Marjorie Piazza is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, in practice since 1976. In addition to heading Eldercare Solutions, she provides care for senior citizens and the disabled, and consultation to individuals, families and industry in the greater New York area.
Caring for those who cannot care for themselves requires a big time commitment and continuous vigilance in order to ensure availability of the services necessary for an optimal recovery or for maintaining a high quality of life. It is a complicated process that can easily overwhelm a fragile patient and stunned family members. I know because I have been there.
In 1988, my brother became suddenly and catastrophically ill and in need of an advocate/care manager. I took on the task of interfacing with various medical specialists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, pulmonology technicians, private nursing agencies, and overzealous discharge planners - all assigned to help him "within hospital policy". In such situations, insurance companies often refuse to pay charges. Consequestly, my brother was faced with the enormous task of applying and negotiating for Medicaid eligibility which would continue to pay his bills when insurance coverage terminated. (Unlike Medicare, which is an entitlement, Medicaid has eligibility requirements.)
My brother needed my help for 2 and a half years - the length of time it took for him to be able to live independently. During that period, I learned the skills necessary to successfully work within the long-term care system. Three years later, I was using this knowledge again on behalf of my father who had developed Alzheimers.
My experiences with my family planted the seed that grew into Eldercare Solutions. These experiences impressed upon me the poignant need for care management services for the elderly and disabled. I witnessed first-hand the neglect of patients and families who lacked a voice knowledgeable enough and powerful enough to break through the barriers of the "system" and overcome its inadequacies. With these experiences fresh in my mind, I undertook this journey. It is a journey motivated by compassion for burdened individuals and families who, finding themselves in crisis and feeling vulnerable, confused, and lost in the maze of decision-making, might find relief and reassurance with my assistance.
If you are facing a crisis or want to create a contingency plan, give me the opportunity to partner with you and to guide you through the decision-making process. I can help you turn the challenges into opportunities. And remember,...
The key to avoiding a crisis is adequate planning.