Case Managers are an instrumental part of the aged-care and health journey. Here, we find out what is case management, and the special qualities needed for case managers to achieve the best outcomes for clients and their families.
“I strongly believe that our clients deserve a sense of dignity. That’s why it’s so important to communicate with and advocate for our clients with patience, care, empathy and encouragement. We are privileged to play an important participatory role with our clients as we work to make their lives a little easier.” - integratedliving Case Manager, Stanley
So what does a Case Manager, such as Stanley, do?
Case Managers work with clients and their families, and the wider care network, to access services that will enhance someone’s ability to live full and independent lives. They help source and establish creative and focused services through responsive and considered case management of each client.
Acting as a trusted advisor to each client, the case manager role is designed to positively affect clients’ decision-making to achieve the best outcomes for each client. During their days, a case manager will:
- Connect and build client relationships with multiple clients
- Complete person-centred assessments that result in strength-based goals with measured outcomes for each client
- Develop care plans and manage budgets aligned to each client’s choices
- Collaborate with other health professionals within integratedliving and externally, such as medical and allied health professionals, for their clients
- Organise services, personal care and appointments on their clients’ behalf
- Educate clients around the aged-care system so clients and their families have a better understanding
- Self-manage and prioritise their workload, navigating technology and systems
- Travel within their designated region and across regions as required
What's the secret to being a great case manager?
- They genuinely care about the clients and want to help them be healthy and independent
- Being flexible and responsive to both client and organisational needs
- Work with, and respond to changes within the organisation and industry
- Understanding from a client’s perspective, the challenges of getting older and the need to remain independent
What special skills do case managers have?
- Being able to think outside the square for clients’ needs, service delivery and different approaches needed to work with different clients
- Case management skills are varied – a case manager needs to be an IT whiz, accountant and a great listener, while maintaining a sense of humour and the ability to relate to people from all walks of life
- Being able to build a rapport with both clients and their families
- Having the interpersonal skills to be able to work with all clients, including more challenging cases
- Knowing not to take things that clients and families say personally
- Being able to work with a client and not go into a client’s home telling them what they need. In many situations, it’s a work in progress.
There has been a lot of change both internally and within the aged-care and health industry over the past few years. It’s required our entire team to be responsive and flexible while remaining wholly client-focused. Our Case Managers have been able to work through these changes both individually and as a supportive team, continuing to support all of our clients and advocate for them.
There have been some tough days dealing with tough situations, which are then overlapped by amazing days and amazing outcomes for clients. This reinforces the fact that the role of a case manager is a key part of a client’s journey through this important part of their life.
I often refer to the job we do as supporting a human that has come to a point in their life where they need a hand. If they had their way, I’m sure most would prefer to be completely independent. We do what we do to be able to support another human being.
It is truly an honour to be able to work with such a dedicated, skilled and caring team of people who have the same goal. That goal is to be able to make a difference, make people smile and support fellow human beings.
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