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Lending a hand to aging family members: Acting as eyes, ears

May is National Aging Life Care Month and Jensen Case Management LLC of Marquette is a private practice that assists families and aging family members in maintaining independence. It also helps navigate patients through the health care system. Jensen Case Management LLC is part of Aging Life Care Association, which is a national organization. (Photo courtesy of Maureen Jensen)

MARQUETTE — After April’s showers, May begins to sprout flowers and it’s also National Aging Life Care Month.

Aging Life Care Association is an organization that helps families and patients maintain their highest level of independence. Of the many professionals across the nation, Jensen Case Management LLC serves the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula with nursing case management that focuses on disability management return-to-work and other areas such as catastrophic and chronic coordination.

Jensen Case Management LLC of Marquette is owned by nurse case manager Maureen Jensen, who worked as a community health educator and registered nurse for 33 years. Aging Health Care Professionals act as the ìeyes and earsî for families who live far away from their aging family members, Jensen said.

“I enjoy making a difference and being able to support someone this stage of their life to be as independent as possible,”î Jensen said.

With the stay-at-home executive orders in place, Jensen said her practice is able to still continue making more phone calls than face-to-face visits. If a face-to-face visit is essential during the pandemic, Jensen said she makes sure that the benefits outweigh the risks and that the caregiver agencies who have to oversee her patients are adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines and precautions.

Maintaining communication using different technological means is how Jensen will stay connected with her patients, she said.

Jensen’s private practice consists of practitioners with a gerontological background who are able to provide education and help patients access health care resources, she said, adding that her work is mainly serving as a coordinator or liaison who provides support for families seeking care for their family member. Jensen said they also make sure patients have their basic health care planning documents in order.

Members are trained in different fields related to long-term care such as counseling, gerontology, mental health, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology and social work, Jensen noted.

“If someone is struggling with either accessing health care services such as in-home services or just overwhelmed with their needs, that would be a reason. If they’re in a crisis, we can kind of help navigate and work them through which direction to go. We can actually provide ongoing support,” Jensen said.

Some of the advantages retirement communities provide include nursing on-site, team of caregivers to provide 24/7 care and oversight, medical advice, meals and access to food, groceries and supplies and coordination with pharmacies and pharmacists, Jensen said.

Overall, maintaining an individual’s independence and dignity is how Aging Life Care Professionals — such as Jensen Case Management LLC — help make a difference in a person’s life, she added.

For more information and to find an Aging Life Care Professional, visit aginglifecare.org. To learn more about Jensen Case Management, call Jensen at 906-250-4975 or visit jensencm.com.

Jackie Jahfetson can be reached at jjahfetson@miningjournal.net.

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