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 nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, 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 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” and families or clients the “team captain.”
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 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 often help parents 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 multiple medical or psychological issues
- is unable to live safely in their current environment
- is not pleased with current care providers and requires advocacy
- is confused about their own financial and/or legal situation
- has limited or no family support
Or if your family:
- has just become involved with helping the individual and needs direction about available services
- is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions
- has limited time and/or expertise in dealing with the individual’s chronic care needs and does not live close by
- is at odds regarding care decisions
- needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia
- If you are looking for an Aging Life Care Professional in your area this website includes a searchable directory of our members.
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 be-tween 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.