Aging Life Care Professionals
By Bonnie Noble Silberman, LMSW, C-ASWCM
Aging Life Care™ Manager
Geriatric Resource Services, Inc.
For over 30 years, our profession was known as Geriatric Care Management. By 2012, it became clear that the term “care manager” and even “geriatric care manager” had been appropriated by other service providers and no longer adequately communicated the profession as practiced by members of The Aging Life Care Association. In 2015, the Association reintroduced our profession with a new brand: Aging Life Care – a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, the expertise of Aging Life Care Professionals provides answers at a time of uncertainty.
Our 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 of work for family caregivers through:
– Assessing and monitoring
– Planning and problem-solving
– Education and advocacy
– Family caregiver coaching
The value of an Aging Life Care Professional can be summarized into 8 knowledge areas: Health & Disability, Financial, Housing, Families, Local Resources, Advocacy, Legal and Crisis Intervention.
How do you know when it may be time to contact an Aging Life Care professional?
When caregiving for an aging family member becomes overwhelming, or 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
The Aging Life Care Association, or ALCA, requires its members to meet stringent education and experience qualifications to be eligible for the certification exam, and then are held to strict ethical guidelines according to a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Those at the Advanced Professional level must have at least a Master’s degree with two years of supervised care management experience.
To learn more about the Aging Life Care Association or find a member in another part of the country, go to aginglifecare.org and click on “Find an Aging Life Care Expert” to search by city or zip code.
Abstracted from Aging Life Care™ Association