In the realm of healthcare, there are professionals who work behind the scenes to ensure that older adults and their families receive the care they need, when they need it. Kiralie Konde, president of Generation Crossroads, LLC, is one such professional. She provides care management services to help clients plan for both short- and long-term care needs. In our conversation, Kiralie shares insights into her journey, the essence of her role, and the rewards and challenges that come with it.
Q: Can you please introduce yourself and your business?
Konde: I'm Kiralie Konde, and I am the President of Generation Crossroads, LLC. My business provides care management services to older adults and their families, assisting them in planning for short- and long-term care needs.
Q: How long have you been a care manager?
Konde: I've been a Social Worker in healthcare for the last 20 years, with experience in long-term care, hospice, home care, and Medicare Care Coordination.
Q: How did you get started in your role of care manager?
Konde: My journey into care management began about 15 years ago when I wrote a business plan. I wanted greater flexibility to help clients beyond the capacity of the organization I worked for. During my research, I discovered that Geriatric Care Managers, also known as Aging Life Care Managers, had been providing similar services across the country for the last 30 years. My personal experience of managing all care needs for my mother-in-law while working part-time and caring for a toddler made me realize how overwhelming it could be to plan for the changing care needs of an aging loved one. I started my company about five years ago and have been operating full-time for the last year and a half.
Q: How did your background and experiences lend to where you are now?
Konde: I have always enjoyed working with older adults. In college, I worked in a group home for intellectually disabled elderly women who had spent most of their lives institutionalized. They were able to live out their days in a more independent setting with greater access to the world beyond the confines of the Vineland institutions.
Q: What does it mean to you to be a care manager?
Konde: I am grateful to have the opportunity to offer guidance, support, and coordination to individuals and families when they are at a loss while planning for care.
Q: What are qualities and traits you must desire to succeed in your role?
Konde: Success in this role requires qualities like empathy, compassion, and the ability to solve problems. I treat others the way I want to be treated, and that philosophy serves as my compass.
Q: What do people unfamiliar to the industry misunderstand about care management?
Konde: When I explain what I do, the response is often, "I could have used you a year ago," and "What you do is so needed."
Q: What other professionals do you collaborate with for the best outcomes for your patients?
Konde: I collaborate with various healthcare professionals such as Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapists, Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, attorneys, financial services, and more.
Q: What are the most rewarding parts of your role, and what are the not-so-glamorous aspects?
Konde: The most rewarding part of my job is when a client tells me that they feel more at peace with their care journey since they hired me. I wouldn't consider my job glamorous, and it can be difficult at times. Sometimes, things can get more difficult before they get better, and that typically happens when a client has not addressed issues that have been piling up.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work/how do you combat burnout?
Konde: Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my 10-year-old. We're always plotting our next adventure.
Q: How would you change your section of the healthcare industry if you could?
Konde: If I had the power to change things, I would make Care Management an industry standard. As people age, the healthcare system becomes more complicated, and care needs become more complex. Healthcare providers don't always communicate effectively, and Care Managers can help pull everything together and streamline communication for the best possible outcomes for clients.
Q: What do you want people to realize about care managers and what they do?
Konde: I want people to understand that Care Managers are like professional relatives with the expertise, knowledge, and resources to back us up. We help clients make informed decisions regarding their care and offer a holistic approach to planning. Above all, we are advocates who ensure that our clients feel supported and cared for while making important decisions.
Kiralie showcases the essential role that Care Managers play in ensuring quality care and support for older adults and their families. Her unwavering dedication to guiding clients through the complexities of healthcare planning is a testament to the positive impact a care manager can have. By offering guidance, support, and coordination, she helps individuals and families find peace in their care journey. Her message is clear: Care Managers are here to advocate for the well-being of their clients, making sure they receive the best possible outcomes in their aging journey.
Want more? Head to the company’s website at www.generationcrossroads.com.