Elder cARE BEHAVIORAL and Legal CASE coordination
RESOURCES AND rEFERRALS
Behavioral Health Case Management
Treating overlooked mental health conditions can result in decreased emotional suffering, improved physical health, lessened disability, and a better quality of life for older adults. Multiple social and psychological factors determine the level of mental health problems that aging adults may face at any point. In addition to typical life stressors the ability to live independently, chronic medical conditions, and bereavement can all create loneliness and psychological distress for elders.
Our Elder Blue professionals coordinate the Behavioral Healthcare needs of older adults and their families in a variety of settings- in our offices, or at your elder's residence (when permissible). These include health care facilities, private residences, long term-care, assisted-living facilities, and hospices. As part of a Behavioral Healthcare Evaluation Elder Blue professionals will consult with your Elder's healthcare providers, facility administrators, and other caretakers - and then recommend the best course of treatment, and facility for such acute psychiatric and behavioral symptoms as:
- Acute and chronic depressive illness
- Suicide risks
- Severe anxiety, stress-related problems
- Aggressive or assaultive behaviors
- Social withdrawal
- Sudden and unexplained changes in behavior
- Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia with a concurrent psychiatric proble
LONG DISTANCE MONITORING
An Elder may not have family members that live close by, or may have family members that are bound by other obligations and are unable to visit and check up on how their parent or relative is doing. We at Elder Blue will use all resources to make assessments of the overall condition of things such as mental status, the home environment, behavioral changes etc. Routine reports can then be given to concerned family members, or other professionals regarding the on-going status of the older adult either in written format through a letter and/or e-mail or through verbal communication via phone, once proper releases are in place.
SOCIAL Needs Evaluation
Elder Blue Solutions can provide social interaction to the older adult in their home; or when possible at the facility where they may reside. Social isolation can lead to depression, and subsequently lead to deterioration of mental and physical health. In certain cases Elder Blue can recommend alternative therapies such as meditation, art and music therapy which are proven to aid in improved mood. Unlike a family member or friend who may simply visit your elder - our network professionals, can assess the status and needs of the older adult during their visit.
FAMILY LiAISON and Advocacy
Often older adults need a strong voice to be heard, especially those Elders who cannot speak for themselves, and whose families do not live near. Elder Blue network professionals become your Family Liaison to assure that your Elder is being treated fairly and with dignity. By sharing information on behalf of the older person with family members communication is more streamlined and resolution is swift. Elder Blue is there to:
- Advocate for both the care recipient and the family
- Establish a liaison with home help, nursing home, administration, hospice care
- Facilitate communication between providers in complex situations such as a psychiatric, cognitive, health, legal, or social issue
- Obtain the resources to resolve family emergencies as they arise
elder MEDIATION AND COUNSELING
Counseling and Education can help Elders and their family members who may have difficulty with the transitions of aging to manage their emotions, achieve enjoyment and meaning to their lives, and find new support systems. Our Elder Blue professionals can make recommendations to healthcare providers and to facilities that specialize in treating such conditions as:
- Depression and Anxiety
- Stress-related problems
- Substance Abuse
- Social Withdrawal
- Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia
Bereavement Counseling is often recommended as elders face the loss of their spouses, children grieve the loss of a parent, and Elders feel the emptiness as their friends and companions pass on. Support Groups can also play an important role in assisting family members who are caretakers for their elder relatives in dealing with their own emotions, stress, anxiety and depression.
Although family members may share a love for their Elder, they do not always share the same ethical or personal views on what is best for them. Siblings may have differing perceptions on the care that their parent is receiving, and in addition often dispute the management of their parent’ s finances. Families can benefit from Family Mediation to resolve these differences. Our Elder Blue network of attorneys and mental health professionals work closely together using their expertise in conflict resolution to defuse the situation and keep the group focused on the common goals of resolution, and the preservation of family relationships. Everyone gets to be heard in an emotionally safe and supportive environment.
Common Areas of Dispute between Family Members are:
- Money. Distrust of the adult child handling the money, financial support or unequal care giving costs.
- Family possessions, including inheritance, guardianship, sale of the parent's residence(s).
- Living arrangements or care giving—one sibling shouldering the burden or being controlling, another not pulling her weight, or someone feeling cut out of the loop.
- Medical and end-of-life choices
While care giving can be rewarding and positive, many family caregivers experience significant physical and psychological stress in association with their care giving role. The emotional and physical exhaustion of care giving often times has a serious impact on the physical and emotional health of the caregiver. Elder Blue can recommend counselors who can help caregivers set goals and boundaries, get connected with others, and explore common feelings of anger and resentment. Helping to improve family caregivers' emotional coping skills can reduce or prevent stress-related problems, and enhance their quality of life, and the lives of their Elder.
Legal Services CASE MANAGEMENT
LONG TERM PLANNING
- Guardianship, Health Care Proxy, Wills and Trusts
- Assistance with Medicaid Applicationsand Entitlements
- Advocacy in Long Term Facilities
Being referred to an Elder or Estate Attorney provide our clients quality service and ensure their needs are met. Our network of attorneys offer counsel on general estate planning issues, will offer advisement regarding planning for incapacity, and can help in the preparation of alternative decision making documents. Assisting clients in planning for possible long-term care needs, including nursing home care is also a service they provide. In addition to having an expertise in Elder and Special Needs Law, our network of attorneys have knowledge of the senior population and the unique legal and ethical issues they face.
When an elder loses the ability to think clearly, and this begins to affect his or her ability to participate meaningfully in decision-making, many times families must turn to the courts to become authorized to make legal, financial, and health care decisions for them. Elder Blue will make referrals to Elder attorneys who can help in guardianship cases, also known as conservatorship, where a court declares a person incompetent and appoints a guardian. Ultimately, the court will transfer the responsibility for managing finances, living arrangements, and medical decisions to the guardian. Working collaboratively with mental health professionals and attorneys can help ease this prolonged, painful, and costly process.
Elders too often face medical emergencies, or face deteriorating health that requires sensitive healthcare decisions. When an Elder cannot speak for themselves it is important that their wishes be known. This is often a time where family dissention begins as families struggle as to what is right for their Elder. Also known as a Medical Power of Attorney, a Health-care Proxy is a legal document that enables family members to make health-care decisions for their elderly parent in the event they are unable to make those decisions themselves. Our Elder Blue network of legal professionals can help prepare documents while your parent is still mentally competent to do so.
Advance Health Care Directive
End of Life Decisions are one of the toughest decisions a family may ever have to make. Working together our network of legal and mental health professionals can help families through this very emotional discussion, while their Elder is still able to communicate their wishes. Commonly known as a Living Will, or An Advance HealthCare Directive lets people make their own end-of-life care decisions before a medical crisis strikes. This gives the opportunity for the Elder to determine whether they want to be resuscitated if he or she stops breathing, or whether artificial life support should be used, or whether a feeding tube should be inserted, etc. Elder Blue will recommend qualified and experienced attorneys to prepare a Living Will which can reduce the friction among families, and reduce stress in the event an end-of life decision needs to be made.
One of the most pressing issues to many Elders and their families is long-term nursing home care, which usually is not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare. Careful planning by one of Elder Blue network attorneys can help you avoid spending down your assets on long-term care. Being referred to an Elder attorney can also help advise your Elder if they qualify for Medicaid Benefits and have Medicaid pay for continued nursing home care.
Wills and Trusts
Disputes regarding the distribution of an Elder’s assets after they die too often causes family friction that often leads to court battles. To avoid the family strife, we recommend Estate Attorneys who can work closely with your Elder to have their wishes made known before they pass. A Last Will is a legal document that directs what should be done with a person's assets when that person dies. It also names the will's executor, who will be in charge of the issues surrounding those assets. To avoid court proceedings, which can be lengthy and costly, people can set up Living Trusts. Planning ahead will assure families that their elder’s financial and medical wishes are carried out the way they desired.
Advocacy in Long Term Facilities
Our Elder Blue network of legal professionals can serve as an advocate for an older adult residing in a long term care facility. When family members are unable to resolve concerns, finding the right legal advocate who can investigate and attempt to resolve the concerns made by, or on behalf of residents can prove effective and lessen frustration.
These may include:
- Allegations of financial exploitation or elder abuse
- Problem solving before a crisis occurs
- Concern about the Elder’s plan of care including Involuntary Discharge Notices
- Information and referral to help connect persons to the best available resources