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Innovative Healthcare Consultants: help for the aging


Last updated 6/14/2007 at Noon

The Baby Boomers are now being coined “The Sandwich Generation” because they are taking care of their children as well as their aging parents these days.

“In our generation right now, we are dealing with parents who are getting up there in age, we are all working and trying to earn a living and caring for our own children,” said Colleen Van Horn, owner of Innovative Healthcare Consultants . Baby Boomers are being overwhelmed by all these responsibilities but are now breathing a sigh of relief realizing that companies, such as IHC, are there to lend them a helping hand.

IHC empathizes with adult children and understands the frustrations of having aging parents.

“What they are feeling is perfectly normal,” Van Horn said. “So often, the frustration that they voice to us is because it’s a condition that needs medication or needs some type of medical treatment.”

Many adult children understandably lack the medical background to fully understand the disease process of Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

“They [children] don’t understand what’s going on, and just to educate them is so necessary,” said Van Horn. Getting a patient to the right doctor, and on the right medication, is important. But even more imperative is the assurance that a trained caregiver is tracking the intake of this vital medication.

While these adult children are doing their best to care for an aging parent, they are overcome with emotional shellshock when their parent is released from a hospital. When this parent goes home, more often than not, they generally need assistance with mobility, medication, meals, transportation, bathing and everyday tasks. When the adult child receives the “doctor’s orders,” it can be a challenge to figure out how to manage these new, heavy responsibilities on top of everything else in their life.

The above scenario is the typical phone call the IHC office receives from a stressed-out, concerned adult child. Once they know that help is on the way, an immense burden is lifted off their shoulders and they can rest assured that qualified professionals will be caring for their parent.

The medically trained case managers at IHC assess the needs for an elder.

“Our business is geriatric case management,” Van Horn said. “We coordinate care and advocate for people over 65 years old. We make sure they have the best healthcare possible and let them know about end-of-life issues [the whole aging process], options for care and what they will cost.”

These case managers are competent in the facilitation and navigation of medical care assessments and options, in-home services, financial, legal and medical review and referrals for these particular avenues.

ICH can also help those who want to remain home and are not yet ready to move to an assisted living facility. “If someone wants to stay in their home, and they can afford to stay in their home [with professional caregiver help], we are going to make it happen,” Van Horn said.

The caregivers at IHC are a precious commodity, helping with services, such as: dressing, bathing, oral care, incontinence care, meals, medication, shopping, laundry, light housekeeping, transportation and, most of all, companionship.

“The family does not have to be the caregiver; someone else can be the caregiver and the one who guides the family through what needs to be done,” explained Van Horn.

The doors at IHC have been open for the last 10 years, and it continues to be an outstanding advocate for the elderly. To learn more about IHC, please call (760) 731-1334 or visit


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