Those words, from the late great John Lennon are as powerful today, as they were lyrically appropriate, when the song “Imagine” was produced in 1971, and became arguably, one of the greatest song compositions, of all time!
During this turbulent year of 2020, I must say, that is a tremendous understatement. We have encountered many trials and tribulations, as we hope to reach phase 5, of the pandemic! Are any of us dreaming for better times ahead for our country, families and businesses, as we near the end of this ultra challenging 2020 year? Certainly I’m a dreamer, and I’m not the only one! The power of positive thinking can never be overlooked, as a potential game changer, when dealing with adversity.
It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop! As we continue our foray into phase 4, we have witnessed and experienced the near full return of various businesses, restaurants, certain sports and other public venues. These re-openings are positive signs of our progress to reaching phase 5. All of our professional services have been affected in some way. This has led many of us to adapt to different and new ways of conducting our daily business routines. Zoom meetings, telephonic, and online communications are at an unprecedented demand, for conducting daily business. Personally speaking, I long for the days of full restoration, of conducting meetings and professional consultations in person.
Out of adversity, comes opportunity
All of us that are currently in professional consultative services, especially in the legal, fiduciary, and private care management and guardianship communities continue to rise to the challenge of delivering the best maximum services possible to the clients and wards that we provide services, on behalf of! The Elite Life Care Services and Elite Guardian Services team fully realize, that our profession will always be a people oriented profession, with the team’s focus, on providing strategies, solutions, and services to make a positive difference in the lives of our clients and wards, regardless of the turmoil and challenges are occurring in our world of 2020! Like all of you, ELCS will remain virtually unstoppable in reaching those who depend on us, regardless of the external challenges!
The ELCS business model offers your clients and wards a diversified array of professional services that include care management, guardianship, agent for powers of attorney for healthcare, and property, estate related services, that include property clean outs, estate inventory, estate refurbishment, forensic accounting, concierge, private duty nursing, and care giver services, throughout metro Chicago, as well as the collar counties. Elite Guardian Services is available for any emergency or plenary guardianship matters, and has extensive experience in successfully finding solutions and strategies to solve and advocate, with the most complex client and ward cases! For more detailed information, please contact me directly at 630-470-3893
Let’s keep dreaming, yet most importantly, let’s continue to strive to be the best that all us can be, and continue to make a positive difference in all of the lives we touch!
Did you know...Elite Life Care Services (ELCS) and Elite Guardian Services (EGS) are now serving clients and wards in 13 different counties of Illinois, including Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, Will, McHenry, Kendall, Kankakee, DeKalb, Grundy, LaSalle, Winnebago, and Ogle counties, as well as Northwest Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin
Did you know...ELCS and EGS is currently expanding to a new office site in downtown Chicago, to further accommodate Elite’s growth in the Chicago case management and guardianship marketplace
Did you know...ELCS employs our own contractors to provide property renovations, refurbishment, and adaptations to assist fiduciaries, attorneys, and clients in solving any property related issues, as well as ensuring that fiduciary managed and owned residences are in compliance with city ordinances and guardianship court.
Did you know...ELCS has further expanded the growing need to provide professional concierge services to accommodate those clients and wards who greatly benefit from increased socialization.
Did you know...ELCS offers the WRAP Program (Wellness, Recovery, Action, Plan) which offers dynamic and innovative strategies for clients and wards, as well as guidance in regards to Elite’s advocacy for those clients and wards that have various mental health diagnoses.
Did you know...ELCS offers the CPA Program (Cost Projection Analysis). This program consists of the Elite expert case manager and the Elite CPA; formulating an extensive, and comprehensive Life Care Plan that offers detailed cost service projections and most significantly, formulating a plan that fits the individual profile of each individual client.
Did you know...ELCS and EGS has experienced positive growth, since our inception in 2012!
We would agree that these past several months have taken an emotional toll on all of us from where we travel, who we see, and how we dine. COVID-19 seems to be part of our daily vernacular as there is not one day we cannot escape the word.
Consequently, we have all made adjustments to our lifestyles, finding a new kinship with the Zoom application for our conferences and meetings and adhering to prescribed safety measures to function in our new reality.
No one knows the length of this disruption; we have learned how debilitating this has been to the elderly and disabled, living alone, or in nursing homes. We hear the discouraging reports of seniors' high mortality rate in nursing homes due to this illness. We often feel helpless, limited to intervene. Residents experience restrictions from normal community activities due to the lockdowns. The elderly have little contact from the outside world, with all the precautions in place, further adding to the emotional stress and isolation.
What are some of the consequences of this isolation from those at risk?
The mental and physical results include; sleep problems, stroke, anxiety, heart attack, and suicide risk. There are psychological and cognitive results from extended isolation; those symptoms include; depression, fatigue, abuse of substances, increased risk of dementia, and increased hallucinations, especially Alzheimer's Disease.
How do we start the process of intervening?
We can screen conversations with the person and ask them if they see anyone or engage with others, especially those living alone. Older adults are now more willing to discuss their feelings of frustration and anger but still underreport loneliness.
What Can We Do??
Part of treatment considerations includes assessing the risk tolerance of clients based on verbal self-reports. This information can determine treatment options and to assist better.
Some of the following are activities of helpful possibilities.
There is also a toll-free number, 24 Hour Friendship Line, 1-800-971-0016 through, Institute on Aging that provides crisis support, specifically for older adults.
We all can play an active role with our family and friends by incorporating simple ideas to keep the connections healthy during uncertainty.
Let's be honest; we all have times when forgetting where we placed our keys or where we parked our car as we leave the store; this can be frustrating. But imagine living with this kind of forgetfulness continuously.
Unfortunately, this is a reality for many people, especially our senior population. Alzheimer's is a progressive, degenerative brain disease, and the most common type of dementia. Dementia is a "syndrome" characterized by a group of symptoms (memory and language decline along with ADL decline). Currently, there is no known cure.
Here are some interesting facts regarding Alzheimer's:
These figures are staggering as we consider the ultimate economic, social, and health implications to those suffering from AD as their lives become severely altered with this disease's progression.
There is also the enormous burden that caregivers have in caring for their loved ones. In 2016, 15.9 million caregivers in the US provided 18.2 billion hours of unpaid care to those with AD or other dementias. AD places an enormous drain on informal caregivers' family members, leading to depression, anxiety, and poor health outcomes.
There has been a significant effort to implement public policy to address Alzheimer's Disease. Through the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA), President Obama signed into law options to address this disease's staggering difficulties.
Out of this law encompasses the Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), which is coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries consisting of a cognitive screening when they receive a wellness check-up. There is also some practical assistance for caregiver support, including; The Alzheimer's Support Act, which provides training and support for families and caregivers. There is also the Credit for Caregiving Act, which allows an eligible caregiver tax credit up to a certain amount.These are encouraging policies to bring much needed educational, financial, and emotional relief to family and caregivers. But what does it look like on a day to day basis for us as care managers to ensure well-being and safety measures are in place for our clients?
Elite Life Care Solutions
The reality is dementia is not going away anytime soon—our client/ward population at Elite Life Care Services battle with some form of dementia. Our goal is to ensure our client's/wards independence and self-sufficiency in their home environment with the right tools in place. We provide a thorough assessment of our clients based on clinical observation, medical information obtained from doctors, and informal collaboration from family/friend resources.
As a team, we come together to discuss our insights and personal observations. A care plan considers all components of one's social history. Included is the client/ward's personal preferences and strengths and weaknesses. As a result, we determine what plan of action focuses on short term and long term goals to address their specific dementia needs.
Overall, our vision is to provide interdependence, with the collective brainstorming of professionals. The purpose is for our clients to live a life full of dignity and compassion. With the right tools, our clients/wards can live in their home environment with the least disruptions. We activate this value by collaborating with professionals, including; doctors, nurses, clinical staff, caregivers, and care managers who provide their expertise on the client/ward's behavior and functioning. The care manager collects this information to formulate long and short term goals.
When our clients feel safe, listened too, and respected, mutual trust and a bond develop with their care manager. We have their ear because they know we have their best interest at heart.Donna Baranowski, MHSA
Source: Alzheimer’s Association. 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Available at https://www.alz.org/documents_custom/2017-facts-and-figures.pdf State data from 2017 Facts & Figures, Alzheimer’s Association
Source: National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease Source: The ABC’s of Annual Wellness Visit available at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/Downloads/ChronicCareManagment.pdf Source: www.Congress.Gov
We at Elite Life Care Services take pride in our dedicated, loyal staff who are passionately committed to providing outstanding service to our clients and wards. Quarterly, we will highlight one staff member to offer you a glimpse of what sets them apart based on their experiences, contributions, and insights, which helps create the unique quality of difference we provide for our clients.
I would like to introduce Sara Moody-Fink, who has been a vital part of Elite Life Care Services since 2016. Sara’s array of experience includes; Early Childhood Education, Child Welfare Case Manager, Support Coordinator for children and adults with disabilities, Hospice Grief Counseling and Admissions, Hospital Social Work, Head Start Family Advocate Case Manager, and experience in Customer Service as department Lead.
Sara has the education in the following: BA in Sociology, minor in Pre-Law from Eastern Illinois University, Master of Social Worker from the University of St. Frances, Post-Graduate Certificate in Gerontology the University of St. Frances. Sara is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and recognized as a Certified-Advanced Social Work Case Manager through NASW. Sara is also a registered member of the NASW and CMSA.
Sara has volunteered her time with- The Girl Scouts, served as an Early Childhood Sunday School teacher for several years, and organized church events. Sara also participated in multiple fundraising walks with JDRF, Y-me, and other nonprofit organizations.
How do you find your title as an LCSW brings balance to your role as a Life Care Manager with Elite?I find that it brings a different perspective to my role. As a social worker, we are trained to look at all aspects of a person: bio psycho social spiritual, and start where the client is. In working with clients and families, some want to jump from point A to point D. I have the privilege of helping the families and clients understand that it is a journey that starts at point A, but you must go through B and C to get to D. I am also the Social Worker for our sister companies, Elite Care at Home and Elite Care Management. I have been brought in on cases to help mediate extenuating circumstances. I conduct assessments for patients and find/refer to the resources they will need for a safe recovery. I help families with HCPOA and advanced directive paperwork (POLST). I am also the Director of Quality Assurance for ELCS. In this role, I work with and supervisor Elite’s interns. I also have developed tracing systems for internal projects. I maintain, with help, the hard files of our clients, along with many other tasks.
Sara, you have been an integral part of Elite Life Care Services for over four years. What would you say to someone who is “shopping” around for a care management company- why should they consider Elite’s Services? What do you think sets Elite apart from other similar industries?
I feel as if ELCS is just that Elite in the fact that we have different professionals with different education and experiences. In our team, we have people with multiple years of experience in Care management and human service administration, social workers, nurses, CNAs , and Nutritionists. This leads to a holistic, team driven approach and perspective for every client.
With such an increase of dementia in our aged population, what strategies would you recommend to bring the most life enhancing or supportive services as a Life Care Manager or Guardian?
When working with the client/ward we must be cognizant of remembering to start where that client is at on that specific day, that particular time. If the client is talking as if they have to go to work, don’t argue with them, but ask them what they did for work, where it was, if they like it, what they did to accomplish that day- where ever they are. Family members can enhance the client’s life by making Memory book with pictures to show and talk about with the clients. Having music that the client listened to at a certain time in their life can trigger memories as well as smell. As a little girl, my mother used to wear two different perfumes one was Chanel #5 for special occasions and the other was scented with Gardenia. When ever I smell either of those two, I am transported back in time with my mom. The same can be said for our clients.
What do you find as the most rewarding part of what you do for Elite?
Seeing a client happy. Knowing that Elite was able to help the client achieve their goal. Building a relationship with the client and knowing that the client trust you is very rewarding.
Ok, what about the most challenging part of your job…?Trying to help people who are not ready to accept help. Mostly in mental health cases. If the client refuses treatment and/or medication there is nothing we can do except encourage them to accept treatment. Watching the client spiral out of control and continue the cycle of involuntary admission, release then non-compliance with treatment is heartbreaking.
The field of case management can be very demanding, what things to you do to manage your own self care to keep from burn-out?
I enjoy spending time with my husband, adult children and two dogs. I enjoy traveling, camping, reading and watching funny video’s on-line. I have started back scrap booking to keep me off my phone! I don’t watch a lot of television but when I do it’s shows like Seal Team, The Black List, The Big Bang Theory or a Supernatural thriller. I try to stick to a strict work-life balance. Yes, emergencies come up that I deal with, but if it’s after hours and not an emergency, I am learning that it can wait until the next business day.
Thank you, Sara, for your amazing contributions to Elite!
Elite Life Care Services: The Business of Care
By Wallace Camis, BA, CNA, Veteran USAF
Troy Kerber, Director of Elite Life Care Services, has a mantra he likes to state during every team meeting. Troy always asks, “How can that action be of benefit to the Client?”. You see, at Elite Life Care Services the needs of our clients are of the highest priority! To this end, Mr. Kerber has built a team of people with an amazingly diverse array of backgrounds, but, with one thing in common. We Truly Care!
Each team member brings a unique combination of life experiences, education, and perspective to bear for the benefit of the clients. In an industry that must consider the needs of the individual, Elite Life Care Services is a company that is ready to address any and all needs of our clients.
One such area that Elite Life Care Services is a cut above the rest is in the area of Socialization. We often find that real, face to face, interactions with our clients is of great benefit to the client. This has never been more true than during the current global crisis. Clients who live in facilities have found that they are not allowed outside of their respective buildings. In some cases, they are not even allowed out of their rooms. This has had a dramatically negative effect on client morale.
In response to the mandatory lockdown, the Elite Life Care Services team has been putting together care packages for our clients, as well as providing small gifts and cards. This is done so that the clients know that there are people out there who care about them and are thinking about their welfare.
Margaret, a facility manager, stated, “Thank you Elite! Every time you show up with a gift and card you are making our job easier because your client is so happy for the rest of the day!”
Tara, a member of another facility staff, stated, “Thanks Elite! Your client was sad until you showed up with flowers and a card! Keep up the amazing work!”.
Elite Life Care Services is a company that consistently thinks outside the box in the care of our clients! The team at Elite Life Care Services is a unique creation by a leader who has been in the Care industry for many years. There is no issue that Elite Life Care Services cannot address with sincere Care.
Thank you, Sara, for your amazing contributions to Elite!