What Makes a Care Manager an Aging Life Care Professional™?
An Aging Life Care Professional is not just someone serving seniors as a care coordinator, but indicates a professional who is a member of the Aging Life Care Association (Formerly known as the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers). The association collaboratively shapes the profession while defining its parameters, ethics, and goals that guide the standard of care. Care Managers come from a variety of educational backgrounds including geriatrics, psychology, social work, and nursing. What they have in common is a commitment to a holistic model of care that doesn’t carve out and address only the healthcare needs of an individual. Care Managers understand that finances, family dynamics, friendships, insurance, homes, legal paperwork, health, and dreams for the future all have a place at the table. In the words of the organization, Aging Life Care / geriatric care management is a holistic client-centered approach to caring for older adults and other facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, the expertise of Aging Life Care Professionals provides the answers at the time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality of care and ongoing life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress, and time off of work for family caregivers through:
- Assessment and monitoring
- Planning and problem-solving
- Education and advocacy
- Family caregiver coaching
- Long-distance caregiving
What are the Roles or Scope of Care Managers?
Aging Life Care Professionals™ continue to be engaged to assist in a variety of areas such as:
- Housing: Helping families evaluate and select appropriate level of housing and residential options,
- Home Care Services: Determining types of services that are right for a client and assisting the family to engage and monitor those services.
- Medical Management: Attending doctor appointments, facilitating communication between doctor, client, and family, and if appropriate, monitoring client’s adherence to medical orders and instructions.
- Communication: Keeping family members and professionals informed as to the well-being and changing needs of the client.
- Social Activities: Providing opportunity for client to engage in social, recreational, or cultural activities that enrich quality of life.
- Legal: Referring to or consulting with an elder law attorney; providing expert opinion for courts in determining level of care.
- Financial: May include reviewing or overseeing bill paying or consulting with accountant or client’s Power of Attorney
- Entitlements: Providing information on Federal and state entitlements; connecting families to local programs.
- Safety and Security: Monitoring the client at home; recommending technologies to add to security or safety; observing changes and potential risks of exploitation or abuse.
- Long-Distance Care: Coordinating the care of a loved one for families that live at a distance; including crisis management.
- Resources: Locating local, cost-effective resources and engaging them as needed.”
Membership with the organization has always been an important part of Sound Options. In the past, Mary Lynn Pannen has served as the president of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers as well as on its board. Now in 2019, after reflecting on the 35tht annual conference she said, “As the demand and value of care management and care coordination grows, a leader association rises to meet those demands. The ALCA, now a 35+ year-old association, is meeting the challenges of care for the chronically ill and older population. The Aging Life Care Association™ gives life to aging and clarity, standards and ethics to our services.”
AGING LIFE CARE™ and AGING LIFE CARE PROFESSIONAL™ are trademarks of the Aging Life Care Association. Only ALCA Members are authorized to use these terms to identify their services.
Published on April 30, 2019.