CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2011 - (Page 10)

A Caregiver’s Perspective A Caregiver’s Emotional Journey Helps in Development of Valuable Case Management Resource Ask Medicare Initiative Geared Toward Assisting Case Managers, Caregivers BY SUSIE BUTLER y dad was an artillery sergeant in the Korean War, a job that made him responsible for the safety of dozens of fellow soldiers and required him to manage the pressures of battle far away from home. As a husband and father, he was always there for us – a figure of strength who did what he had to do to take care of his family and rarely, if ever, asked for help. But that take-charge perspective changed dramatically in January 2007 when he was admitted to the emergency room due to pancreatitis from a gallstone, which soon led to renal failure and care in the ICU. For the first time I could remember, he needed help from me. Within hours of arriving in Kansas City to visit him in the hospital, I learned something else. For several months my father had been a full-time caregiver for my mom, who was suffering from dementia. For a variety of reasons he had kept this to himself, proceeding in his stoic way to do what he felt was expected of him. Suddenly – literally overnight – I became the caregiver for both of my parents. 10 CMSA TODAY ISSUE 5 • 2011 • DIGITAL M This new arrangement would have been difficult enough if I lived down the street. It became all the more challenging to manage from thousands of miles away. In some ways I was more prepared than many people would have been. Through my position at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), I learned that CMS was developing Ask Medicare, an initiative to provide helpful information to the 66 million U.S. residents who provide care for a seriously ill, disabled, or aging family member or friend. From a professional perspective, I knew that on any given day nearly 1 in 3 people in this nation take on a caregiving role and that most balance caregiving duties with part- or fulltime work responsibilities. Unfortunately, that professional knowledge did little to prepare me for the emotional and physical energy the role required. For the most part, the staff at the hospital did a fine job in taking care of my dad, but I spent so much of every day wishing I could be there to advocate, in person, for the care and

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2011

President’s Letter
Case Managers are Critical to Decreasing Fragmented Care
A Caregiver’s Emotional Journey Helps in Development of Valuable Case Management Resource
A Managed Care Poem
Case Managers in the Spotlight: The Impact of Case Management on Nursing Leadership and Health Care
CMSA and NASW Launch the CMI Case Load Capacity Calculator
Health Plan Accreditation and Health Care Reform
Association News
CMSA Corporate Partners
Index of Advertisers

CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2011