Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know that it’s time to bring in help for my parents?
If you think that there could be signs of memory issues going on with your parent, it might be time. If your parent is going in and out of the hospital or emergency room again & again over time, and you are not sure why or are not sure if they are following up appropriately with their doctors, it might be time. If you are getting calls from their friends or community stating that they think something is going on with your loved one or your parent is struggling, it might be time. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed in trying to support your parent or loved one long distance or near by, it might be time. Caregiver stress is a sign that an older adult’s needs are increasing, and it might be time to bring in more support. Remember that the family is a system and if one part is struggling, the whole system is weakened. If your loved one is isolating from their family more and more often, it might be time.
How are you different than a home health aid or personal caregiver?
I provide a more macro level approach to a person’s well being, safety, and care than a personal caregiver does. While a personal caregiver or home health aid assists at the micro level, I am able to see the big picture & view the person from a psychological, medical, physcial safety, cognitive, and overall health perspective. I am able to answer questions like, what services does my loved one need? Is it time to move? How can we get those services in place? Are they dealing with depression or is it dementia? Personal caregivers help on the day to day micro level. Personal caregivers will provide hands on care and will assist a person with taking a shower, changing clothing, picking up groceries, or making meals, and I do not do these things. I serve as a advocate for your loved one to make sure that their medical needs and physical health needs are being met. I answer questions of family regarding tough decision making. I provide emotional support to the older adult regarding the challenges of aging at this time in their life.
Why should I choose you over another care manager in Denver?
I have a unique level of expertise in both mental health care and dementia that not a lot of care managers have. My background is as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). My true mission is to allow you and your loved one to feel like I have your back when it comes to their health & well being. In addition to my credentials and passion for my work, my prices are set, and you will not receive one sized bill one month and a much larger bill another month. My packages provide you with a consistent awareness of the cost of services.
Do you provide a free consultation so that we can decide if you are a good fit for our family?
I do offer a free 25-min phone consultation for families. If you would like to interview me in person to see if we are a good fit, I do charge for that meeting.
What if I just want an assessment completed to see if my parent is still safe and doing okay in their current living environment at this time? I don’t need ongoing services at this time.
I am able to provide an assessment alone to provide an evaluation of your parent’s current needs. I will provide recommendations, and you are welcome to take the recommendations and run with them if that is the information that you are seeking at this time.
How long do you typically work with clients?
I typically work with clients on an ongoing basis for at least 6 months. For some clients, I have worked with them until the end of their lives.
How long does an assessment take?
My assessment generally takes 3-4 weeks to complete once the initial appointment has taken place.
What if I live out of state?
I primarily work with families whose senior loved ones live in Colorado and their families live out of state, and the families are concerned with the health or well being of their loved one in Colorado. If you and your senior loved ones live out of state of Colorado, I am able to provide 2 phone consultations and speak with you over the phone about their needs/concerns. I am happy to connect you with a network of other Aging Life Care Specialists in your state if needed.
Who is NOT eligible to work with me?
Families who are not open to discussing care options, receiving outside advice, & discussing concerns with me about their loved one. Clients who are only needing help with monthly bill paying and nothing else (I do not manage finances for clients or pay bills for clients. I would refer you to an outside provider for this service).
What if my loved one is highly resistant to receiving any help or even medical care for their conditions/diagnoses? Can you still work with them?
Yes, absolutely. I start with clients where they are at, and sometimes this means that just allowing me in the door is the start to making progress towards accepting more help in their lives. I will be realistic with you, as their family, about when is a realistic expectation for them to start getting some additional ongoing support in their life and steps to take to allow this to happen. [I can also help in setting up “back door ways” of getting them the help & support that they need.]
What if my loved one’s care needs change?
If your loved one’s care needs change, I may make a recommendation of a different package. You can also add on additional services a la carte at a per hour rate on a month-by-month basis. For example, if your loved one’s package allows for me to serve as an advocate for 1 medical appointment per month, and they have 2 appointments in one month, I can add this appointment on for an hourly rate.
How do I know when it is time for my parent to move to assisted living or nursing facility? Can you help with that?
As part of my comprehensive assessment, I will provide you with my recommendations about their current living environment and if their present home is appropriate to meet their current needs or if it is time for them to move to a higher level of care such as assisted living or nursing facility. I will talk with you about the different options that exist for getting their needs met at this time.
The different members in our family do not agree about what our mom/dad/family member needs right now. Can you still work with us?
Yes, certainly. I often work with families that are struggling with know what is best and having disagreements between siblings or other family members about how to best help mom/dad. I listen to each party and provide a 3rd party professional opinion regarding what is needed right now for your parent or loved one. I help everyone feel heard in the process of my assessment, and I love to provide education to family members about why I am making my recommendations and what to expect when we start to implement a care plan for your loved one.
What is dementia anyway?
Dementia is a general term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills that a person is experiencing. It is caused by physical changes in the brain. There are different disease processes that cause dementia symptoms. For example, some different diseases causing dementia symptoms might be Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Frontaltemporal Dementia, and other a Stroke.
What about driving? Do you help with knowing if they can still drive?
I can help families look at warning signs that a client might need to have their driving evaluated to see if they are safe to be on the roads. I do not do behind the wheel evaluations myself, but I can help implement a plan to have their driving evaluated or steps taken to help your loved one stop driving if that appears to be the safest option for them at this time