Aging Life Care™ is at the heart of all of the services that Silver Wings Care Management offers to our clients and their families.
In the world today and especially in the USA, families are geographically spread out across the country and the world. Children grow up and move away from the hometown they grew up in and move far away from their parents. Parents retire and relocate to warmer climates. This dynamic creates a situation where families are no longer close by and able to take care of each other in times of need.
This is where an Aging Life Care Professional™ (also referred to as a Geriatric Care Manager) can really help. A typical scenario might be a situation where mom and dad have retired to Florida and their children live in the Midwest. Everything has been going fine for many years, but now dad has Alzheimer’s disease and mom is his primary care giver. Recently mom fell and broke her hip and is in the hospital and will be discharged to a rehab facility. No one is home to take care of dad and mom most likely will not be able to dad’s primary care giver anymore. This family is now in a crisis. The children are not able leave their jobs and family for an extended period of time to take care of their parents who ability to live alone anymore. This is where an Aging Life Care Professional can save the day.
Your elderly loved ones can enjoy an enhanced and sustainable quality of life with Aging Life Care services. Here’s how those services work and what they can do for you and your family.
- What is Aging Life Care?
- Who Are Aging Life Care Professionals?
- What Is The Aging Life Care Process? What Are The Steps?
- What Are The Benefits Of Aging Life Care?
- What Can a Geriatric Care Manager Do for Me?
- What Types Of Situations Benefit From Aging Life Care?
- How Is Aging Life Care Different From Geriatric Care Management?
- How Is Aging Life Care Different From “Case Management”?
- How is Aging Life Care Different From The Recent Flurry of Newly-Created Senior-Related Credentials?
What is Aging Life Care?
Aging Life Care is a process and methodology for taking care of the concerns and needs of older adults that they experience as normal parts of the aging process, as well as addressing the concerns of their families, trusted professional advisors and service providers. Aging Life Care Professionals have the knowledge and skills to understand the concerns of seniors and how to take care of those concerns in the most effective, efficient and cost-effective manner.
The Aging Life Care process:
- Assesses the needs of older adults (and those with similar needs such as quadriplegics, paraplegics, traumatic brain injury patients and others)
- Creates plans for how those needs will be taken care of, and
- Selects and supervises providers of services to take care of those needs
The individuals who practice this profession are called Aging Life Care Professionals.
While some other professions take care of one or two dimensions of the needs of older adults, Aging Life Care addresses the needs of older adults across a broad spectrum, including:
- Fiduciary service needs such as bill payment
- Financial management including investments and entitlements
- Legal matters
- Spiritual life
- Connection with family
- Socialization and entertainment
- In-home care services (caregiving and housekeeping)
- Housing and safety
- Advice about residential care facility choices and considerations
- Companionship, supervision and guardianships
Who Are Aging Life Care Professionals?
Aging Life Care Professionals are members of the Aging Life Care Association who are typically trained in the health and human services disciplines, such as social workers, gerontologists, nurses and others. The Association was founded in 1985 with 50 members and in 2015 it celebrates its 30th anniversary with 2,000 members in the United States and Canada.
In order to join the Association, Aging Life Care Professionals must meet strict membership criteria that include:
- Certification Requirements
- Adherence to the Association’s Code of Ethics
- Adherence to the Association’s Standards of Practice
What Is The Aging Life Care Process? What Are The Steps?
Generally, in a perfect world, the Aging Life Care process follows these steps:
- Comprehensive Care Needs Assessment
- Plan of Care Creation
- Plan of Care Implementation
- Advocacy for the Client In Various Settings As Needed
- Monitoring, Feedback and Communication With Family and Others
In the real world, sometimes things start when a crisis occurs, and Silver Wings is available to step in to perform emergency crisis intervention and management, and then carry out the more measured, traditional steps once the crisis is under control.
What Are The Benefits Of Aging Life Care?
By involving an Aging Life Care Professional at an early stage, seniors and their families can realize these benefits and more through assessment, planning, oversight and advocacy.
- Risks: identified, assessed and mitigated
- Care: coordinated with and between service providers
- Costs: contained and minimized
- Quality of life: enhanced and prolonged
- Peace of mind: for clients, family and providers
What Can a Geriatric Care Manager Do for Me?
- Conduct care-planning assessments to identify problems and to provide solutions.
- Screen, arrange, and monitor in-home help or other services, including assistance in hiring a qualified caregiver for home care.
- Provide short- or long-term eldercare assistance for those engaged in local or long distance caregiving.
- Review financial, legal, or medical issues and offer referrals to geriatric specialists.
- Provide crisis intervention.
- Act as a liaison to families at a distance, overseeing care, and quickly alerting families to problems – especially important when families are engaged in long distance caregiving for a loved one.
- Assist with moving an older person to or from a retirement complex, assisted care home, or nursing home.
- Provide consumer education and advocacy.
- Offer eldercare counseling and support.
What Types Of Situations Benefit From Aging Life Care?
There are many, many situations where everyone involved can benefit from the involvement, advice and assistance of an independent, expert Aging Life Care Professional. Here are just a few examples:
- When an aging adult lives in an area where there are no family members or friends available nearby to keep an eye on them, help them, advocate for them, ot take them to doctor appointments.
- When a family is facing a crisis regarding an elderly loved one and cannot make decisions about what to do without expert professional advice and counsel.
- When a family of an elderly loved one needs help to make wise decisions regarding whether their loved one should move to a residential care facility, and which facilities to consider (and which to avoid).
- When family members all mean well but cannot agree on the best course of action to take regarding their aging parents’ care needs, and they need independent expert advice on the best choices for their parents.
- When elderly parents need assistance and advocacy in their everyday lives and all of the nearby family members have jobs that don’t allow them to take time off for their parents’ frequent appointments and errands.
- When a family has an elderly loved one who refuses to listen to their loving and caring concerns for their well-being and safety and needs a professional expert to intervene and reason with the aging loved one.
How Is Aging Life Care Different From Geriatric Care Management?
It is not different. The term “Aging Life Care” is the official replacement for the former term “Professional Geriatric Care Management”.
In 2015, the organization then known as the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers changed its name to the Aging Life Care Association and adopted the term “Aging Life Care” to replace “Geriatric Care Management”.
The Association adopted this name change to better reflect the broad spectrum of services offered by its professional members, and the degree to which it enforces professional standards and other requirements for membership.
How Is Aging Life Care Different From “Case Management”?
Yes. There are other professions that use the term “case management”. In those cases, they usually refer to management of one domain of concern for clients, such as nurses “medical case management”, social workers’ “psychosocial case management” and others.
In contrast, Aging Life Care concerns itself with a broad array of domains of concern that typically become part of the lives of aging adults and their families, and it takes a more holistic, client-centered approach instead of a profession-centric, single-focus approach.
The terms Case Management and Care Management are NOT synonymous although some people mistakenly refer to them interchangeably. The difference between Case Management and Care Management are as follows:
How is Aging Life Care Different From The Recent Flurry of Newly-Created Senior-Related Credentials?
As the senior population has grown faster than any other birth cohort in the United States population, other organizations have sprung up to capitalize on the new opportunities arising from the quickly-increasing senior population. Some of the newer titles that you may hear of include Certified Senior Advisors, Elder Advocats, Patient Advocates, Health Care Advocates, Senior Care Auditors and more.
In most of the above cases, a person can pay a fee, take an online or in-person class for a few hours or days, and then take an open-book test to become credentialed.
The standards and practices of the Aging Life Care Association and criteria for becoming Aging Life Care Professionals surpass those of any of the above mentioned credentials.