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There is an army of professionals beyond nurses and doctors who help and support our elders. These unsung heroes range from social workers, to aging life care specialists to care managers.

One week in October, “Care Managers Week”, is set aside to recognize and show appreciation for these professionals who advocate for elders in their community. They coordinate services, helping elders manage their illness all while they support and encourage them to live their best lives.

Here at Springpoint at Home, we are proud of our case managers and their commitment to their clients. Without fanfare, they often go above and beyond “normal” care management activities and have the stories to prove it. In honor of their work, we asked them two questions:

  1. What do you love about your work?
  2. What did you never, ever expect to have to do as a care manager?

Rachel Glatt, MSW, LSW, CALA

I love being an advocate and a resource for our elderly clients, their families and our community. Many families live far away, and they rely on us to be their second set of eyes and ears. It is rewarding to know that often as a Care Manager, you become an extension of the family.

What I did not anticipate when becoming a Care Manager was how much shopping is involved (clothing, food, household supplies). I always thought care management was about advocacy, counseling and guidance. There is much more to those components. Sometimes it is bringing in the mail or a newspaper. It is pulling the garbage and recycles to the curb. Care Managers wear many different hats. It’s the “little things” that sometimes matter the most.

Pat Lususky, LSW

I think you’ll find that many of us who love working in this field had a special affinity for our elders even in childhood. I was a last, late child of older parents so, as a young woman, whenever I looked at a senior citizen, I saw my mom and dad. I was fortunate to have been able to do many jobs in the field of geriatrics and health care, and also fortunate in being able to get my master’s degree in social work.

As any social worker can tell you, a penchant for finding solutions comes with that vocation. It’s a gratifying feeling when I can listen to a person and work with them on finding solutions to obstacles keeping them from enjoying their lives to the fullest. I also just enjoy listening to and getting to know the people we work for. Every person is so interesting! It is so rewarding!

As to something I didn’t expect to do: this story is from a previous care manager position, but I did not expect to have to climb in a window to help a lady with dementia who couldn’t figure out how to undo her deadbolt and was panicking about being trapped in her home!

However, at Springpoint at Home, let’s just say that I wasn’t expecting having to master so much computer technology. Also – weekly COVID testing was not something we ever could have anticipated.

Mary Ann Ross, BA, CSW, CDP

I love being a care manager because people really appreciate the help we give them. Often, they feel so overwhelmed and stressed. They just don’t know what to do. Then we spend time with them and as we offer options, you can see them start to relax. Often people say, “I didn’t know that was possible.” There is a whole new realm of possibilities! I also love hearing about peoples’ lives and the things they have. It’s great to see families taking care of each other.

Wendy Schutzer, MSG

I really enjoy learning about the lives of my clients. Each and every one has led an interesting life, filled with many adventures and accomplishments.

I recently had to take the cat of one of my clients to the veterinarian. She had adopted this cat from a friend, and no one knew anything about its history. We were advised that, at the least, it should have a rabies shot. The cat and I were gone for about an hour and a half. Upon our return to the client’s house, she was waiting at the front door for us. It turns out that she was very upset and crying the whole time we were gone because she didn’t think the cat was coming back. She loves her cat!

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