A week in the life of an AKA case manager

We recently talked to Lindsey Reid, one of AKA Case Management’s Clinical Case Managers based in the West Midlands. She shared some of the activities that case managers are involved in and how they and clients have been adapting during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Is there such a thing as a ‘normal week’ for a case manager?

As a case manager, every week varies depending on what our clients and staff need from us. An average week could include visiting a client at their home, meeting with them and their families to review how they are progressing and to look ahead to upcoming events, resolving any issues and agreeing steps to be taken.

Due to the ongoing restrictions we have been catching up with clients and families over ‘Zoom meetings’, which we are all now used to and the clients have adapted really well to! I can’t wait to get out to visit clients more often, as the restrictions continue to lift.

We regularly catch up with therapists working with our clients to review progress and agree plans moving forward, this could be over the phone, on zoom, or more formally in an MDT meeting, where the whole team will get together.

I am regularly catching up with assistant case manager who works in the West Midlands, Elaine Ricketts, we share several clients so regular catch up, to ensure all plans are ‘on track’, and ironing out any issues that may have arisen. We regularly have team meetings with our client’s support workers to ensure that they have up to date information about what the client is working on, company updates and to ensure they feel well supported.

Part of our role includes liaising with the clients solicitors, updating them on the clients progress and any challenges that may have occurred. This is often over the phone, via email or more formally through written reports.

As with any job, there is paperwork and documentation that goes along with the job, that includes writing Case Management Plans, outlining the level of support and input that the client needs, writing and reviewing care plans and risk assessments reviewing goals and therapist reports.

Since March 2020 the week is finished off with the AKA virtual cocktail party – definitely something to keep in the diary!

What types of challenges do you need to solve? 

A large part of a case manager’s role is problem solving. Depending on the week, various challenges can arise, this could be staffing issues, ensuring that our clients have the support that the require, or it may be something unexpected such as when my client had a leak from her boiler, flooding her kitchen. I was able to support her by liaising with her deputy to agree funds for the repair to be carried out to ensure that she was safe and the work was carried out promptly.

COVID-19 has given us lots of challenges, with the frequent changes and updates to Government advice, this has kept us on our toes, ensuring that Risk Assessments are kept up to date and we provide our clients support in line with the advice.

Our clients and support workers have all adapted fantastically and have we have been so proud of how they have adapted to this.

How does the AKA team keep in touch?

Everyone that works at AKA describes it as being part of the ‘AKA family’, so catching up is really important – this includes our remote coffee and catch up zooms that we have every few weeks and our weekly ‘virtual cocktail party’.

I have also started a fitbit challenge with one of my clients to encourage him to increase his activity and fitness levels which has been a great success and lots of fun! It has also given me the boost to get away from my desk and get in some extra steps, my dog has been glad for our longer walks too!

We are also looking forward to ‘Wear a hat day’, to raise money for Brain Tumour Research and I have joined Rankey from Anthony Collins for his cooking class to raise money for Cauda Equina Syndrome Association (CESA).

Have you had any special moments recently that you will always remember?

A special moment that I will remember for a long time is when one of my clients played at a virtual remembrance service in 2020 – It was one of his goals to play the last post on his bugle and he had been practising to be able to do this. Due to the COVID -19 restrictions he wasn’t able to do this in person, so we arranged a virtual service. A member of the AKA team read ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon and our client played The Last Post and Rouse. It was a very special and moving moment and I hope that we can recreate it in person this year.