Senior Concierge Advisor Kathy Kappler with Concierge Care Advisors talks about Discharge Planning.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And Welcome back to answers for elders. Everyone. We have a very special guest here at lady baby the name of Kathy Kappler from Concierge Care Advisors. And know they’re not a hotel, they are a wonderful concierge service for our senior loved ones out here and Kathy, welcome to the program thank you very much. I’m happy to be here. You know, Kathy, you had a great interview last week when we talked really about assessing your loved one, which is so important. We use that word a lot and people you know, like me, layman people, they we don’t know what that really means. So thank you for going through that last week. But this week, obviously there’s a big part of if your parent has either been in the hospital or, more importantly, like a rehab situation where there is going to be this transition from from one facility to another type of living situation, there’s a term that’s out there that’s called discharge planning. Could you define specifically, what does does that mean? Discharge planning is really simply finding the safe, appropriate place for the resident or client to move to. Okay, so in in this scenario of you’re talking. Is this usually done by a social worker? What who is involved in discharge planning? Yes, it’s usually a social worker or discharge planner, and so it’s their job to find the correct discharge location. Okay, so that will happen. Let’s say, for example, I just had one of my Facebook friends. It just broke my heart. He posted a picture of his mother who would just fallen and broken her hip and she was a hospital. Obviously Mom will be in the hospital for not very long, but mom will probably go to a rehab centers. That correct? So there’s a discharge process involved in that piece. Is that correct? Right from the hospital and then a discharge from rehab. Okay, so in that process a social worker. What is social worker do in that process? How do they go about the discharge planning process? Well, they they really have to understand, of course, all the needs of the resident, or the patient, it would be, really from a hospital. They need to understand the care needs, they need to understand the type of environment they need to go to. They have to order medical equipment, meaning a Walker, wheelchair, sure, hospital bad. They have to make sure transportation is in order right. They have to usually there’s been medication changes, they have to make sure the medication order is complete, eat and goes to wherever it needs to go to. I’m it’s there’s just all these little details that they have to make sure are in order. Sure, sure, and and you know, if you have a loved one that’s in a either the hospital or a rehab center and you’re looking at discharge, one of the things that I’m sure that is involved, at least in my history, is what’s called a care conference with families, and that is something that I would love to have you outline a little bit about what that is. Okay, I care conference is done with a different disciplines of the hospital or we have actually, and so it involves the social worker, it involves the patient themselves, it involves nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy and any other discipline that wants to be in there, and we often as a company, are asked to attend those as. That makes sense. And so you’re basically getting everybody together in one room and meeting with either the well, I’m sure that senior loved one, if they’re if they’re, you know, understanding or coherent enough. And then, obviously the family members are also included in that is absolutely yes, they are too. I didn’t include that, but that’s a very big part of it. Yeah. And and so in this process, how how do people, I mean there has to be this emotional change, mm of any kind of transition, have. What kind of emotions are transition in these kind of transitions? Are normal? normal? Okay, well, there’s lots of emotions. And because the the loved one, is sitting there listening to everybody basically talk about him or her, because physical therapy goes over where they are with their therapy. What can they do? What can they not do? Same with occupational therapy and speech nursing is there to talk about any nursing procedures that have to be done to the resident. And then and family members are there to express their concerns, but really to listen, to get the full picture of what’s involved with this discharge. We are there as a company to also gather all that information and then to usually respectfully and gently talk about the options that are recommended, especially if it is not to return to home. So we need to talk very carefully, right in my opinion, about that option and what that means to that loved one and they usually have a lot of questions for us. Right, and obviously, even if it’s a hospital, going to a rehab right. They’re one of the things that really blew my mind when I was taking care of my mom. They just put her in to Rehab. I didn’t have any didn’t realize that I had a choice. I didn’t like the Rehab shoes in okay, and I found out afterwards I should have been, you know, at least notified of options or something like that. I’m assuming that’s where the care, where the care conference, comes in. Is that correct? Right? Yes, you should have been notified, you know, and I always advise families to really communicate well with the social workers and discharge planners. The social workers and discharge planners are extremely busy and sometimes they’re hard to reach and hard to talk to, but I think it’s obligation of a family to do that so that they know exactly what is going on, what timeframe they’re talking about. Sure, sure, so we are talking to Kathy Keppler of Concierge Care advisors and Kathy, I’m so glad you’re here, but one of the things that we do in this whole discharge process is. What’s the role of the family? You know, what is our real defined role as we’re dealing with this transition? The role, again, is to communicate as much as possible with the social worker, communicate with a company like we, if we’re involved without discharge. Were communicate with the family all the time. We help keep them enlightened as to what is going on. So the family needs to know at ask questions, be involved with a care culture. What does this discharge me and what is my obligation? What do I need to do to my home to get it ready for this person to return to home? Sure, what do I need to do to the assist a living adult family home or retirement community where this where my mother or father is going? What is my role? Ask questions. Right, and I think that, as much as you’re saying that that is so important and and I’m going to as a is a former caregiver, know that in it’s in those defining moments that your life is a family caregiver could change dramatically. Right, and this is a time for you to really do a lot of internal personal work. There’s going to be some major changes in your family to really understand the process, but at the same time, caregiving, yes, will be part of your life, but it shouldn’t be your whole life exactly. You need to, you know, set up some really strong boundaries so that you don’t lose yourself in this process exactly. I’m saying that right now because it’s people like Kathy that can really help you as a caregiver in you know, and helping to maintain some balance into your life. For sure, we work with families on those issues all the time. Boundaries is a word I use all the time. It’s very important care of yourself, because we see the healthy spouse or whatever start to lose their health because they’re taking care of their loved one and they’re not taking care of themselves and I’ll they’ll go down what I call the rabbit hole and and you know that caregiver burnout is a real thing and it’s harder to get your life back once you hit the wall and you’ve gone down the rabbit hole. It’s more important to really set your, you know, your boundaries and and stay, you know, focused on that process. I think so too huge, huge piece for families to go through and you know, I think one of the things that in having somebody like you is I always talk about caregivers should have a support network. One of the things that I was so grateful for in many cases when I was a caregiver is I had people like you that I can rely on, that I could talk to about issues. And I think you know one of the things that’s really great about a service like yours is the fact that as your family is going through this transition, and when I say family, I mean family, it’s a huge thing. If grandfather is moving out of his home that he’s lived in for seventy five years and all of a sudden he’s broken a hip and he has to move into assisted living, it’s every it affects every single person in the family. It absolutely does, and not every person and that family is on the same page. Sure, so we deal with that all the time. We do. We will do family counseling. We will meet with a family just to have them be able to talk out what are your concerns, what can we do to help you? It’s such an important piece of this in it and you know to understand that, you know really what the priorities need to be and to really define what those are is a unit that you know. I really think that, yes, not everybody’s on the same page, but I think that if everybody feels heard, it’s better. That’s right, and you so that’s a good piece that you’re offering. So that’s great, right. That’s absolutely huge. So, Kathy, what areas do you serve in greater and Puget Sound? We have advisors from Bellingham to Olympia. That’s wonderful. So your serve pretty much the entire greater Puget Sound region. And how do we reach you? You can reach me at four, two, five nine, one nine, two seven two four or eight hundred and fifty five, four, four, four seven, three six four. And what is your website? ConciergeCareAdvisors.com. That is awesome, Kathy. I am so glad that you’re there for us in greater Puget Sound and you know, I know that there’s so many families out there that are going through the challenges of their senior loved one and we’re so glad that you’re here in this area to help us. Thank you very much. My pleasure.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.