In the United States, the baby boomer population has been turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day since 2011. Representing nearly 22% of the American population overall, the first boomer was born when life expectancy was 63; today that statistic is 79. With such a large percent of the population growing older and then continuing to age, the profession formerly known as Geriatric Care Manager has both grown and re-branded in keeping with its clients’ continued youthful view. Today, an Aging Life Care Expert is part of a $43,000,000,000 industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 32.5 percent employment growth for medical and health services managers between 2020 and 2030. This is huge growth and, while it represents a great opportunity for those seeking employment in the health field, it also makes it a bit more difficult to determine: who is the best, capable fit for your family’s needs?
By and large, these professionals belong to the Aging Life Care Association which seeks high levels of education and professional certification for its members. With multiple levels of membership, each one calls for some degree of education in health care and/or its management plus adherence to ALCA’s code of ethics and standards of practice.
While the growth of a national organization helps standardize levels and practice of private care in a sprawling, fragmented health care industry, it also runs counter to traditions of family caring for aging or chronically ill family. A loving and exhausting role, especially when matters of physical distance or bad feelings exist, care can encompass matters of banking, real estate, investments, health decisions, social and religious matters that no family member should have to make alone, even if they have the professional training to do so.
There are individuals who advertise themselves as care managers yet who lack the education, training and experience that a certified care manager would possess. Even if a family chooses to hire a professional to assist with an aging loved one, it’s imperative to inquire about the applicant’s education, experience and certification as well as obtain references.
Your professional aging life care expert provides assistance in making informed decisions, based on careful assessment with long-term needs in mind. She/he will also act as your family’s advocate to assure all relevant assistance or care needs are met in the most cost-effective and least restrictive setting. Most importantly, your professional life care expert is ready to provide assistance and support 24/7 when a crisis arises.
An aging life care expert will monitor and provide support beyond your family and senior client. She/he will also ensure you are safe in your living accommodations, that your bills are being paid on time, that health-related issues are managed and that help is provided to ensure your safety and security while maintaining dignity and independence.
This is not the same as ‘case management’ in which the professional focuses on the patient’s actual care and helps them transition between treatments and stages of care effectively. Case management encompasses the entire rehabilitation and recovery process. It deals with every aspect of the process and creates one clear path to better health.
The aging life care expert intends to improve patient care and reduce the need for medical services by enhancing coordination of care, eliminating duplication, and helping clients and their caregivers more effectively manage long-term health conditions.
Total Long Term Care Consultants can answer your questions about the critical and complex decisions associated with long term care. With nearly 25 years of experience and dozens of health team partners, we’re here to ease your way to the most effective care management experience for your loved one.