The stress of caregiving often puts strains on families and relationships, not to mention the toll it takes on someone’s health. But here’s the thing, you’re not alone in this.

An evolving role, the Aging Life Care Professional (formerly called Geriatric Care Manager), provides a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for people facing ongoing health challenges.

A Care Professional plans and coordinates the care of the elderly to improve their quality of life and to maintain their independence.

Aging Life Care Professionals’ Role

Caregiving often takes place over great distances. It is hard for families to be in two places at once. So, think of this person as your stand in, a very qualified one at that. The duties of a Life Care Professional include:

  • Conducting assessments to identify needs.
  • Work with the family to write a care plan and then putting it into action.
  • Assist with hiring home health professionals.
  • Be a mediator should the need arise.
  • Help with moving a person to the best level of care needed, sometimes in conjunction with a professional move manager.
  • Often, working with an attorney, reviewing documents, and preparing documents such as a living will.
  • Educate the family as well as the community.
  • Visiting your loved one on a regular basis to make sure they are safe, eating right, and taking their medications.
  • Make medical appointments and getting the person to them.
  • Identify social supports in the community.

Education and Training

People enter this profession through different paths. A person could have one or more degrees in social work, gerontology, psychology, or business administration.

Certain states require licensing or certification, something you’ll want to check when hiring someone. They may need to be bonded too.

A compassion for seniors and an empathetic personality are intangibles that go a long way. And of course, experience working with the elderly is essential.

Hiring an Aging Life Professional

While families and adult children of relatives that live too far away typically hire these professionals, it is not uncommon to find them working for banks and trust officers, physicians and allied health professionals, attorneys, hospitals, social service providers, gerontology professionals, and senior housing communities.

The Aging Life Care Association® (ALCA) is an association of practitioners dedicated to the advancement of expert assistance to aging individuals and their families. They offer these tips when hiring:

  • Find out her/his areas of expertise.
  • What are the primary services provided?
  • Is there a fee for the initial consultation?
  • Is the person licensed in this profession?
  • How long have they been providing care management services?
  • Are they available for emergencies?
  • What are their fees and billing terms? Is it hourly, or based on a project?
  • Can they provide references?

Check out their site for more. The answers will assist you in hiring a qualified professional.

Find the peace of mind that comes with knowing a loved one is being taken care of properly by looking into the services of the Aging Life Care Professional.

What do you know about these specialized Aging Life Care Professionals? Have you utilized their services? What can you say about the experience? Please share with our community.