Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
By virtue of their many years of experience, AZA’s Care Managers have developed particular proficiency in helping clients with Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias and other neurological disorders. Our Care Managers are specifically trained to understand the differences between diagnoses such as Alzheimer ’s disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), Frontotemporal Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD), Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (alcohol related), Picks Disease, Creutzfeldt-Jacob Dementia (CJP), Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) and Young-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, among others. However, providing quality care management requires much more than being familiar with a diagnosis. Apart from the diagnosis, dementia presents differently in each individual. Our Care Managers are skilled at identifying these differences and developing plans of care to address our clients’ particular needs.
AZA’s Care Managers stay abreast of disease specific information, new treatments, technologies and resources. More importantly, they have a deep understanding of the issues these patients and their families struggle with, and know the best support systems and how to reinforce them.
For those with dementia, a different kind of advocacy is necessary. Proactive planning, anticipating potential problems and consistency of care are critical parts of the Care Plan. Our clinician’s early intervention expertise and experience is crucial to our clients’ enhanced quality of life both at home and in other long-term care environments.
AZA’s Care Managers have experience with adults who have suffered disabling events such as head injury, stroke, substance abuse, multiple sclerosis, meningitis and/or polio. Over the years we have learned that while the disabled adult population has some of the same issues as elders, they also have unique needs and circumstances that must be addressed. Our Care Managers have the skills to develop thoughtful care plans that address these likenesses and differences and are particularly sensitive and attentive to the special issues of loss of dignity and independence that add to the hardship and adversity that challenge many disabled people. AZA does not just integrate our disabled adult clients into programs or facilities that cater to the geriatric population; rather, we propose specialized and creative care management plans that include Rehabilitation Centers and programs, disease-focused Skilled Nursing Facilities and in-home care that personalize the particular problems and needs of a client.
The illness of a loved-one often comes with deep emotional feelings for spouses, children and other family members. Disagreements and conflicts may arise as to what is in the best interest of the patient, what the next steps should be, what type of limitations or care the patient should have and who is going to do what to provide assistance. Dealing with financial matters, issues of control and restrictions on quality of life are among common themes. These family dynamics should and can be addressed before such disputes result in irreconcilable injury to those involved and actions that may be harmful to their loved-one.
In these situations, a Family Mediator, a neutral third party who facilitates family discussions by elicitation rather than edict, may prove beneficial. A mediator helps resolve disagreements by determining the positions and the interests of each party and creatively finds common ground and informed options that may provide an opportunity for consensus among the parties. The AZA team is experienced working with families in conflict and if appropriate can recommend an independent mediator who can help bring resolution to such issues.
AZA’s Care Managers’ expertise also extends to clients with complex mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and schizophrenia. Audrey Zabin and members of the firm have worked extensively with medical professionals in these areas and are comfortable counseling families and putting together Care Plans that carefully consider the dynamics of these illnesses. Our comprehensive knowledge of alternative living situations and in-home care services for clients suffering from these disorders gives us superb insight to make the best possible recommendations given the circumstances and needs of a particular client.
Specialized Training of In-Home Caregivers
AZA strives to match committed, professional and compassionate home health caregivers with an individual client and get it right, the first time around. Whether the client needs a Companion, a Home Health Aide, nursing care or more advanced home therapies, AZA goes the extra mile to make a positive and durable placement because we feel it is essential to the overall well-being of the client. To meet this goal, AZA considers not only a client’s needs, but also their personality, habits, idiosyncrasies, medical issues and their wishes. AZA then recruits experienced home health caregivers and/or therapists who will be trained, oriented and compatible with our client.
For information on AZA’s own staffing services, AZA Home HealthCare,
Transitions – Continuity of Care
AZA Care Management is an integrated and interdisciplinary team that focuses on and addresses a variety of individual client issues. Our overall goal is to develop a Care Plan with our clients and their families that nurtures independence for as long as possible. As changes in health, functional, mental and emotional status or financial issues occur, the need for thoughtful and strategic transition plans is essential. Our familiarity with alternative housing options and the myriad of programs and resources help us determine and implement appropriate long-term care solutions with different levels of care. This combination of knowledge and skills are crucial to proactively sustain the quality of life for our clients. Seamless and empathic transitions are a priority for AZA.