Aging Life Care management is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health and aging challenges. Working with families, Aging Life Care Professionals offer answers and solutions during times of uncertainty. Their guidance helps families make decisions and take action to ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love. Aging Life Care Professionals help reduce family caregivers’ stress and help reduce unplanned time off work through:
Assessment and monitoring
Planning and problem-solving
Education and advocacy
Family caregiver coaching
Aging Life Care Professionals are educated and experienced in any of several fields including, but not limited to counseling, gerontology, mental health, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, or social work. They bring a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care. They assist clients in attaining their maximum functional potential. They encourage independence and well-being for the senior while also addressing safety and mobility concerns. Aging Life Care Professionals have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of resources in their communities to support people at every stage of aging.
The following situations may trigger help from an Aging Life Care Professional when caregiving for an aging family member becomes overwhelming
A family may need an Aging Life Care Professional if the person they 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
These situations also call for outside support from an Aging Life Care Professional in which the family caregiver:
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 with other family members regarding care decisions; and
needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia.
Aging Life Care Professionals have expertise in these areas.
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 Managers 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. They help families and clients evaluate and select appropriate level of housing or residential options that include aging in place assessment and recommendations.
Families. They 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. They know the specifics of the local resources in their communities and know how services are accessed.
Advocacy. They 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. They refer to legal experts, like elder law attorneys, estate planners, and Powers of Attorney., can provide expert opinion for courts in determining level of care and establishing client needs.
Crisis Intervention. They 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.
Aging Life Care Professionals identify and engage local, cost effective resources on behalf of the senior client and their caregiving family. After a comprehensive assessment of the senior client’s needs, Aging Life Care Professionals develop a care plan tailored for their unique circumstances. The plan may be modified, in consultation with client and family, as these circumstances change.
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