May 2023: Aging Life Care Month
Aging Life Care Month is observed in May each year to raise awareness about the role of Aging Life Care professionals in providing support and assistance to older adults and their families. Aging Life Care Management is a holistic, client-centered approach to addressing the needs of older adults and their families by coordinating and facilitating services and resources to improve their overall well-being.
Aging Life Care Managers are professionals who are trained and experienced in a range of fields related to aging, including social work, nursing, psychology, and gerontology. They work with clients and their families to assess their needs, develop a personalized care plan, and coordinate and monitor services to ensure that their needs are met. Aging Life Care Management may involve a wide range of services, including assistance with medical and financial management, housing and relocation, home care services, and legal and advocacy services. Aging Life Care Managers also provide emotional support to clients and their families, helping them navigate the challenges and transitions that come with aging.
The expertise of Aging Life Care Professionals can be summarized into eight knowledge areas. Let’s take a closer look:
Health and Disability. From physical problems to mental health and dementia-related problems, Aging Life Care Managers® interact with the health care system effectively and frequently. They attend doctor appointments and facilitate communication between doctor, client, and family. These professionals help determine types of services – such as home health and hospice – that are right for a client and assist in engaging and monitoring those services.
Financial. Services may include reviewing or overseeing bill paying or consulting with a client’s accountant or Power of Attorney. Aging Life Care Professionals provide information on Federal and state entitlements, connecting families to local programs when appropriate. They also help clients and families with insurance concerns, claims, and applications.
Housing. Aging Life Care Professionals help families and clients evaluate and select appropriate level of housing or residential options.
Families. Aging Life Care Professionals help families adjust, cope and problem-solve around long-distance and in-home caregiving, addressing care concerns, internal conflicts, and differences of opinion about long-term care planning.
Local Resources. Aging Life Care Professionals know the specifics of the local resources in their communities and know how services are accessed.
Advocacy. Aging Life Care Professionals are strong and effective advocates for clients and their families, promoting the client’s wishes with health care and other providers, ensuring that client’s needs are being adequately addressed.
Legal. Aging Life Care Professionals refer to legal experts, like elder law attorneys, estate planners, and Powers of Attorney. Some Aging Life Care Professionals provide expert opinion for courts in determining level of care and establishing client needs.
Crisis Intervention. Aging Life Care Professionals offer crisis intervention when it is needed, helping clients navigate through emergency departments and hospitalizations, rehabilitation stays, and ensuring that adequate care is available to the client. For families that live at a distance, this can be a much-needed 24/7 emergency contact.
Overall, Aging Life Care Management is designed to promote independence, dignity, and quality of life for older adults, while also providing peace of mind and support to their families. During Aging Life Care Month, we recognize the important work of Aging Life Care professionals and their commitment to enhancing the lives of older adults and their families.
If you are interested in learning more about the Aging Life Care Association and the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that our Care Managers adhere to, find more information on their website at https://www.aginglifecare.org//