Connecticut Center for Healthy Aging geriatric care manager coordinates solutions for families

CHA-Jessica-Dankin1SOUTHINGTON – Jessica Dakin, the new geriatric care manager for Connecticut Center for Healthy Aging, said she feels like a member of many families – those of the older adults whom she serves.

Dakin, who began the full-time position in May, works closely with residents of the central Connecticut area to find solutions enabling seniors to safely age in place, either independently in their home or in a community designed to meet their needs.

Connecticut Center for Healthy Aging, a not for profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services and a Hartford HealthCare Partner, is a resource and assessment center that coordinates access to services and information related to attaining optimal quality of life for seniors and their caregivers. The center has three locations: The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Bradley Memorial and New Britain General campuses, and MidState Medical Center.

As a client advocate, Dakin works closely with family members, professionals and clients to connect them with specific services and resources that they require to best address any issues that an older loved one may be facing. Depending on a person’s individual needs, she arranges and monitors home care, oversees private caregivers, assists with medication, attends medical appointments, and coordinates and plans for assisted living and permanent care, among other responsibilities. She is also an educator and a resource for support programs and healthcare information.

“People always need someone there for them but sometimes families live too far away, have hectic schedules, don’t know what to ask or are too overwhelmed by the healthcare world. I’m the middle person,” Dakin said.

Her keen ability to relate to senior clients while helping them navigate the healthcare system stems from her years of working in the home health field. Dakin said being a “total patient advocate with a tender spot for seniors” is the passion of her life and the impetus for having a career in geriatric care management at Connecticut Center for Healthy Aging.