It’s Time for “Spring Teaming”

Spring is a good time to create a healthcare team for an aging loved one. That’s what “Spring Teaming” is all about! Spring is typically a time set aside to clean and organize each year in many homes. It’s also a time to refresh our minds and take inventory of life’s many blessings. Why not also take the time this spring to reevaluate what our aging parents’ needs are, and start thinking about creating a team to put in place for the older persons we love? I am not referring to cleaning house in this sense (although, I can refer the best home organizers and senior movers), but rather, are our aging parents enjoying life, and are they living out their sunset years in the highest level of safe functioning possible? Do they have an optimal quality of life? Do they need help doing daily activities such as grocery store shopping, paying bills, meal planning, or scheduling doctor appointments? Honestly, it takes a team to help our aging loved ones live well. That’s the truth. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why now is a great time for “Spring Teaming” for our aging loved ones, using the acronym T-E-A-M…

“T” stands for “together.” Teams work together for shared goals.

“E” stands for “every.” Every approach affects outcomes.

“A” stands for “action.” Actions define a well structured team.

“M” stands for “matters.” You and your loved ones matter.

Look again at the message that this simple acronym poses, using the letters in the word “team;” Together, every action matters. Our loved ones matter.

When it comes to our parents or older persons that we care for, our actions surely matter to ensure that we are doing all that we can for them. Spring is truly, a perfect time to assess how well our aging loved ones are doing. Our older neighbors are also worth thinking about in terms of aging, and needing help, too. When we take on a team approach to caring for any loved one, certainly, every action does matter. It also matters who we call on to help with assisting older persons. When we call the right person for the right job at the right time and with the right resources, we are talking “team” for sure! Together, the right team acts in a outcome oriented- client centered approach. There are also community resources available to older persons as well as various legal, medical, financial, or end of life professionals (funeral and burial planners) who may help.

Consider hiring a board certified geriatric care manager ( see A.L.C.A., or https://www.aginglifecare.org ) to help you put the right team in your community in place, along with the right plan and at the right time. A geriatric care manager has a distinctive branding just by his/her title alone, that ensures you will find the right team for older persons you care so much about. Nurse geriatric care managers are best equipped to arrange and attend any/all medical appointments, as well as be elder advocates for an aging loved one. Nurses know best practices and core measures for current disease and medication or treatment trends in medicine today; and they can also mediate with any/all medical providers on your behalf. Their hourly rates are affordable in most cases, and many geriatric care managers will negotiate budgeting of time and costs in order to get a care plan started. It’s hard to put a price on finding the right community care team for an aging loved one, especially when this is done sooner than later. Spring Teaming is what geriatric care managers do all of the time, every day, in fact!

So, when is the best time for you to do some “Spring Teaming” for an older person? Anytime, actually. Anytime you- as a well informed person who cares for an aging person, senses that they could use some help, then, it’s time. Pre-planning for long term care is not only economically sound these days, but it’s important to know all you can about who the right professionals are in your community that are best to contact in the case of elder care expertise. Not to mention, there is so much to know about how medical payers in Tennessee work, such as Medicare and Medicaid, right? Geriatric care managers can assist with healthcare benefit choices too, and refer you to the best local insurance brokers or on line help.

The right time for “Spring-Teaming” is right now. Call me today for more info on how to find the right team for an aging person you care for. We are your team’s proud elder care experts.

Dawn Elledge RN, CCM, CGCM

615-831-3167

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