May is National Aging Life Care™ month, a time to celebrate the nearly 2,000 people who work in Aging Life Care™ management. Aging Life Care™ is holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing health challenges. According to the Aging Life Care Association, aging life care professionals are “health and human services specialists who guide, advocate and serve as a resource for families caring for an older relative or disabled adult.” They provide the expertise that families need when caring for a loved one.
Healthcare is complicated and navigating it can be confusing. It can be difficult to understand the connections between physicians and specialists, scheduling, insurance coverage and coordination of care. Aging Life Care™ professionals can provide answers, and guide families while making decisions important to the health and well-being of a loved one. These are the people who can help you to find quality care for your loved one, while reducing your worry and stress. If you know you have an advocate looking out for the best interests of the senior you love, you can spend more time taking care of your responsibilities at work and home. They can assist with:
- Assessment and monitoring of senior’s health
- Planning and problem-solving for seniors and their families
- Education and advocacy for seniors
- Family caregiver coaching to improve caregiving and answer questions
Aging Life Care™ professionals have a unique skill set. They have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of resources in the senior’s community. If you need to know whether your loved one needs rehab or skilled nursing, an Aging Life™ Care professional can help. The services are robust and include:
- Health and Disability: Aging Life Care™ professionals attend doctor appointments and facilitate communication between doctor, client, and family. These professionals help determine types of services – including 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, consulting with a client’s accountant or Power of Attorney, providing information on federal and state entitlements, connecting families to local programs, helping with insurance concerns, claims, and applications.
- Families: Helping 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.
- Crisis Intervention: Helping clients navigate through emergency departments and hospitalizations, rehabilitation stays, and ensuring that adequate care is available to the client.
LivHOME prides itself in Aging in Life Care™, we have 22 members across the nation; of particular interest to aging life care professionals is improving care and strengthening communities. They want to make sure that dementia care is improved, cultural sensitivity is part of all care services, technology is integrated thoughtfully into care and that seniors retain dignity and connections with others. As you begin your search for caregiving professionals or a caregiving agency, be sure to take stock of their capabilities and make sure they’re able to meet your needs.
During National Aging Life Care month, Aging Life Care Professionals will be meeting across the country, providing seminars, webinars, special events, open houses, and other educational activities for the public. It’s a great time to learn more about the profession and how they might help you care for your loved one. For more information, and locations of Aging Life Care Professionals, visit ALCA’s website aginglifecare.org.