A CARE ADVANTAGE LIFE: ELIZABETH MAKO
WHAT IS AN HCS?
There are many different elements involved when holding the role as a Home Care Specialist (HCS). Primarily we are the liaison between the in-home private duty care company and hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, and many other healthcare services or accommodations. But we don’t stop there. We also work closely with any professional in the aging life care industry - elder law attorneys, care managers, and financial planners.
As an HCS, I try to be a resource to my clients and their families covering a wide range of care needs. For more about our in-home care services click here
I typically consult with clients and families on care options. Care Advantage offers specialized programs targeting different needs—from hourly to 24/7 care, a 7-day live-in caregiver program, or private duty skilled nursing for high acuity patients. But in the background, there is a whole team of experienced care services professionals who support the client through the onboarding process and help to make each client experience a positive one.
DAY TO DAY
Every day starts with a strong plan. Time management is the key to a successful day because on a busy day anything can happen. Some days I’m answering back to back calls from social workers and case managers. Other days, I’m focusing on our email messaging about a new program. The variety and pace of the day keeps me on my toes.
IT'S GOOD TO TALK
The best way our team supports each other is through clear communication. The attention to detail regarding each case determines its success. We can take any curveball thrown at us because we have a constant line of communication and having each other’s backs. Dare I say, over communication?
One person I’m talking with regularly is my amazing staffer, Ivonne. She’s in charge of caregiver availability, schedules, and match-making clients. With every client, there are core questions that must be answered. With all the moving parts, I try not to let any questions go unanswered. As she says, “tie it up with a bow”.
ADAPTING DURING COVID
Before COVID, you would see me driving around in my Jeep, slinging brochures and handing out business cards. In March 2020, with concern for the safety of our team and clients, Care Advantage made the smart decision to have our care family work remotely when possible. For me and other HCS’s it took a few weeks to adjust not seeing everyone in person, missing the hugs and smiling faces. On the bright side, the new circumstances offered new opportunities. Was I working from a card table and a plastic chair? Yes. Was I talking to my clients in my fuzzy slippers? Perhaps. But like I said, you have to see the bright side.
Care Advantage was an early adopter to providing COVID+ care by establishing a COVID Task Force. The task force includes a nurse accompanying the caregiver on day one of a client’s care. Safety is our top priority. Protocol requires multiple health screenings prior to care starting (from both a client and caregiver touchpoint), understanding the home environment, and offering COVID-19 testing.
I feel so lucky to have an experienced and supportive team around me and I am very proud to serve those, in the safest place possible, each and every day.