Usually, when the elderly first come to Home Care Package and meet their Care Manager, they also ask them if they have a medical background. At Happy Living, in addition to our Care Managers who are in direct contact with our clients, we also have a professional team working “behind the scenes” to protect our clients health – the Clinical Team. In this article, we will introduce the Clinical Team and get to know more about what they do to improve senior health.
What qualifications do the Clinical Team need?
Firstly, only registered nurses are qualified to be working as a part of the Clinical Team in Australia so that they can provide professional advice.
Secondly, it is necessary to have the right experience in the Aged Care industry to understand and be familiar with the physical conditions of the elderly.
Note: the Clinical Team is responsible for completing a comprehensive assessment of our clients’ condition, and accordingly, they provide recommendations on which medical specialists should be consulted. They are not the same as a GP and cannot replace the role of a client’s GP.
Here are some Q&A for you to better understand our Clinical Team.
1. Does the Care Manager and the Clinical Team do the same job?
The Care Manager and Clinical Team each play a different role in our clients’care but often work together.
After the client successfully signs with Happy Living, the Care Manager and the Clinical Team will read through the client’s assessment together and write a corresponding care plan according to the client’s health both physiological and psychological, and their family and living conditions.
In the follow-up service, the Care Manager is responsible for contacting the client for daily matters, including: recommending nurses, organising support services, processing reimbursements, providing professional consultation, assisting with service upgrades, and updating care plans. At Happy Living, we have three different management models; self, part and full management. Depending on the model, the Care Manager will be more or less involved in helping manage the client’s care support.
When understanding the client’s health, psychology, or family conditions have changed, if the Care Manager needs assistance confirming the care plan, they will contact the Clinical Team to obtain suggestions. At Happy Living, the Clinical Team will work with the Care Manager to organise relevant care services or refer the client to Allied Health Professionals.
If your physical condition changes, please remember to contact your family doctor or specialist as soon as possible. You should also keep in touch with your Care Manager to update such information, and then they can advise the necessary actions based on your situation.
2. What is the difference between Allied Health Professionals and the Clinical Team?
The two teams are completely different. The Happy Living Clinical Team is responsible for making care recommendations for our clients, participating in care services and referring services. They are an internal team, and we don’t charge any extra fees for their service, it is included in the management fee.
Allied Health Professionals are external medical specialists such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nutritionists, podiatry therapists, etc. When a Home Care Package (HCP) recipient has a health condition, they need to see an Allied Health team and the cost may be covered by their Home Care Package. For more detailed information, you can visit: https://www.health.vic.gov.au/allied-health-workforce/allied-health-professions
3. Is the Clinical Team responsible for other services?
The Clinical Team will also give relevant advice based on the client’s psychological condition and family situation.
The Care Manager will regularly keep in touch with the client and continue to observe the changes in their mentality. Changes in the family situation of the elderly, such as the death of a partner, relocation of children, deterioration of a relationship between relatives, could all lead to an increase in care needs, due to short-term psychological problems for example.
A Case Study: Working with Care Manager & Clinical Team to prevent falls.
A client of Happy Living said that he had weakness in his legs and feet, and was afraid of falling while walking.
His Care Manager worked with the Clinical Team to assess the client’s situation and health profile. They identified that this client may have a poor appetite which resulting in a thin physique.
Therefore, we recommended that the elder see a physiotherapist and dietitian. The physiotherapist specified treatments and exercise programs for the client, and the nutritionist formulated a balanced nutritional diet, to increase nutrient absorption, strengthen the legs, and improve physical fitness to prevent potential falls.
Working together to provide total protection for the elderly. We are the Guard of Senior Health.
When a new situation occurs or there is a change in the client’s health condition, this should be documented by the Care Manager and the client’s support worker.
Understanding which body part is uncomfortable, where the weakness is, what is the current state of mind, and whether family members and friends have recently taken care of the elderly could be useful. Now you can easily update your information via our conveience tool ——myCare. More information can be found here: https://happyliving.com.au/mycare/.
In this way, we can assess and update the client’s care plan with the Clinical Team in a timely manner. Based on a change in their health needs, the elderly may be advised to contact their GP or an external Allied Health professional. Happy Living may even assess whether they need to assist the elderly in submitting a request for a Home Care Package level upgrade.