May 24, 2012
Special Populations Paper
This paper will discuss various populations of people with special needs and the role of the case manager with regard to helping individuals live more productive lives in terms of coping with mental, physical, and developmental disabilities. Additionally, the paper will focus on materials researched to help the case manager direct the special needs of clients with disabilities as well as the personal attributes that case managers possess when assuming the role of the advocate.
Several areas of concern that case managers engage in from a psychological view-point are those that involve people with psychological disorders such as bipolar, schizophrenia, or other mental disorders. Other areas of interest include physical disabilities such as vision, hearing, and mobility impairments such as paralysis which makes it very difficult for the individual to live a life of independence; all of which can be identified in every race, creed, or color. While all of these special needs are critical issues, the lack of sight is of high relevance considering the fact that this condition limits one from having access to some of life’s greatest accomplishments. For example: It is hard to imagine having a child and not knowing what he or she looks like. Additionally, one without eye sight is placed in a vulnerable state with regard to making decisions, handling financial affairs, taking medications, and ensuring a safe environment within the home to prevent accidents.
As a case manager, one of the greatest opportunities is to help those unable to care for themselves due to physical disabilities. This population of special needs individuals require others to advocate for assistance, which is why there needs to be greater access to programs that employ people to go to the home or residence of a woman who is a bilateral amputee and lives alone. She has very limited mobility which makes it hard to care for her personal needs such as hygiene, preparation of meals, house cleaning, and access to social activities such as religious and family functions. This client is competent and has the will and the desire to be independent but with the lack of mobility, she feels lonely and depressed. The role of the case manager is to seek a personal care attendant who would visit the home three times per week to help with personal needs as well as provide some level of companionship.
In the case of the blind man, one might consider his situation to be more detrimental considering the fact that he is more vulnerable and thus, lives with a sense of fear. However, he can use a seeing-eye dog to lead him to and from places that are safe to travel. He will need a personal care attendant to visit him at least once a week to ensure that his home is safe from hazardous materials which could be accidentally ingested. The Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA) has within its services a personal services coordinator which will assist this individual with an array of services including assistance with making sure that his home is safe from the possibility of falling which could present other medical problems (www.jphsa.org 2012).
The focus of the case manager shifts into greater details when managing clients with mental issues such as bipolar and schizophrenia. “Recovery in mental illness is a paradigm shift away from past beliefs that people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) need help to be maintained in the community toward