The Commission for Case Manager Certification defines case management as "a means for achieving client wellness and autonomy through advocacy, communication, education, identification of resources, and service facilitation." From a disability perspective, it is a holistic approach to managing a medical condition or disability in which all facets of someone's life are taken into consideration.
A disability effects your medical, emotional, financial, social, and employment well being. All of these areas overlap, and the goal of case management is to assure that they are all taken into consideration so that your recovery can reach its maximum potential.
The following steps will help you take charge and become your own Case Manager:
Keep a notebook or folder
Use it to organize all of your correspondence, medical records, I.D. cards, insurance forms, record of phone calls with contacts and phone numbers, etc., related to your disability. This helps to keep a historical perspective on your situation, but is invaluable as a central resource for all of your records when you need them. If you are so inclined, use this notebook as a diary as well! Many people feel it helps them to write down how they are feeling.
Learn all that you can about your medical condition
The information is out there, and it will help you. There are advocacy organizations for every known medical condition, and these can provide you with the information you need to begin to increase your understanding. This knowledge will help you to partner with your physician(s) and treatment provider so that you can feel more in control of your treatment situation.
Learn about resources that might be available to you
There are many community, government and private resources that can provide services to help you with your activities of daily living as well as your physical, emotional and employment needs.
Learn all that you can about your insurance benefits, as well as governmental health and welfare benefits that might be available to you
Always remember to take notes - and a contact name and phone number - whenever you speak to someone or e-mail them. You will learn more with each phone call or contact, and you will begin to see the way out of what can often appear to be a very confusing maze.