Aging Life Care/Geriatric Care Management is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges. Aging Life Care Professionals provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress and time off work for family caregivers through:
- Assessment and monitoring
- Planning and problem-solving
- Education and advocacy
- Family caregiver coaching
- Long-distance caregiving
What is an AGING LIFE CARE PROFESSIONAL®?
An Aging Life Care Professional, also known as a geriatric care manager, is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide and advocate for families who are caring for older relatives or disabled adults. The Aging Life Care Professional is educated and experienced in any of several fields related to aging life care / care management, including, but not limited to gerontology, nursing, social work, psychology, or occupational therapy, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.
The Aging Life Care Professional assists clients in attaining their maximum functional potential. The individual’s independence is encouraged, while safety and security concerns are also addressed. Aging Life Care Professionals are able to address a broad range of issues related to the well-being of their client. They also have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of resources in their communities.
Aging Life Care Professionals become the “coach” or “team captain” for clients and families.
Aging Life Care Professionals are members of the Aging Life Care Association® (ALCA) and differ from Patient Advocates, Senior Advisors, Senior Navigators, and Elder Advocates. ALCA members must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization, and all members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice.
What other services do AGING LIFE CARE PROFESSIONALS® provide?
While the majority of Aging Life Care clients are older adults, many also assist younger adults who face the challenges of disability or serious illness.
Aging Life Care Professionals may help people who have:
- Physical Disabilities
- Developmental Disabilities, (e.g. Intellectual Disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, Autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome)
- Brain Injury
- Mental Health Problems
- Chronic or Serious Illnesses of any type. Aging Life Care Professionals can often help parents who are concerned about a young adult or middle-aged adult child with disabilities. These life care professionals have experience and credentials to work with all ages. The life care professional conducts a comprehensive assessment and helps the family plan for the current and future needs of their adult child.
How do you know that you need an AGING LIFE CARE PROFESSIONAL®?
When caregiving for an aging family member becomes overwhelming, it may be time to contact an Aging Life Care Professional.
You may need an Aging Life Care Professional if:
- The person you are caring for has limited or no family support.
- Your family has just become involved with helping the individual and needs direction about available services.
- The person you are caring for has multiple medical or psychological issues.
- The person you are caring for is unable to live safely in his/her current environment.
- Your family is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions.
- Your family has limited time and/or expertise in dealing with your loved ones’ chronic care needs.
- Your family is at odds regarding care decisions.
- The person you are caring for is not pleased with current care providers and requires advocacy.
- The person you are caring for is confused about his/her own financial and/or legal situation.
- Your family needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia.
- You live at a distance from your loved one.
What are the benefits of using an AGING LIFE CARE PROFESSIONAL®?
Aging Life Care services are offered in a variety of settings. Professionals can serve the needs of their clients by providing:
- Personalized and compassionate service — focusing on the individual’s wants and needs.
- Accessibility — care is typically available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Continuity of care – communications are coordinated between family members, doctors and other professionals, and service providers.
- Cost containment — inappropriate placements, duplication of services, and unnecessary hospitalizations are avoided.
- Quality control – aging life care services follow ALCA’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.
Thank you to the Aging Life Care Association® for permission for us to share this information. You may learn more about Aging Life Care™ at aginglifecare.org.