Anyone who has been through a crisis knows that change can frighten, devastate and overwhelm. We’ve seen many residents join our Episcopal Retirement Homes communities after a life-changing event.
It’s our goal to see all Cincinnati seniors thrive in their golden years. That’s why we started Living Well Senior Solutions (LWSS).
The pilot program, which was initiated with just a single client in 2008, has nearly doubled in size from 2011 to 2012, and we continue to grow as we serve older adults in the Greater Cincinnati area.
What is Living Well Senior Solutions?
LWSS is a geriatric care management program that serves the entire family. In fact, it’s often grown children who contact program director Peggy Slade-Sowders for help.
“I always say that our care managers are like extended family members. Each manager treats the clients as if they were her own mother or father,” says Kathy Ison-Lind, Vice President for Affordable Housing and In-Home Services at Episcopal Retirement Homes. “The care managers know all of the resources in the city, and they are truly advocates for their clients.”
This senior services program aims to be the preventive measure, the arm to lean on for support and the bright spot in a cloudy situation—all rolled into one. From the very beginning, our priority was to help older adults live wherever they call home for as long as possible by making the most of opportunities and maintaining total wellness.
“The program is really all about promoting strength of people,” says Peggy Slade-Sowders.
Instead of bringing attention to what an older adult can no longer do, we focus on promoting the things they can do.
Serving at the Client’s Convenience.
As experienced care managers, the Living Well Senior Solutions team looks at the big picture to create a plan that provides exactly what each client needs. Slade-Sowders and her team of four can do everything from accompanying clients to a doctor’s appointment to arranging in-home support and senior services.
“We try to help with whatever a client most needs,” Slade-Sowders notes. Large or small, Living Well Senior Solutions can help. “For example, we had a client who quilts and knits. She had forgotten how to do one knitting stitch, and kept getting stuck. We found a knitter to come in and help her with that stitch. It’s still up to her if she does it, but she has what she needs now.”
The average time care managers spend with clientele ranges from an hour to 30 hours a month, depending on what is needed at any given moment.
“Our services are very personalized and very flexible. We respond to our clients’ needs at their convenience, not ours,” Slade-Sowders says.
Living Well Senior Solutions Provides What Older Adults Need.
The LWSS caregivers work to improve the quality of their clients’ senior living experience. In the past year our team has been able to:
- Prevent at least 10 hospitalizations because of early intervention and follow-up. This often means doing mini-assessments when care managers notice a client isn’t feeling well and contacting the doctor before a condition escalates.
- Correct potential safety issues and prevent countless falls.
- Help clients keep up the lifestyle they’re used to— going on trips and attending events.
- Provide rides for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and other errands.
- Help clients and their families through the complicated process of selling a house.
- Ensure that spouses and families were together for holidays and family events.
- Assist with technology like emergency response devices, medication dispensing systems, and easier to manage phones, so that clients could stay safely in their homes.
Slade-Sowders says that their biggest result, by far, is something that’s hard to quantify—