Preparations for Death a Hard Step for Some
Everyone must prepare for the end of life. When Aretha Frankin died a tribute to her was an armada of 100 pink Cadillacs at her funeral. But in spite of the glittery homage to her storied life and career, she died without a will.
According to Aretha’s ‘lawyer, Ms. Frankin was aware she needed to take care of this but ” never got around to it”. This left her estate liable for potentially millions of dollars of taxes and attorney fees and a drawn-out timeline for her 4 sons to inherit the proceeds from her estate.
Franklin was, as many have said, ” a force of nature” and a woman who would be hard to sway. But care managers specialize in working with VIP clients and the rich and famous. These clients are often uber difficult to work with- entitled, narcissistic equally hard to sway. Aretha Franklin’s attorney might have convinced her that she needed to work with him to protect her family and her estate before she died.
In the Year of the Plague Care Managers Preparing Clients For Death More Urgent
You as a care manager must take a more urgent approach by yourself or with the client’s attorney because the stakes are so much higher as now elders are likely to die with this virus rampaging throughout the world, striking the people with comorbidity, like people over 65, the hardest
Most geriatric care managers work with the wealthy top 10% if they want to survive as a business as Medicare does not cover long term care. Only the top 10%, like Aretha Frankin, can afford it. But what comes from being a good care manager is knowledge of death. End of Life care is one of their jobs. Making sure their client has all their legal documents ahead of time is critical at this minute. With COVID-19 that clock runs on speed.
, these documents- one a living will- are an important job of the geriatric manager, as death
may be shrouded and waiting around the corner for many of your clients
Advanced Care Planning Discussions In Covid Critical
Once the COVID-19 is known with an elderly client, the care manager who has added “end of life services” to their agency, is often the one who will initiate and guide advance care planning discussions. The problem with COVID-19 is that the onset of the disease can be rapid. As difficult as these discussions may be, the burden on the family is significantly lessened if decisions about advance care planning are made before the client’s condition worsens.
Hopefully, this has already been done but many people put it off for fear of death. A recent study found that less than 50% of severely or terminally ill patients had an advance directive in their medical record.
Advance directives are legal documents that allow clients to make decisions about their health care and finances in advance of when they are not mentally or physically able to do so. These documents must be signed, dated, and witnessed naming another person to make decisions for you.
Your job as a care manager is the make sure your older client has these documents before they have COVID-19:
- A durable power for an attorney for healthcare
- A living will
- A do not resuscitate order DNR (efforts to restart the heart after it has stopped
If No Advanced Care Documents & COVID Strikes Elders Wishes Unfulfilled
If the client does not have these legal documents and wishes to create them, the Geriatric Care Manager will suggest that the documents be put in place with the oversight and consultation of an elder law attorney.
But During Covid-19 could rush an elderly client towards death like a mammoth mudslide sweeping them into a hospital where no one can enter, even the family.
Care Managers play a big role at end of life issues. They are their navigators through all five stages of dying, which is the time before COVID-19 could be long before palliative care or hospice are called.
But in this plague reign, there is little time to plan so the five stages of death are on steroids. So, talk to your clients now before they get into a screaming ambulance to the hospital where no one can follow the including you, and may never return.
GCM Care Planning Stope Elders From Dying Without a Will Like Aretha Franklin
Proactive discussions and legal planning now can help to reduce the risk of dying like Frankin leaving the legacy of her music, a soundtrack to her life but a family both shattered and at war with each other. The COVID-19 clients you see now could be in this position and their families will be left with no rituals no funeral no advanced directives and only hopefully a zoom family meeting to say their last words. Good legal guidance can also help clients make better decisions, avoids all this other legal horror on top of the torturous death of coronavirus. Making a will or a trust now will save the family from adding to the burden of a lonely painful death.
SIGN UP FOR MY LATEST FREE WEBINAR
Deliver a Good End of Life- Add Death and Dying to Your Care Management Agency
Serve Your Client Until Death Do You Part
Join me Thursday, March 11 and learn why End of Life Services Are a perfect new service for care managers
In this 1 ½ -hour webinar you will learn how to
1.Transition the patient/family through the five stages of death.
2.Help clients be active participants in their care
3.Give the family/caregiver tools to manage care
4 Provide family center care to caregiver and family
5 Choose the right support services through all stages of death
6.Introduce Hospice and Palliative care and work with their team
7 Use ALCA End of Life Benefits During COVID
8.Use COVID -19 Family Coaching for GCM
If you really want to add End of Life to your care management business sign up for this webinar now
Cathy is a great consultant who has helped me remain focused and balanced while developing my business and juggling other responsibilities. I highly recommend using the operations manual as a guide for businesses, especially startups. Also, tools such as Cathy’s competition survey, marketing survey, and Cathy’s book entitled Handbook of Geriatric Care Management are great resources to use now and future. Cathy is the business coach/business consultant I needed. I will always be grateful for the time and money she saved me during this process. Thanks, so much Cathy for all that you do! I appreciate you!
Patrice Harrison LMSW, IPR
CATHY CRESS, MSW