 care coordinators are aware of these programs and how to apply for them.
Whatever the circumstances, care coordinators are there to assess an individual’s situation, make a plan according to that person’s wants and needs, and then walk the individual or caregiver through the process. Between the logistical, financial and legal issues that arise, it is no wonder that this process is overwhelming and requires a specialist to guide individuals and families through the tangle.
If you are interested in care coordination, we have offices in Anchorage, Juneau and Mat-Su as well as serving individuals in Southwest and Southeast Alaska. Visit http://www.ccraalaksa.org for the contact information nearest your location.
Lorraine Guyer is the Development Director for Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska.