Ellen Platt is the self-described “hub of the wheel” for her clients, helping them navigate longevity. She is an advocate, companion, champion and care manager. Reaching out to the organizations and individuals who can help meet the needs of her clients, Platt puts together the pieces of the puzzle that will help those with catastrophic injury, chronic diseases, disabilities and issues with aging, both in times of crises and in times of readiness.
Platt is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Case Manager, and a Geriatric/Aging Life Care Manager. Add to that 30 years’ experience in case management and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, and the result is a company that helps individuals navigate the often bumpy roads of health care, elder care and everyday life. The Option Group LLC/Senior Management Options was founded in 2010, with the mission of enhancing quality of life for aging, ill or disabled family members.
• Family Consultation
• Facility Placement
• Individual and Family Assessments
• Care Plan Development/Implementation
• Crisis Intervention
• Eldercare Counseling and Support
• Family Liaison & Caregiver Support
• Coordinate Community Resources
• Consumer Education and Client Advocacy
• Ongoing Monitoring & Reporting
• Long Distance Caregiver Coordination
The Option Group LLC/Senior Management Options
“I navigate for families from beginning to end,” Platt says. “I work with clients from 8 to 108, to get the safety net in place that will minimize the impact of a crisis. There are so many older people living away from family; it’s difficult to care for them from a distance.” Platt becomes the “boots on the ground” for those out of town or limited in their own
ability to help.
Platt advocates for care needs – whether that is getting the right financial and legal documents in place, helping coordinate and attend doctors’ visits and navigating insurance, or keeping them safe, independent and functional – she helps families make the best decisions for their loved ones. “We start with an assessment and discussion of goals, then we design an individualized care plan and implement it with the care recipient and family. It’s all about quality of life,” she explains.
Follow-up services such as ongoing care management, coordination and monitoring are included in the care plan, as well as feedback to the families. Sometimes Platt will work with a family to set up the initial services, then simply touch base every three to four months, or provide intermittent assistance as care needs or conditions change. She says she spends her Fridays checking on clients to make sure they are prepared for the weekend, with enough food, comfortable surroundings and any other amenity they may need. Although she does take calls on weekends, she says these routine checks not only help her to head off any challenges, they also give her a chance to visit her clients and assure all is well.
Platt has a team of eight people who work with her, including a social worker, nurse, nurse practitioner, driver and two case management associates. She also has a professional network of people just like her in other cities across the nation, making it easy to provide referrals for out-of-state clients. Because Platt is paid by the hour by the individual families, not by the facilities to which she refers them, she says she is able to make the most honest and best recommendations for her clients. She and her team can help people remain independent as they age, or they can take care of the details of moving someone into assisted living, should it become necessary. While she notes insurance does not cover these expenses, some long-term care policies will reimburse families for her services.
Platt says building awareness of her firm is critical. “We want people to know that there are qualified options out there and we will help find them,” Platt says. She notes that with the aging of the population, the case management market will continue to grow, which will lead to people without experience setting up shop. Platt advises families to look for someone who is certified in Geriatric or Aging Life Care Management, and who has developed a high level of clinical skill through experience. Ask questions like: Do you belong to a professional organization with a Code of Ethics and Continuing Education requirements? What geographic area do you service? Do you have people on call in the evenings and on weekends? What are the qualifications of the staff that will be interacting with my loved one?
Platt says she loves what she does. “It’s different every day. When I see that I can help with complex, sometimes very sad or unsafe situations, and improve their quality of life, it encourages me to keep going.” I95 Content Marketing