Helping Families With Senior Care Decisions
In Oakland County, Michigan
February 5, 2020 by Bryan Baumann
After several years of working in the healthcare arena as a Registered Nurse, I have noticed a common thread of families dealing with or about to deal with caring for an elder or elder parent or loved one. That is why I have started my own business that helps families who are caring for elders (Parents, Aunts, Uncles, etc) to help them navigate through tough situations and decisions regarding medical care planning and choosing the appropriate living situations.
As the area owner of the Senior Care Authority in Oakland County, Michigan, I offer assistance and guidance to seniors and families that are beginning to explore senior living options that include independent living, assisted living and memory care communities. I also provide eldercare consulting related services. Many of the services I offer are at no cost to you. If you have a loved one that is ready to move on to the next stage of life where they will need care and assistance, but you’re not sure where to start, I encourage you to call me and set up a free consultation. I will guide you through all of the steps, show you the options available and even help you deal with the insurance company.
Placement assistance is offered at no cost to families. There are a number of factors that must be considered when choosing where your aging loved one will soon call home. I know that your loved one is special and has unique needs. That’s why, to help you find the best option for your loved one, we will follow these steps:
Assessment – We begin by performing an in-depth, non-medical assessment to determine a baseline that will establish a plan of care moving forward in the process. I will take into consideration the level of care required(specific care needs), current health/medical conditions, your budget and your personal, cultural, and geographic preferences for a living facility.
Research –I have spent several hundred hours visiting and touring care facilities throughout Michigan to gain an understanding of everything there is to know about the different communities. I look beyond the fancy light fixtures and furnishings and focus on the care that is being provided, the caregiver-to-patient ratio, staff engagement, how they interact with the residents of their community, the types, and variety of activities. I am knowledgeable of the community availability, costs, and the cleanliness of the grounds, common areas, restrooms, and dining rooms. I also make note of how the staff greeted me, how helpful and friendly they seemed, what the surrounding neighborhood is like and if the facility has a positive stance with the state and required licenses.
Based on my extensive research, I am able to determine the best fit in assisted living, residential care homes, or memory care locations based on the information gathered during the assessment. I will then schedule tours for you, at your convenience, with the facilities that best fit the needs of your loved one.
Tours – I will accompany you to tours of the different facilities so that I am there to answer your questions, help you with questions you may have for the facility and provide support. At the conclusion of each tour, we will debrief and evaluate the feasibility of each option, until we find a place that everyone likes and is comfortable with.
Logistics –Figuring out and finalizing all the details during this process can quickly become overwhelming. Working with me can take much of the stress off your shoulders. I make appointments on your behalf, assist you with the mountains of required paperwork, stay on top of gathering professional documents, such as legal paperwork and physician’s notes, and help you find and secure financial assistance through the VA, Medicaid, or other resources if needed. I keep track of, and review, all documents for completeness and accuracy, then make sure they all get sent to the proper places by the required deadlines.
The following services are offered for a fee. Please contact me for pricing, as it varies depending on your needs. I customize my services for every client based on your unique situation. I have both hourly and bulk time block fee schedules, and will work with you to stay within your budget.
If you have never been down this path before, you might not know where to begin. If your loved one isn’t quite ready or willing to move to an assisted living facility, or you aren’t sure what should be taken into consideration when deciding on what the next steps should be, working with a professional consultant, like me, will eliminate the doubt and uncertainty you’re probably feeling right now.
Having someone on your side who is knowledgeable and familiar with all aspects of senior care, makes a huge difference in the outcome of the decisions you will be making throughout this process, as well as alleviates the stress you’re probably feeling. Together, we will discuss what the options are right now, such as whether your loved one can stay in their home, decide if an aide is needed, talk through your concerns, answer your questions and work to triage the situation with recommendations to improve the situation for the care and safety of your loved one.
Essential Conversations – Starting these kinds of conversations with your loved one and other family members can become emotionally-charged situations that don’t always have the desired outcome. I work as an advocate to help you identify what the next steps are for your loved one, while offering you my input and professional advice. Conversations can be one-on-one, or may include several family members. We will discuss what the options are, change-of-condition/care needs, and I will ensure that the necessary documents have been executed or are in process.
Stay-At-Home Evaluations and Planning – Most, if not all of us, would prefer to stay in our own homes as long as possible. Your loved one is no different and probably can remain in their home, as long as the proper steps are taken. I perform an initial home safety assessment to identify anything that might be a safety concern, then do an in-home care needs evaluation. When these steps are complete, I provide assistance with setting up and managing in-home care, locate mobility and safety equipment, research transportation options in the area and recommend other in-home services as needed, such as meal delivery.
Peace of Mind Visits – Care for your loved one is obviously a top priority, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop living your life, either. When life happens, you need a break, or you simply cannot make a scheduled visit, I will check in on our loved one on your behalf. The length of the visits depends on the situation. I make note of how they are doing/feeling, reading between the lines if necessary by noticing subtle changes and asking the right questions, assist with filling basic requests, act as an advocate for the patient to the staff and ask questions he or she might not ask, then provide you with a full, detailed report.
These visits are available at an hourly rate, or through pre-purchased blocks of hours + mileage, and should be scheduled in advance. Emergency or last-minute visit requests will be charged an additional convenience fee.
Visits are also available for people living at home with caregivers, or for those residing in a residential care setting, such as assisted living or memory care facilities.
Valuable Resources – I can help you access the best professional resources, whether it be medical (e.g. skilled nursing, rehabilitation, cognitive evaluations) or non-medical (legal, financial, social, community services).
Skilled Nursing – If your loved one requires skilled nursing at a long term care facility, I will help you find a one with a vacancy and can attend care conferences, at your request.
If you or someone you know is dealing with any of these types of situations now, or might be soon, please call me to set up your free consultation. Having a plan in place and a trusted source to help you navigate through these tough decisions will give you peace of mind and help you feel more in control of the situation. Together, we’ll discuss the options and you can get answers to all your questions.
Bryan Baumann, RN, BSN.
Local Area Owner