Paradigm Senior Care Advantage Case Manager: Fostering Independence and Health
Jerrie, a woman approaching 80 years of age, has been a patient of Dr. Benjamin Holloway at Hearthstone Family Practice (part of the Pioneer Physicians network) for years. In November of 2018, Katherine (Katie) Lasher RN, BSN, was assigned by Paradigm Senior Care Advantage as Jerrie’s healthcare case manager. Beginning in January of this year, Katie assumed this duty full time from Janet, the office LPN.
When Jerrie broke her neck 3 years ago, she began to experience difficulties with swallowing; she now has to feed herself through a percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy (peg) tube. The peg tube is a flexible feeding device that goes through the abdominal wall directly into the stomach. Needless to say, living with this condition has been quite disheartening for Jerrie. It is not a comfortable way to eat, and she has trouble keeping weight on. She said that Katie has made all the difference for her, and doesn’t know what she would do without her. And while Jerrie very much likes Dr. Holloway and his nurse, Janet, she also knows that it’s a very busy practice with numerous patients requiring their attention. Fortunately, Katie checks in with Jerrie at least once a week and has also given Jerrie her cell phone number so she can reach out to her at any time. When health problems arise, Katie can often help Jerrie with the issue. In the event that additional guidance is needed, Katie can consult with Dr. Holloway and get back to Jerrie with his input. She can also schedule an appointment for Jerrie to come in to see Dr. Holloway when needed.
Jerrie feels that Katie helps her to think—and act—on her own. For example, Jerrie had been experiencing constant sinus drainage and wasn’t sure if she could take an OTC medicine for fear that it might interfere with her prescription medications. Katie encouraged her to contact her pharmacist for advice, thus getting informed answers instead of wondering and worrying about it.
It’s telling that an adjective Jerrie used to describe Katie was “indispensable.” A lot of people give up on you when you’re older, states Jerrie, but Katie treats her like she is the 18-year-old woman she feels like inside.