Through Gilchrist’s Care Counseling service, anyone in the community can reach a trained care navigator to receive support, guidance and help in understanding their options for care—either for themselves or a loved one with serious illness.
Since its inception in October 2017, the care navigation center has received over 10,000 calls. For every caller, our care navigators provide information to help them make an informed decision about the best care along with quick and easy access to resources and services.
Care navigators are very knowledgeable about services within Gilchrist and in the community. But what people appreciate most is the compassion, kindness and support that our care navigators show when people are vulnerable, anxious and overwhelmed, and don’t know where to turn.
Below are just two examples (callers’ names have been changed) that illustrate what care navigators do, who they serve, and what callers say about their impact.
Compassionate Care and Support
Kim is a 53-year-old woman who called our care navigation line in tears because her doctor told her it was time for hospice. Danielle Smith answered her call and assured her that she was there for her, and that it was OK to cry: “Sometimes we need to cry and cry hard when we get such devastating news. I am right here for you. I am not going anywhere.”
Danielle explained that a licensed social worker would conduct an informational visit so that she could learn more about hospice. Kim seemed grateful that someone would be coming to her home to help guide her through the process.
At the end of the call, Kim said, “You made me feel so much better—I am so grateful.” After the social worker visited Kim, she was admitted to hospice, where she continued to receive compassionate care from her Gilchrist team.
Practical Advice to Navigate Care Options
Our care counselor Lynn Duvall received a call from James, who was very stressed because he did not know where his mother should go next after her hospitalization. He explained that his mom was very weak, and the hospital was recommending rehabilitation, but she insisted on going home.
Lynn suggested that they follow the recommendations of the attending physician at the hospital and that while she was in rehabilitation, their staff could help his mom get the support and services she would need to help her return safely to home. Lynn suggested that he tour some of the rehabilitation facilities in advance and view a site that compares facilities.
Additionally, Lynn provided information about Gilchrist’s Elder Medical Care program and the services they could provide for both him and his mother when she returned home. Lynn encouraged James to let her know when his mother would be discharged from the rehabilitation facility, so Gilchrist could have services in place.
At the end of their call, he said that the care navigation center provided a great service. He stated, “You opened up this cloud that I have been carrying. I see light now, when before there was only darkness.”