What Does an Aging Life Care Specialist Do? (Part 2)

What are the Benefits of Using an Aging Life Care Specialist?

The benefits are both to you and your loved one.  Especially if you are a working professional, adding an Aging Life Care Specialist (formerly known as Professional Geriatric Care Manager) to your caregiving team will allow you to focus on your professional and family life, and know that the work of managing the caregiving is being accomplished by a professional who is able to focus on your loved one’s wants and needs.  Aging Life Care Specialists are able to provide service that covers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  He or she communicates with family, medical professionals and all other service providers.  With a duty of cost containment and quality control, Aging Life Care Specialists can help a family avoid inappropriate placements and unnecessary hospitalizations, thereby keeping costs down, saving time, and maintaining a high quality of life.

How do I Find an Aging Life Care Specialist?

A great place to start your search is the website of the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA).  Easy to use, the “Find an Aging Life Care Expert” search function allows one to search in multiple ways (zip code, state, town, etc).

Do You Have Suggestions for How to Choose an Aging Life Care Specialist?

The ALCA website has a list of questions one can use to interview prospective care managers, and the questions can be used during an initial conversation over the phone.  Interviewing more than one Aging Life Care Specialist is recommended.  While this is a selection of a professional, it is also a personal choice, and you want to be sure the Aging Life Care Specialist you select is someone you feel you can work with, as well as with your loved one.

Kathleen S. Allen, LCSW, C-ASWCM, is an Aging Life Care Specialist in Northern Virginia.  She works with seniors and their families, and with organizations and their employees or members to help guide them through the challenges of aging and caregiving.

This article was updated on 10 April 2016.