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Professional Eldercare Consultant

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 WHAT IS an AGING LIFE CARE PROFESSIONAL?

WE ARE THE EXPERTS IN AGING WELL!

 

Aging Care SolutionsAging Life Care Professionals help older adults attain their maximum functional level, add quality to their life, and help coordinate their care.

    Aging Life Care Professionals improve quality of life for everyone in the family: we help the caregiver make decisions to improve care involving less sacrifice for the caregiver; these better decisions increase quality for caregivers. We give personalized decision support and implementation to our client families. We have time and energy and expertise to do detailed assessments, other professions do not have that. We have superior knowledge, and proven practices. For 30 years our organization has been collecting insight into older adults and their families in all types of situations; we have built a powerful network of local providers. I can pick up the phone and talk to the right people to get any resources needed.
    
We have a nationwide network of 2,000 care managers touching 800,000 people every year. We are the only profession with expertise in so many areas that affect the lives of older people.
     Families like yours are in a fog, they need to see a way forward. We can see what’s coming based on our years of experience. We help you find the best solutions for your age-related problems, and reduce your stress, which makes you a better caregiver. A win-win!

    
Formerly called Geriatric Care Management, Aging Life Care is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, the expertise of Aging Life Care Professionals™ provides answers at a time of uncertainty. Our goal is to encourage decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for care receivers, as well as provide peace of mind and less stress and less  time off of work for family caregivers.

Aging Life Care Professionals are members of the Aging Life Care Association™ (Aging Life Care) and differ from Patient Advocates, Senior Advisors, Senior Navigators, and Elder Advocates. ALCA members must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization, and all members are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

"Aging Care Life is the process of planning and coordinating the care of the elderly to improve their quality of life and maintain their independence for as long as possible.  Health and psychological care are integrated with the best possible combination of services such as: housing, home care services, socialization programs, financial and legal planning.  A care plan tailored for each individual's circumstances is prepared after a comprehensive assessment.  The Care Plan is modified when necessary based on the Aging Life Care Professional's  monitoring of the components of the Care Plan.  Aging Life Care Professionals  accomplish beneficial results by combining a working knowledge of human development, family dynamics, public and private resources and funding sources while advocating for the individual throughout the continuum of care."

Geriatric Care Management
    Aging Life Care Professionals can save the client money by preventing costly mistakes, such as moving into a facility that is not well suited to the needs of the client.
  • We are knowledgeable about resources for older adults nationally and locally, and can make appropriate referrals.
  • We are familiar with environmental safety issues, and make recommendations for making the living situation less likely to contribute to a fall for their clients. Falls are a leading cause of injury and death among older adults.
  • We have visited most of the area’s long term care communities, and can speak to the ambiance, ownership, typical management practices, room styles and other features of each community, as well as to the costs.
  • We can save families time, money, and energy by making the right call to the right person quickly and efficiently.
  • We can speak with the older adult to explain what is happening to them with sympathy and understanding. We also discuss aging issues with the family; this is probably the family's first time with a 90-year old relative while Aging Life Care Professionals have done this before many times.
  • We can talk with medical professionals about medications, dosages, side effects, and interactions. We can then speak in layman’s terms with the older adult and the family about their concerns. We also make referrals to physicians that we have found to be effective in working with their older patients.

[I recently found a spine surgeon for a woman who was on the waiting list with another doctor. She had a tumor on her back that was growing rapidly. Later I found a spinal rehabilitation center for her when the one recommended by the surgeon would not accept her. -kp]

Most older adults will listen to a professional, even when they do not listen to the family members (or trustee) who is saying the same thing.
  • We make referrals to other professionals that are known to be ethical, as opposed to those who have plenty of advertising but not much actual experience or expertise.
  • We prepare a written Care Plan, using an in-home (or in-hospital) assessment of the older person. The areas I assess are cognition, emotional status, family history and expectations of later life, functional status, nutrition, medical concerns, financial, legal, sleep, current support system and quality of life. This Care Plan can be used as a baseline to judge improvement or decline. It also is used as a quick way to acquaint new care providers with the client.
  • We are a liaison between the client and their family and/ or care providers. We are always advocating for the older adult client.
  • We can accompany clients to medical visits and make a written report to the family or other physicians. During the physician visit we ask relevant questions, such as the purpose of the tests, the treatment protocols, and medication side effects.
  • We can act as a mediator between siblings or other family members who disagree about the right plan of care for their relative. Our primary concern is for the client.
  • We are available 24/7. I sleep with my phone by my bed. I have met clients at the ER in the middle of the night, often arriving before family. I have been with clients as they died.

You might need a Professional Geriatric Care Manager if:

  • There is more than one chronic illness
  • Little nearby family or support system
  • The elder is in the midst of health care crisis
  • There is a need to change the current living situation
  • The caregiver or care receiver is overwhelmed
  • The issues involved are complex
What a Geriatric Care Manager does:
  • Assess the current situation for strengths and weaknesses
  • Formulate a plan for immediate changes and future care
  • Support the elder and the family as they recognize and deal with difficult choices
  • Educate the family about Eldercare options
  • Crisis intervention
  • Interpret 'medicalese' from the doctor to the client and family
  • Liaison between the older adult and family, between the care community and family, between the elder and attorneys
  • Advocate for the interests of the Elder
  • Organize medications, priorities, caregiver schedules, moving schedules
Areas Assessed include:
  • Family history and expectations for this stage of life
  • Elder's goals
  • Background, work history, siblings and family of origin, retirement activities
  • Current health issues
  • Medications
  • Physicians
  • Diagnoses
  • Environmental safety
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Social support
  • Legal documents
  • Depression screen
  • Current functional abilities
  • Cognition
The Care Plan includes, among other things:
  • Kinds of assistance needed
  • Public benefits for which the client might be eligible
  • Health issues that need to be addressed
  • Medications list
  • List of physicians
  • List of past health concerns and procedures
  • Medication compliance
  • Home safety modifications
  • Recommendations for hiring companions
  • Recommendations for doctors and specialists
  • Recommendation for changing to a different living situation
  • Referrals to:
    • physicians and specialists
    • home care
    • contractors
    • counseling
    • elderlaw attorneys
Benefits of having an Aging Life Care Manager:
  • advance planning
  • access to education and information
  • long term supportive relationship
  • advocacy

How does an AGING LIFE CARE PROFESSIONAL Assist Older Adults?

An Aging Life Care Professional is an Eldercare consultant who has the expertise to make suggestions for positive changes in age-related difficulties. Aging Life Care is a new profession with about 2,000 practitioners in the United States.  We work with older adults and their families to assist in a variety of areas, such as:
* Housing – helping families evaluate housing options to find the best place for your care receiver

* Home care services – I can recommend companion  and home health agencies that have been successful working with other families. I also monitor companion agencies if needed to ensure that your care receiver is getting the best assistance.
* Medical management – I can accompany your care receiver to physician appointments, ask the questions  you would ask, and send you a report. I offer suggestions to help the client comply with a complicated medical regimen
* Communication – I make suggestions to improve your communication with your loved one, to help you be an advocate rather than an adversary. I coordinate communication among the family, the care providers, and the elder so that you are aware of changing needs.
* Social activities – Research has shown that staying engaged with others prevents depression; staying active mentally, physically, and socially is important to ongoing health. I suggest opportunities that may enrich the client's quality of life.

* Legal – I recommend ethical ElderLaw attorneys that will review your current documents to be certain they are in compliance with Texas ElderLaw, or assist you as you create your Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney.
* Financial – I recommend financial planners who work on a fee-for-service basis, and who do a free beginning meeting to see that they can improve the financial situation. I may also recommend a bill paying service, and make suggestions for monitoring bank accounts and assets if there is a question.
* Safety and security – I include a home safety assessment on my first interview, and suggest changes to make their home safer.

As an member of Aging Life Care Association I will always offer -

  • Personalized and compassionate service focusing on the individual’s wants and needs.
  • Accessibility - care is typically available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  
  • Continuity of care – communications are coordinated between family members, doctors and other professionals, and service providers. 
  • Cost containment — inappropriate placements, duplication of services, and unnecessary hospitalizations are avoided.
  • Quality control – aging life care services follow ALCA’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. 

"When my parents suddenly needed specialized care, we naively set out to find the right facility. After a fruitless, exhausting and discouraging search, the sense of being lost and alone in a frightening new situation was overwhelming. And then I called Kay Paggi. Words cannot express the gratitude we will always have for Kay and the "rescue" that began with that call. With her knowledge of every option in the area, she referred us to the assisted-living community that was the perfect fit for my parents. I shudder to think where we would be today were it not for Kay's expertise in guiding us through this life-changing family crisis."      -Peggy B. 


 

 

"My sister and I have consulted with you for 4-5 years regarding the care of our parents. Your counsel has been invaluable. We feel we have become knowledgeable about their situation and been more helpful to them than we would have been on our own." - Marilyn


 

 

"I felt that your counseling for me and my sister was the most important thing that we did to help us through that difficult time. I wouldn't have missed one of our monthly support group meetings for anything." -Janice Maxwell

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