Care conferences | Fendrick Morgan Law

The Importance of Care Conferences

By: Elder Care Coordinator, Nancy Carman

Whether a loved one is in short-term subacute rehab in a care community after a hospital stay, with the intention of returning home or is residing at a nursing home long-term, it’s important to understand the value of the care conference and the role the family and an Elder Care Coordinator can play to ensure good care.

When an elder is in subacute rehab in a skilled nursing community, there is typically a multi-disciplinary care conference that is scheduled approximately one week into their stay.  This is coordinated by the facility social worker and the family should be invited to attend this on-site meeting.  The goal of this meeting is to establish what the rehab goals are and start the discharge planning when those goals are reached.  Professionals from the care facility that should be in attendance are the social worker (who will conduct the meeting), nurse manager, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and other professionals who may be providing care services for your loved one i.e., speech therapist and dietician.  It’s important that the elder, who the meeting is all about, is part of the meeting.  Care Conferences typically last about 30 minutes and everyone should come away with a clear idea of the therapy and care that will be provided, how long the subacute rehab will be provided, and where the elder will be residing after discharge.

There should also be a second Care Conference scheduled about a week before the elder is discharged from subacute rehab, for the sole purpose of making sure that everyone is in agreement as to where the elder is transitioning to, whether back home, to an assisted living residence, a continuing care residence or a nursing home and the durable medical equipment and health care services that will be needed.

The Elder Care Coordinator at Fendrick Morgan is a critical part of care conferences, whereby they can make sure all relevant information is provided by the care team at the facility, effective planning is put in place and all family questions are answered.  The Elder Care Coordinator is also involved with your loved one and the family caregivers every step along the way assisting with discharge planning and ensuring that quality care is provided during the subacute rehab stay.

The Care Conference is also an important part of an elder’s long-term stay at an assisted living residence.  In this residential-style setting, there typically is a 30-day care conference with the Executive Director and Nursing Wellness Director meeting with the elder and family. The Elder Care Coordinator is a key person in the care conference, leading the discussion as to how well your loved one is adjusting their life in assisted living.  Although assisted living residences are not mandated to have regular care conferences, the Elder Care Coordinator can request a care conference at any time if there are unresolved care issues and ensure that these are taken care of.

If your loved one is residing in skilled nursing for long-term care.  There should be regular quarterly care conferences.  These meetings are similar to subacute rehab care conferences, but you may see other care professionals such as the activities director at that meeting.  Again, the Elder Care Coordinator can assist you in navigating the complexities of the care needs of your loved one in this care setting.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Life Care Planning and a dedicated Elder Care Coordinator, please give our office a call at 856-489-8388. We look forward to hearing from you.

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