Many older adults in our community need support in order to continue living in their own homes. Our services are designed around these needs – transportation, cleaning, chores, companionship. Many people, however, don’t know quite what they need. They just know that they can’t go it alone any longer.
Where to start
This is where another of our services comes in – Care Management. Our Care Managers are often the first point of entry for those looking for help. A client could call with a question about having problems paying their heating bill. After assessment, a Care Manager determines that the person also needs cleaning help, would benefit from having grab bars installed in the bathroom and could have their social isolation reduced from some regular companionship. We often receive calls from adult children concerned about their elderly parents. The first question is frequently, “Where do I start?” Care Management is the place to start. Just one call can make a difference!
Care Managers connect people to many resources, which people may not even know are available. One example is the program for Assistance for Visually Impaired Older Adults. Through this program, adults over 60+ with impaired vision can receive talking watches, magnifying readers, eye doctor appointments, large clocks, clothing readers, new prescription eyeglasses and other supplies. This kind of assistance can greatly increase an older adult’s independence and quality of life.
Care Managers do more than just direct people to resources, though. They help people figure out exactly what they need. Care Managers encounter hopelessness and fear. One of the really important things they do is to really listen and help people talk things through. They meet people where they live, sometimes quite literally, in order to find the right answers.
This program also does community outreach and education. Along with Jefferson County Mental Health (JCMH), Care Management offers Gatekeeper Training to help those who care for older adults recognize mental health concerns and know where to turn. Care Management also works with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office to provide education around elder abuse and to find victim assistance in Judicial District 1 (Gilpin and Jefferson Counties).
Care Management is a crucial connection between all the services and resources that make our mission possible. It is also the human connection needed to create real quality of life.