I am frequently asked if my agency is a caregiving agency. I explain that we do Care Management, not Caregiving. However, we work closely with caregivers to ensure our clients receive appropriate care. Both a Care Manager AND Caregivers are important in providing ongoing care AND planning for future needs.
Caregivers are "in the trenches" and take care of the day-to-day needs of clients. Good caregivers are worth their weight in gold and don't be paid nearly enough for the work that they do. They will clean house, plan and cook meals, remind clients to take medications, run errands, buy groceries, do laundry, assist clients with shower and toileting, and deal with any number of other issues and crop up.
A Care Manager, depending on their specialty, can plan for the future. He/she can assist with getting long-term care insurance activited (some need close to an act of congress to get though the confusing web of documentation), assess the financial situation of the client and plan for the future such as applying for veteran's benefits, Medicaid or other assistance clients may need and knows what other resources are available within the community. A good Care Manager will advocate for the client's care preferences even though what the client's wishes may not seem to be in their own best interests. A good Care Manager knows their clients and can educate the Caregivers on the best way to get around resistance or behavioral problems. A good Care Manager knows what questions to ask medical personnel and/or the client in order to optimalize medical care. A good Care Manage can coordinate care given by caregivers, family and friends in order to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Even if you don't need the on-going services of a Care Manager, an periodic consultation can be invaluable to find out if you, as family or friend, are missing something.
To find a Care Manager in your area look up www.caremanager.org.