What Are Aging Life Care Services
The following are excerpts from the Aging Life Care Association and intended for informative purposes only. Please visit the ALCA website or contact ALCA directly for further information.
Aging Life Care™, also known as geriatric care management, is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, the expertise of Aging Life Care Professionals® provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress and time off of work for family caregivers.
“Aging Life Care Professionals” (sometimes called “Aging Life Care Managers™”, “Aging Life Care Specialists™”, “geriatric care managers” or “GCMs”) – have emerged as resources for families – they are able to relieve the caregiver burden, are often engaged by families separated by distance, and understand the complexity of the healthcare system.
The Aging Life Care Professional is educated and experienced in any of several fields related to Aging Life Care / care management, including, but not limited to nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.
The following services are commonly provided by Aging Life Care Professionals, as described by the Aging Life Care Association.
Positive Impacts of Aging Life Care Professionals
ALCA is excited to release new findings from research conducted by the Florida Chapter of the Aging Life Care Association. Florida researchers first studied how care recipients valued the services provided by Aging Life Care Professionals. The results from the second phase considered the value of services as viewed by the “responsible party” authorized to pay for Aging Life Care™ services on behalf of an individual.
Overwhelmingly, the survey indicated that engaging Aging Life Care Professionals had positive effects for the responsible parties and the clients served.
Most respondents reported they engaged the professional because:
• family did not live near the client so that they needed a local contact for care,
• concerned about changes in the client’s status,
• client was experiencing a crisis at the time the professional services were sought,
• seeking a professional assessment to explore options for the client’s care.
The responsible parties’ perceptions can be valuable in the field of elder care, by showing which professional services are most important to informal caregivers – in this case, often family members who live at a distance from the older adult. Since Aging Life Care Professionals may be experienced in one or more of several fields – including social work, nursing, gerontology or psychology – they can assist with a broad range of services (ALCA, 2016). The ways responsible parties use and value the Aging Life Care Professionals’ services can have a significant impact on the older clients and their families, as well as on service providers.
An unexpected finding was the extent to which Aging Life Care Professionals work outside the client’s home — in an assisted living facility or nursing homes. According to our survey responses, many families depend on Aging Life Care Professionals even after the client has left home for a facility. In fact, almost half the respondents (47%) said the clients with whom they are associated do not live at home.
While 7 out of 10 adults are expected to need assistance as they age, scholars in the aging field perceive it is unrealistic to continue to rely so heavily on family caregivers because of their declining future numbers, the complexity of the healthcare system, and competing responsibilities for modern families (Bragg, 2015; Redfoot, 2013).
The value of Aging Life Care Professional services is evident. With the increasing aging population and the emphasis on continuity of care, Aging Life Care Professionals are poised to play a larger role in coming years.
Would you like to find out how Aging Life Care can help you?
Phase Two study results - How responsible parties value Aging Life Care Professionals’ services by Mary Ann Horne, MHA & Judith Ortiz, PhD, MBA – were published in the Journal of Aging Life Care, Vol. 27, Special Edition, March 2017.
Phase One study results – The Role and Contributions of Geriatric Care Managers: Care Recipients’ Views – were published in Professional Case Management, Vol. 18, No. 6, pages 286-292, in November/December 2013.
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