Are you struggling with how to care for a parent or a loved one? An Aging Life Care Professional can help. These are trained professionals in a human services field (such as social work or nursing) that act as a guide and advocate for families caring for older adults. These professionals are skilled in navigating the complicated maze of eldercare services with the goal of maximizing a senior’s quality of life. Aging Life Care Professionals must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the Aging Life Care Association™. Aging Life Care Professionals can be called upon during a crisis or to proactively lay the groundwork for successful aging.
An Aging Life Care Professional begins their work by conducting a comprehensive assessment and developing a Plan of Care to meet the needs of each client. This will include working directly with the senior, as well as involved family members or other support systems. A Plan of Care may include:
- Arranging supportive services at home and providing oversight of these services.
- Making recommendations regarding alternative living options.
- Advocacy within the healthcare system, including attending medical appointments and coordinating between medical providers.
- Providing guidance to secure all eligible benefits.
- Facilitating family meetings to help attain consensus on care decisions.
- Consulting with an elder law attorney to ensure all legal documents are in order.
- Monitoring client at home to observe potential risks of exploitation.
You or your family may benefit from an Aging Life Care Professional if:
- Family needs direction about available services or living options.
- A loved one is unable to live safely in their current environment.
- Family has limited time or expertise to address a loved one’s care needs.
- Family is experiencing caregiver stress or confused about care options.
- Family is at odds about care decisions.
- Family lives out of state and is unable to regularly visit loved one in need.
- The person you are caring for has limited or no family support.
Wendy Miller, LCSW-C is an Aging Life Care Professional and licensed clinical social worker practicing in the Anne Arundel County, MD area. She has over 15 years of experience in geriatric social work in various medical settings and is the Principal of Annapolis Senior Care Solutions (www.annapolisseniors.com). She can be reached at 410-834-1452 to discuss how her expertise can help you or your loved one. Aging Life Professionals can also be located through www.aginglifecare.org.