Hitting the Mobile Mark on Elder Care

The following post was written by Marc Bernica, Senior Vice President, Care Advantage & Product Support Services at Bright Horizons.

It's called many things: our golden years, our sunset days!the twilight of our lives. But regardless of what we call them, the elder years are also a time of major transitions.

As our loved ones get on, their needs change. And let's be honest - that can be scary. This is especially true when an elder loved one lives in another state - a situation that presents the difficult challenge of being (often literally) in unfamiliar territory.

Following Through With a Friendly Face

That was the case recently for an employee of one of our Bright Horizons Care Advantage clients. Her mother lived across the country and needed a caregiver with her at home while trying to rebound from an illness. She'd had a great experience with a the last caregiver she'd used through Bright Horizons. And since a friendly face can make all the difference, she wanted the same caregiver to return. Our call center consultant happily complied.

But the schedule would have bumps. Just 30 minutes after the initial reservation was made, it had to be cancelled to accommodate a forgotten hospital visit. Within a day, the reservation had to be rescheduled again.

Each time, the consultant was able to change gears quickly and professionally. And each time, with complete understanding and compassion, our consultant rolled with the developments, changing and re-changing the reservation not once, not twice, but three times...and confirming each within a matter of three hours. That meant dependable care for the elderly care recipient and a worry-free day for her daughter across the country.

Elder Care Support Requires Flexibility

This is no small thing. After all, as employees, we may be able to control our own schedules managing 9:00 meetings, 10:30 conference calls and 12:45 webinars. But as relatives of elder and aging family members, no such timelines exist. Emergencies happen. Appointments need to be scheduled. Complications occur. Having someone who's available to reorder the chaos can make the difference between a day spent working...and one spent on the phone trying to reorder care yourself. That's what our contact center does every day.

It would be disingenuous to ignore the critical part our amazing network of providers plays in this process. It's as much about them as our excellent contact center. Those dedicated and responsive caregivers allow us to make those results happen.

Stories like that client's illustrate what we do, and why it's so important to keep on our toes to adapt and adjust as care needs change. It's not enough just to staff and confirm care effectively and efficiently with stellar caregivers. To fully serve people, we also need to roll with the punches and continue exceeding expectations no matter how many times plans change. That's what we're there for.

At the end of the day, if we can add some comfort and order to this chaotic world!then we can say it's a job well done.