Blog Post | November 21, 2016

Honoring America’s Family Caregivers as Key Participants in Advanced Illness Management for Seniors


Written by: Greer Myers, President, Turn-Key Health

Greer Myers Turn Key Health

During National Family Caregivers Month and the Thanksgiving holiday season, Turn-Key Health salutes the estimated 40.4 million unpaid caregivers of adults ages 65+ — many of whom are elderly and are providing care for loved ones with life-limiting illnesses. As a company serving health plans and at-risk provider organizations focusing on the senior population, and with the launch of a new unique solution, Palliative Illness Management — PIMTM, we are dedicated to Advanced Illness Management. PIM™ highlights our commitment to relieving the financial burdens and other stresses that confront seniors and their family caregivers, including deploying specialized, community-based in-home resources to this vulnerable population.

With an appreciation of family caregivers as an important part of the care team, we recognize that they have insufficient training and support to provide medical care for their loved ones. That’s where PIM™ shines – helping caregivers to access healthcare services, coordinate care options, and communicate with providers. Sensitive, personalized support for decision-making can also include spiritual guidance.

 

Shifting Care to the Home or Community

PIM™ focuses on patient-centric services and support for family caregivers. Evaluations and assessments are conducted in home or community settings where people find it more comfortable to set goals and arrange for care based upon individual needs and wishes.

We recognize that there is a shrinking caregiver-to-patient ratio:

• 2010  7.2 potential caregivers for every person age 80+

• 2020    4 to 1

• 2050    <3 to 1

Conversations Around Quality of Life

When decisions need to be made about treatment options, symptom management and quality of life in the remaining months of life, members and families can turn to our specially trained palliative care teams: predominantly nurses and social workers who are practicing to the highest level of their licenses.

With niche capabilities and expertise for conducting progressive and difficult conversations, these professionals help to match treatments to an individual patient and family goals. People avoid costly, inappropriate and often unwanted interventions, and meet their growing needs or personal wishes.

 

Mobilizing Practical Aid and Support to Access Care 

PIMTM organizes and activates access to care, ensuring that medical needs are rapidly escalated to engage patients with treating physicians or other appropriate medical resources. This relieves stress, promoting high levels of satisfaction with care and health plan participation.

Our entire team raises awareness of the National Family Caregivers Month for this year’s campaign, “Take Care to Give Care,” reminding caregivers that taking care of themselves is an important part of taking care of others.  We commend the nation’s health plans in their support for the well-being of family caregivers and stand ready to complement their initiatives with resources that assist them in getting the information and support they need.


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