Why an Outside Care Consultant

Posted on

Oct 27, 2015

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Although aging is a natural process, the business of aging is not something we understand intuitively. Most senior adults want to stay in their own homes. We know statistically that elders who remain in their homes can lead healthier, more vibrant lives than those housed in an institutionalized environment.
There are third party providers available who offer in home health care, housekeeping services, companionship, meals, and other support. There are also government agencies and nonprofit organizations that provide elder assistance services.
The care consultants job is to help the elder sort through his or her needs and match services and programs to existing health and financial considerations. Often, family members are geographically separated and a knowledgeable local resource is important for oversight. Other times, the family may be in town and simply need backup.
Through regular contact and a flexible approach, the care consultant works to assure the safety of each client. The consultant interacts with care and service providers to assure that quality and dignity standards are maintained. In most cases, the consultant also oversees doctors appointments and compliance with prescription drug regimens.
If the elders condition requires that he or she be moved to a new residence, the care consultant works with the elder and family to decide which type of facility is appropriate and which specific building best meets the elders needs.


A distinction is drawn between care management and the relatively new concept of care consulting. Care management generally indicates a loss of control by the elder with the introduction of an outside agent who will manage his or her life. A care consultant, however, works with the elder (and his or her family) to provide as much or as little assistance as called for by the specific situation. A care consultant interacts with the elder and together they determine what is needed. This self determination aspect of care consulting ensures that the elder is included in all decisions, thereby assuring that dignity is maintained throughout the relationship.
The care consultant needs to be a good listener and an adaptable planner with a thorough familiarity with available resources. Over time, a relationship based on respect is developed between the elder and the care consultant.


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Submitted by Donna Brumbaugh, Director, American Elder Advocates, a 501(c)3 nonprofit care consulting and elder advocacy organization. 970.744.4526.

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