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New Canaan's Waveny Provides Guidance On Geriatric-Care Management

Joan Merril has been a care manager for Waveny LifeCare Network in New Canaan for more than a decade.
Joan Merril has been a care manager for Waveny LifeCare Network in New Canaan for more than a decade. Photo Credit: Waveny LifeCare Network

NEW CANAAN, CONN. — For family members dealing with geriatric care of a loved one, a daily existence can be overwhelming, particularly when situations are likely to change rapidly and immediate decisions need to be made.

That's where a care manager like Joan Merrill can be the one who streamlines the gaps between seniors, families and the health-care system to coordinate care and respond to emergencies.

“I know the system and how to cut through the red tape,” says Merrill. “I make it my business to know the right resources to enlist, professionals to engage, and direction to provide. It’s what I do.”

Merril has years of experience dealing with clients throughout Fairfield County, and has been part of the Waveny LifeCare Network, a non-profit focused on geriatric care in New Canaan.

“What I do is especially important when ‘The Unthinkables’ occur – those things you hope will never happen, but which too often do,” she says. “The Unthinkables” may include a sudden illness, a change in health or cognition, an unexpected hospitalization or a hospital release without any clear discharge plan in place.

“These situations are almost always complicated, highly stressful and emotionally exhausting for everyone involved.” says Merrill.

This is where a care manager can step in and coordinate decisions easier for everyone involved, especially when the family is removed from the older adult.

“When you add in a factor of distance, things can really get disjointed or lost in translation,” Merrill adds. “In some respects I’m almost like a professional oldest daughter,, someone with a devout concern for the older adult, who always has their best interests at heart and a passion for achieving the right outcome.”

For more information about Waveny LifeCare Network, call 203-594-5396 or go online at waveny.org .

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