The Everything Else of Life Care Management

When we talk about Life Management, the average person usually thinks about frail seniors and a physical crisis or moving a senior to a new home in assisted living or skilled care. Often families will seek help in dealing with these issues thinking this solves everything. Within a facility, a family often feels that their loved one will be looked after. The problems of getting meals, taking their medication correctly or being safe have been addressed.

As life expectency increases, and the desire to remain at home and age in place becomes more commonplace, the needs beyond where one lives and how to live successfully must be addressed.

Life Care Management should reflect the new common day-to-day desires of the individual and should focus on management, not control. At IKOR, the team that makes this all happen is comprised of both an RN and a PNC (Personal Needs Coordinator). One handles the medical issues, and the other is the specialist in everything else.

Quality Life Care Management must always focus on the actions performed “with” the person, not “to” the person. This can be done in cooperation with the individual, making gradual transitions to the necessary level of oversight, assisting the person to the place of want, while limiting conflict. Accepting their limitations with understanding is a major accomplishment of a well-trained life manager, whether that person is an RN or a PNC.

A PNC should educate and support these individuals in the following areas:

  • Daily money management including the use of cash.
  • Maintaining a budget, to help the person continue to remain at home.
  • Effectively handling the common one-time events such as major home repairs.
  • Ensuring taxes and other property responsibilities are handled in a timely manner.
  • Manage the use of travel, such as driving or flying, if necessary.
  • Awareness of the presence of predatory behavior or undue influence, and do all that is necessary to protect the client.

You will notice all of these actions have one thing in common: the management of money. This is the central theme of all PNCs, as health and wellness are the foundations of the role of the RN. These roles are not interchangeable. Both are required for a successfully functioning level of independence.