Inpatient CM: What are we supposed to do when you get calls about housing problems?


  • Specializes in Critical Care, Insurance Case Management. Has 22 years experience.

I am a float, so that means I cover for both nurses and social workers on our CM team. Here's a question - what exactly is an inpt case manager supposed to do when you get a call from a family member telling you your patient, who is an adult and lives alone, has plumbing problems and shouldn't live alone right now? Keep in mind this family member lives in another state, and her suggestion is we put him in rehab so he isn't living alone. Seems to me that would be fine in some cases, but for an oncology patient on chemo, I don't think a rehab referral is appropriate.

What is our responsibility here? Does it sound callous to suggest family members need to step up and do something themselves about this? Or is SAR an appropriate place to send someone who is tired secondary to chemo?


1,301 Posts

What a tough situation. If the patient/client/etc. is not deemed incompetent, is there anything you can do? Are there resources in the community, including family, that can help your patient with home upkeep and homemaking? I just hate to think that if a person is in his/her right mind but is not up to par physically, we institutionalize them for the convenience of others. Seems like you need a set of objective eyes to make a visit with that patient to determine their needs and wants.