Elaine Spicher joined the Kreisher Marshall and Associates, LLC team in February of 2019. Elaine assists clients and their families with care coordination in an effort to keep your loved one in the least restrictive environment throughout their care continuum. Elaine brings over 20 years of experience working with the senior population through various healthcare settings. Elaine is a graduate of Bloomsburg University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Elaine earned her Accredited Case Management Certification in 2012. She also has extensive training and experience working with individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and co-facilitates a monthly Alzheimer’s Support Group.
2020 has been a year full of immense change. Every person has been affected in one way or another by the events that have taken over this year. As a social worker with an overarching goal to support our clients to age in place in their own home, 2020 has provided major challenges and roadblocks.
Isolation, sadness and depression have been felt by so many Americans of all ages; however, the effects on the senior population have been incredibly severe. So many people have loved ones in Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities. Those in senior facilities have been physically isolated from their loved ones for almost 8 months and counting. They have not been able to hug them or even hold their hand, with the most amount of contact being through window visitations.
In my experience, for the spouse and children at home, the lack of physical and emotional contact with those who they care about the most has been devastating. Everyone has tried to become creative with FaceTime and Skype visits, but not everyone in the senior population has a smart device or computer with Internet at home. For those of our clients lacking these devices, our law office has been trying to bridge the gap. We are assisting families in utilization of iPads to see their loved ones, organizing the set up with telemedicine visits and reaching out to facilities to increase communication with families regarding their loved one’s conditions, to ensure they are receiving proper medical care.
For those clients at home that are trying to age in place, 2020 has taught us to be creative, flexible and build on community relationships. Home care agencies are struggling to hire direct caregivers during this pandemic. Direct home care workers are essential in keeping our seniors at home. So many seniors are unable to find in-home care. We recognize this first-hand and spend most of our days reaching out to those agencies and trying to plan and coordinate quality in-home care for our clients.
2020 has also changed the process for the Home and Community Based Waiver Services. In our area, beginning in January of this year, the state introduced three managed care organizations: AmeriHealth Caritas, PA Health and Wellness and UPMC. These organizations approve the number of hours of in-home care for the waiver participants and have service coordinators to help with care coordination for the waiver participant. I participate in the MCO assessments with the client and families, as well as assist the service coordinators in finding quality home care agencies for the client. The Waiver process can be very confusing and overwhelming. I always advocate for the most care and services available to our clients and we assist them in every step of this extremely complicated process.
Being a Life Care Planning Law Firm sets us apart from others now more than ever. Having two Certified Elder Law Attorneys and two Elder Care Coordinators, with a combined 35+ years of social work experience, gives our families the support, expertise, advocacy, and confidence they need during these challenging times. Our office strives to create relationships with our clients, their families and our community. For those Life Care Planning Clients in our office, they get a team working with them every day to support and assist them with those curve balls and roadblocks that 2020 has provided. Our Clients become an extension of the KMA family. They know we are here for them during these challenging times and they can count on us to answer the phone and be there for them whenever they need us.