Boy, did I fall down on the job. I thought I’d written a final follow-up post on my case manager saga. I hadn’t! Oops.
In a nutshell: a total 180.
I met with my new case manager in the afternoon. He spent one and a half hours familiarizing himself with my needs, writing down a numbered list of my top ones, determining which ones to begin with – he said top three, I said top four, he agreed – and then ensuring he knew how best to communicate with me (email or phone) and I knew how to get in touch with him. He also set up our next time to meet, and he didn’t cancel it later.
He left at 4:30 pm.
By 9:30 am the next day, I had two emails in my inbox waiting for me. He’d already begun on my most urgent needs and had both answers and follow-up questions for me. Wow! For the rest of the week, he kept in constant touch. I received more emails from him in two days than I did from my previous case manager in two years. But then she didn’t email me a whole lot; she preferred to call me. Even so, he emailed me more often than she called – because he was acting on my case.
In one month, he has provided specific (not general one-size-fits-all) answers on subsidy questions, determined that CCAC is supposed to act on my behalf on one matter, filled in forms, looked up services that I’d heard about, showed he was not averse to learning, made phone calls on my behalf, filled in forms. What a relief to have someone fill in forms for me. It’s bad enough when you’re healthy and in unfamiliar territory, but when you have reading problems, never mind other cognition issues, you become confused, stuck, spinning your eyes as you try to slog your way through a multi-page bureaucratic form. Applying for financial services is easier!
He is also not averse to computers. He even has his own PDA. And apparently COTA is considering upgrading the computers they give to their case managers. Yes, COTA’s case managers have computers. I’ve even seen one of the ones they issued awhile ago. Small and slow but works. So all that grief I got from the COTA boss and the 19th century methods of my previous case manager was BS.
But they’re behind me. The burden has been lifted. I feel lighter, freer, relieved. COTA is no longer draining my energy. Instead my new case manager has infused some. That’s the difference a good computer-familiar case manager who isn’t afraid to learn can make.