John and Sarah James* moved to Glenmeadow five years ago, and from the start, their sons Ron and Bill* noted that their care here was “outstanding,” said Ron.
Both brothers said they are especially appreciative of Glenmeadow’s Care Management services, which we sometimes refer to as service coordination, because we can coordinate any service, not just those related to personal care. “We have been blown away at how effective and nurturing everyone is at Glenmeadow,” said Ron. “At first, Sarah was resistant to getting additional care. But then she knew she needed it.”
John died several years after the couple moved in. A couple of years later, Sarah, despite an active lifestyle and socializing with other Glenmeadow residents, began to have memory issues—to the point where she lost her health insurance because she forgot to make her payments, and her medications were not being filled or taken.
That’s where Glenmeadow’s expertise in geriatric Care Management came in. Our Care Management team got Sarah her health care coverage back and they have helped her with other concerns, providing guidance, planning, coordination—and peace of mind, not only for Sarah, who is in her eighties, but also for her sons.
“Our father always paid the family bills,” explained Bill. So after Sarah forgot to pay her credit card and phone bills as well—resulting in her landline phone service being suspended, Sarah, Ron and Bill tapped into Glenmeadow’s Care Management support to get her bills paid and her taxes taken care of. Erin Koebler, our director of community care, also arranged for elective but necessary medical procedures for Sarah and took her to a surgeon.“ Erin really stepped up to the plate,” said Bill. “She knew exactly what to do. We know she’s in good hands.”
Since both Ron and Bill live far away, Glenmeadow’s Care Management service provides them with reassurance that a team is there for their mother when the brothers aren’t in western Massachusetts. “We have no family in the area,” said Ron. “When COVID hit, it totally shut down our ability to visit Sarah for a long period of time. She doesn’t do cell phones or email, so when we call, she’s sometimes hard to reach. She’s extremely physically active. Just knowing she is in a safe environment—knowing that people at Glenmeadow are providing a higher level of care—is extremely comforting to us.”
Care Management can be anything and everything a family needs to support an older adult, including scheduling appointments, calendar management, medication management, physician referrals and services, and coordinating communications between family members, doctors and other professionals, and service providers. We can provide a global assessment, addressing all areas, and will also consider the ability of the older adult to perform the activities of daily living, such as personal care, and the instrumental activities of daily living, such as grocery shopping and housekeeping.
We provide Care Management services to both Glenmeadow residents and Glenmeadow at Home clients throughout Greater Springfield. Our Care Management team includes Erin and Vice President for Community Services Meaghan Carrier, who are both licensed social workers. Erin is also a Certified Care Manager. Rounding out the team are Bookkeeper Sue White, Director of Resident Services Meghan Reynolds, and our caregivers, as well as our maintenance team members, who provide handyman services.
“Working with us is like having one of your grown children in town,” said Meaghan, who stresses that Glenmeadow team members can also help transition clients after a health crisis, as their health improves, and will also keep a watchful eye on them in case there’s another emergency. “We try to be really proactive in anticipating people’s needs before they have them,” she said. “We think about how to support someone through a crisis before that crisis happens.”
Our clients receive care that ranges from fifteen minutes of help per week to 24 hours of care each day. The individual’s independence is encouraged, while safety and security concerns are also addressed.
For Ron and Bill, Care Management means having someone with “boots on the ground” and feeling more at ease about their mother’s well-being while living far away.
“Glenmeadow as always good about explaining the additional help that was available,” said Ron. “We needed a more comprehensive approach. The key was getting Sarah to accept it, and she finally did. We’re extremely grateful and thankful for all Glenmeadow does for her.”
*The Glenmeadow residents’ names and their children’s names have been changed in this story to protect their identities.