Aging Life Care Consultants (formerly Professional Geriatric Care Managers) help seniors and their loved ones who are struggling with serious issues. Chronic diseases, injuries from falls, decreased cognitive function, alcoholism, hoarding, depression, inadequate hygiene, poor nutrition, decreased socialization, and limited finances affect quality of life. Aging Life Care Consultants (ALCs) provide a lifeline to seniors who may not meet the criteria for government programs, can’t access reliable information on the Internet, or have no one to advocate for them when they are ill. Ideally, an ALC may help with proactive planning, working with financial advisors, CPAs, and elder law attorneys to get finances and legal documents in order. Often ALCs need to find a solution in a crisis, such as with facility placement or elder abuse. Well-meaning family, friends, and neighbors may lack the time, energy and expertise to effectively problem-solve for a frail senior. The lack of a comprehensive plan and a systematic strategy to execute the plan may undermine the best efforts of family, friends, and neighbors to keep a senior safe and content. After a thorough assessment, the Aging Life Care Consultant creates a plan to identify resources, to solidify the caring team, to provide guidance, and to offer emotional support.
The Aging Life Care™ Association™ is a professional organization to credential and to support the ALCs so they may best serve the public. Professionals of this organization include nurses, social workers, psychologists, and counselors with education and experience to meet the complex needs of serving seniors and their loved ones. With a pledge to maintain ethical standards and to always place the needs of the client first, these professionals commit to continuing education and to compassionate care. This network of dedicated professional members may coordinate and collaborate to provide care throughout the US.
Effective communication remains a core responsibility and requirement for competent professional care management. The guiding light is to maintain the senior’s dignity. Emotions and actions among family, friends, and neighbors may spin quickly out of control, compromising the welfare of the senior. Through active listening and acknowledgement of divergent viewpoints, the ALC Consultant keeps the caring team focused and empowered. Finally, the Aging Life Care Consultant is the one who looks the client in the eye and tells the truth when others are too frightened, embarrassed, overwhelmed, or disinterested. The ALC Consultant takes the hand of the client and completes the mission to make the situation better. To achieve mind, body, and spirit wellness for the senior, the unique past, present, and prospective future of the senior must be honored.
Karen Wolfrom, MSA, RNC, CMC
Advanced Professional ALCA™ * Member since 2002
*formerly National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers