What Can a Case Manager Help Me With?

What Can a Case Manager Help Me With?

Case manager is a term that applies to different areas of expertise. Most broadly, a case manager is a service provider who assesses a client’s needs and connects the client to appropriate, available community resources. If you are considering whether or not case manager is right for you or a family member in Florida, read on to learn what a case manager can help you with. 

What Does a Case Manager Do?

Case managers operate in a lot of different areas to meet the needs of their clients.

  • Hospital Case Manager: This is typically a nurse case manager who helps with needs assessment, treatment plan, and discharge planning as the client leaves the hospital for home, rehabilitation, or long-term care. They consider the patient’s health insurance as they make these decisions to ensure the best health outcomes while incurring the least financial burden.
  • Home Healthcare Case Manager: These individuals help provide hands-on care management and coordinate the healthcare team and caregivers. They help notice changes necessary to serve the client’s best interest and communicate with the medical team and insurance as necessary.
  • Health Insurance Case Manager: Health insurance is a huge driver of the care we are able to receive. A case manager for the health insurance company is sometimes assigned to ensure that the patient is receiving quality, necessary medical care in the most efficient and economical way possible for the insurance company.
  • Geriatric Case Manager: In our practice, we offer geriatric case management to our clients and others in our community. This specific type of case manager works to assist elderly clients and their families with a plan of care for the future, including long-term care and living arrangements. Similarly to the other management services above, a geriatric case manager works to assess and coordinate the needs of the client and manage ongoing care, serving as the eyes and ears for the best care. It is a privilege for our office to help clients increase and preserve their quality of life to the fullest extent possible.

What Qualifications Should Case Managers Have?

Case managers must have certain qualifications to assess, advocate, and adequately care for their clients. For some case managers, this comes from their training as a nurse or social worker. However, at a minimum, case managers typically hold a license or certificate in a health or human services field. The requirements for case management vary by state and/or the employing organization.

In Florida, case managers must have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Social Work, Social Sciences, or a related field and pass the Certified Case Manager (CCM) exam. Special exceptions may be made for individuals whose equivalent professional experience and/or education may be substituted in lieu of required qualifications.  

Most importantly, when considering management services for you or your family member, you will, of course, want to ensure that they are licensed and certified. A quality case manager will also have “soft skills” such as kindness, empathy, strong advocacy and assessment skills, and the ability to communicate with the client and his or her family a plan of care in a supportive and appreciated way.

At the Law Offices of Amy B. Van Fossen, it is our privilege to provide geriatric case management to our clients and our community. If you would like to discuss the compassionate care of one of our case managers for your loved one, please contact us today.

Does My Loved One Need a Case Manager or Guardian?

Does My Loved One Need a Case Manager or Guardian?

Establishing elder care planning can be confusing for families. Finding the right information about the options for care management will help your loved one remain as independent as possible. With the guidance of the team at The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A., your family will also protect your loved one’s assets and plan for quality of life when respite care is needed while you determine whether you need case management or guardianship.

What is a Case Manager?

Case managers act as points of contact in the care team that may include medical professionals, service providers, or assistants in someone’s plan of care. The relevant professionals may include a wide variety of social services, medical care, or legal care. The case manager plays a vital role in communicating new developments and critical information so that each member of the care management team can make informed decisions.

Why would an adult have a case manager?

There are many situations where it may be helpful for an adult to have a case manager. Particularly with elder care, this may be necessary when a loved one does not have the energy, health, or mental capacity to keep up with their daily care. A case manager plays a crucial role in a variety of tasks, planning, meeting with professionals, and coordinating everyday life for your loved one without removing their final decision-making authority.

How do case managers help families?

Case managers help families by serving as your extended arm when a loved one needs a care team but none of the primary family caregivers have the time or ability to serve in that role. A case manager can operate as a care manager for your loved one’s practical needs as well as serve as the primary contact for critical information that is needed by each member of the care team. 

How does an elder care attorney help with case management?

An elder care attorney is a valuable advocate for your loved one as the case manager is making decisions for their care plan. Partnering with an elder care attorney with a case manager can help your family consider a plan of care for a variety of concerns, expenses, and recommendations for care that may develop.

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a quality of care above a case manager intended to serve someone who has less ability to manage their day-to-day lives or important health care and financial decisions. A guardian can befamily caregiver, a close friend, or a fiduciary with several wards who answers to the court on the person’s behalf.

Why would an adult need a guardian?

The most frequent scenario where an adult needs a guardian is when they have a limited or complete inability to manage their own life decisions. There are two types of guardianship in Florida, limited and plenary (full). Under limited guardianship, the adult in care (referred to as a ward) can still make some independent decisions. If the adult is under plenary guardianship all decisions about the ward’s person and property are made by the guardian.

How does an elder care attorney help establish guardianship?

Our elder care attorney team can help file legal documents such as a petition for guardianship to assess the physical, mental, and functional health of your loved one to determine the types of care needed. 

Then, after the level of need is established, a personal contact from our law offices can help you locate a guardian or help your family establish the best guardian for your loved one.

If you believe your loved one may need a case manager or guardian in Central Florida contact The Law Offices of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A. Our attorneys will take care to listen to your loved one’s wishes and ensure your family has a clear plan in place. Contact us today to learn more about how Florida case management and guardianship work.

Important Things to Know When Completing a Power of Attorney

Important Things to Know When Completing a Power of Attorney

The Florida Bar defines a power of attorney as a legal document delegating authority from one person to another. In the document, the maker of the power of attorney (the “principal”) grants the right to act on the maker’s behalf as that person’s agent.

When granting these permissions to someone, there are several points to keep in mind.


  • NOT ALL POAs ARE EQUAL!!! Be careful of documents that are not created by an Elder Law Attorney, as they may not include language that will be important in your time of crisis. 
  • POA / Power of Attorney / Attorney-in-Fact are equivalent and interchangeable terms.
  • Florida’s POA is in effect IMMEDIATELY and remains in effect after a person loses capacity.
  • Florida had a major update to the laws regarding POAs in 2011. This change involved adding “Super Powers”, which grant the agent the right to do very specific and powerful things such as change beneficiaries on a trust, open a safe deposit box, etc. These powers must be individually initialed to be effective. 
  • If your current documents were written prior to 2011, you should have them updated.
  • It is recommended to review your entire Estate Plan every 5 years for personal updates and changes to the law.
  • A Power of Attorney is immensely powerful. When choosing an agent, you should consider that they have the power to control your assets, finances, and legal matters. This should be someone you know and trust. 
  • If you aren’t sure who you can trust with such authority, consider a professional organization that is willing to act on your behalf when the need arises. These businesses are bound by licenses, insured and bonded. Several case management, guardianship and law firms have programs in order to assist in these areas.


How to correctly sign as Power of Attorney

When signing for someone as their agent (Power of Attorney), please keep in mind that the way you sign is especially important. The umbrella of liability can change depending on how you sign your name on the documents.

For instance, if you are to sign a document improperly, with just your simple name, the liability is on you personally, just as if you were signing for yourself. If you are to sign properly, however, the liability shifts to the person you are signing for.

The example below shows both the proper and improper way of signing.

How to correctly sign as Power of Attorney

Contact The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen if you have additional questions about correctly filling out Power of Attorney forms or would like your documents reviewed. You can give us a call or send an email using the contact form below.