The Benefits of Hiring an Aging Life Care Professional

aging life care professional

An Aging Life Care Professional, sometimes referred to as a geriatric care manager, is someone who is trained and certified to provide guidance on a number of aspects of senior care.  He or she typically has a degree or certification in a field related to the care of the elderly, as well as experience working in positions to support them and their families.  Aging Life Care Professionals can provide options regarding medical, housing, and financial needs that the average person might not be aware of.  They also have experience coordinating between these different aspects of life to ensure the aging parent is cared for as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Dealing with the needs of elderly parents can be challenging.  In addition to being stressful and often emotionally difficult, tending to the various facets of their lives like finances, housing, and insurance can be complicated and frustrating.  Also, an adult child’s day-to-day life does not stop simply because a parent needs care.  Children, spouses, and jobs all continue to need attention, so the extra responsibility can easily become overwhelming.  To navigate this new and likely unfamiliar territory successfully, it can be very helpful to hire an Aging Life Care Professional.

Most of the time, taking over decision-making and being responsible for the care of a parent is not something an adult child has had to do before.   It can happen quickly, precipitated by a health emergency or other critical incident, which makes it obvious the parent can no longer manage on his or her own.  When this happens, the adult child may not know how to find the right resources to help the parent.  He or she might make quick decisions that are not in the parent’s best interests due to stress, fear, or just a lack of information.  The experience of an Aging Life Care Professional can make the transition much smoother and lead to a better outcome.

Taking on the role of caregiver to a parent is typically an emotional time for adult children.  The switch from being the child who was cared for by the parent to a reversed role can be sad and frustrating.  Coordinating care among multiple siblings can make this even more challenging, especially if the family dynamics are not positive.  Sometimes the parents are resistant to giving up control, even though it’s no longer possible for them to care for themselves.  In situations like these, tension and hostility can make it hard to make the right decisions for the parent.  In these cases, an Aging Life Care Professional can serve as an impartial third party to provide unbiased advice on the right course to choose.

Another challenge that adult children often face is geographical restriction.  While many tasks can be handled via phone or e-mail, some must be handled in person. However, elderly parents may not live close enough that their children can always be physically present to attend doctor’s visits or meetings with care facilities.  An Aging Life Care Professional can be a vital ally in cases like these, standing in for the adult children and advocating for the parent when needed.  

The prospect of coordinating care for an aging parent can be stressful, scary, and overwhelming.  For many adult children, handling every aspect of this change alone is not feasible. Hiring an Aging Life Care Professional to serve as a guide and advocate can lead to better results for everyone in the family.

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, Contact Us Here  or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help you.

What is Aging Life Care Management?


Aging Life Care Management , also known as “elder care management”, senior health care management” and “professional care management,” is the process of planning and coordinating care of the elderly and others with physical and/or mental impairments to meet their long term care needs, improve their quality of life, and maintain their independence for as long as possible.
It entails working with people of old age and their families in managing, rendering, and referring various types of health and social care services. Geriatric care managers accomplish this by combining a working knowledge of health and psychology, human development, family dynamics, public and private resources and funding sources, while advocating for their clients throughout
the continuum of care. For example, they may assist families of older adults and others with chronic needs such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
Aging Life Care Management integrates both health care and psychological care with other needed services such as housing, home care services, nutritional services, assistance with activities of daily living, socialization programs, as well as financial and legal planning (ex. banking, trusts). A care plan made for specific circumstances is prepared after an individual assessment, and is continuously monitored and modified as needed.
Aging life Care Managers
Aging Life care managers typically have prior training in nursing, social work, gerontology or other health service areas. They are expected to have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of services in their communities. In some countries and jurisdictions, they may obtain certification from various professional associations, such as the National Association of Professional Aging Life Care Managers in the United States. Professional care managers help individuals, families and other caregivers adjust and cope with the challenges of aging or disability by.
1. Conducting care-planning assessments to identify needs, problems and eligibility for assistance.
2. Screening, arranging, and monitoring in-home help and other services.
3. Reviewing financial, legal, or medical issue
4. Offering referrals to specialists to avoid future problems and to conserve assets.
5. Providing crisis intervention.
6. Acting as a liaison to families at a distance.
7.  Making sure things are going well and alerting families of any issues.
8.  Assisting with moving their clients to or from a retirement complex, assisted living facility, rehabilitation facility or nursing home.
9.  Providing client and family education and advocacy.
10. Offering counseling and support.

Hiring a Aging Life Care Expert

Aging life care expert

Caring for an elderly loved one can be quite a daunting task, particularly if you live far away or have other competing responsibilities, like work or a young family. There are thousands of people in this situation. The media refers to some as the Sandwich Generation, caught between two generations of family that need them. If you are in this predicament, there are professionals available to help you make the important decisions and arrange for the care of your loved one. There are doctors, social workers and a relatively new breed of professionals, Aging Life Care Expert. Selecting the best solution for your loved one is critical and selecting the right Care Manager can help achieve that goal.

What is a Aging Life Care Professional? 

An Aging Life Care Professional is an individual who specializes in helping families who are caring for older relatives. These professionals are often trained in other fields like nursing, gerontology, social work, psychology or a more business oriented field, like finances. They apply this background knowledge to issues related to aging and caring for the elderly.

Most professionals have been working in the field for several years. They often have knowledge of and access to services that most individuals don’t know exist. Additionally, they may know of financial benefits, government funds or low-cost services that your loved one qualifies for.
What services do they offer?
  • Aging Life Care Management usually includes the following:
  •  Assessment of the individual.
  •  Developing a personalized care plan.
  •  Arranging for services.
  •  Monitoring care. Life Care Managers can be hired for a single task, such as arranging a particular service, or they can take on a long term responsibility. For example, an Aging Life Care Manager can oversee the care-giving process for a long-distance caregiver and, since the Aging Life Care Manager is local to the loved one, be available in the event of an emergency. Many professionals also offer customers a financial assessment with regard to care-giving, including finding potential money wasters such as duplication of services.
Why hire a Aging Life Care Manager?
Identified below are some benefits that may help you determine if you need to hire a Aging Life Care Manager:
  • You are new to elder care and need advice and guidance.
  • You are a long distance caregiver and would like someone close to your loved one that you can count on 24/7.
  • Your other responsibilities make it too difficult to provide the desired level of care and attention to your loved one’s needs.
  • The issues that you or your loved ones are facing are becoming larger and more complex than you can comfortably manage.
  • You have trouble dealing with a family member (whether it is the patient or another relative) and need an unbiased intermediary.
How do you find an Aging Life Care Professional in your area?
There are a few ways to find a reliable manager:
  • Referral: Absolutely the best way to find a good professional. Seek out the advice of others that are in similar circumstances, ask a trusted local health professional or consult an elder law attorney.
  • Government resources or organization websites: 
  • Local agencies or hospitals may also provide a list of local professionals.

Trying to make the best decisions can be difficult for you and your aging loved one. Asking for help is a big step. There are many organizations and professionals that can help you. A Aging Life Care Professional is just one of your options.

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, Contact Us Here  or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help you.

aging life care florida

When should we hire a Aging Life Care Manager?


·      When there’s no local support system in place or family lives too far away to assist regularly.
·      Family members are unable to determine needs, agree on options, arrange for or oversee care.
·      If the burden of providing care is threatening the health of the spouse or primary caregiver.
·      When placement in a facility is necessary and your not sure what fits both care needs and budget.
·      Your loved one displays inappropriate behavior, uses poor judgment or may be easily victimized.
If you’re experiencing any of these or other concerns, call Advanced Senior Solutions. 727-443-2273

Not All Aging Life Care Managers Are Created Equal

Aging Life Care Management is a rapidly developing, newly recognized profession which helps families adjust and cope with the challenges of an aging loved one.

Aging Life  Care Manager’s  are health advocates for seniors and disabled adults. Managers  provide needs assessments, screening, arranging, and monitoring in-home help, counseling and support including family conflict mediation and crisis intervention. They assess the ability to remain safely in the home or whether the person may need to be relocated to an alternative residence. Determining appropriate living arrangements and necessary supportive assistance are among the many services they offer. Additionally, managers’s help to facilitate legal, financial, medical and end of life services.

Aging Life Care Managers become liaisons to families who are separated by long distances from their elderly loved ones making sure they are managing well,
and alerting them to any concerns or problems that may arise. Managers’s have extensive knowledge about the services and resources in their communities.

Aging Life  Care Managers hold Bachelor Degrees, Masters Degrees, or Doctorates in a human service related field such as Gerontology, Social Work, Psychology, or Nursing. As the aging
population continues to grow, the need for strict Aging Life Care standards is increasingly critical.

The National Association of Aging Life Care Managers recognizes the following credentials as exceeding the standard of expertise in being a Aging Life Care Manager;
CMC, CCM, A-CSW & C-SWCM. The certification exam to be a CMC is facilitated by the National Association of Certified Care Managers (NACCM). These certifications re-quire testing, ongoing continuing education and peer review in order to re-certify.

Because there are some individuals working either independently or for a different professional and who refer to themselves as “Care Managers”, it is important for the wise consumer to ask questions when considering hiring a PCM. Some of these questions include:

How much experience does Aging Life CareManager have in healthcare?

  • What are the credentials and education of the Aging Life Care Manager?
  • Are they Licensed, Bonded and Insured? Ask to see it
  • Are they a member of the National and State Associations of Aging Life C are Care Managers?
  • What types of services do they offer?
  • Can they provide references from clients/families?
  • What are the fees and costs for services? Do they offer a complimentary consultation?

When selecting either a Professional Care Management Agency or an Individual, the process should be comprehensive and cautious. The answers to your questions will assist you in
determining whether that particular Agency or Sole Proprietor has the qualifications important to you for a successful relationship.

Expectations of Aging Life Care Managers

A Aging Life Care Manager  must first evaluate and assess ones needs, including medical psychosocial, functional, living environment, legal and financial. All of these indicators are important to the welfare of the older or disabled person. The manager gains an understanding of their client with respect to their values, family dynamics, and expectations without bias.
Plan of Care
The manager develops an individualized plan of care which focuses on the areas of concern that is recognized during the assessment process.  A plan of action is agreed upon by both client and life care manager and then implemented.
Services are prioritized and arranged according to the action plan taking into consideration the client’s health, emotional and safety risk factors. Oversight of care can be set in place to continually monitor the plan of care for appropriateness and to make any necessary changes. A manager can get as little or as much involved as the client or family needs them to be. Some only prefer the initial assessment and care plan to be completed which offers them with enough direction while others prefer ongoing Care Management to stay proactively involved in the client’s care.
When is it time to call a Aging Life Care Manager?
A manager is called when the situation can no longer be taken care of by others involved. It could be that the family lives at a distance or the burden of care giving becomes too great for the spouse or loved one. Most of the time, the call comes from other professionals already involved with the client such as physicians, home care, bankers, or attorneys.
Flexibility and Cost Control
Aging Life Care Manager services are flexible as to where, when and the length of involvement. Clients are cared for at home, in retirement centers, assisted living or nursing homes. Managers also are asked to review charts and oversee ones care while in the hospital or skilled rehab. When there’s no local family willing or able to manage their loved ones care, the manager is usually involved on an ongoing basis. Aging Life Care Managers help manage the costs associated with health care by accurately matching services to needs, reduce overuse or duplication of services and work proactively to help avoid a costly crisis.

There can be different expectations from those involved pertaining to Care Management. It is the responsibility of the one hiring a care manager to verbalize their expectations and have an understanding with the care manager so a trusting relationship can be built. This relationship is vital for the Aging Life Care Manager to produce positive outcomes.

Selecting a Aging Life Care Manager

An Aging Life Care manager is a professional who specializes in helping older people and their families with long-term care arrangements. Aging Life Care managers often have training in gerontology, social work, nursing or counseling. They also have extensive knowledge about the cost, quality and availability of services in an older person’s community.

As a result an Aging Life Care manager can help:
  • Conduct care-planning assessments to identify problems and determine eligibility for assistance and the need for services
  • Screen, arrange and monitor in-home help or other services
  • Review financial, legal or medical issues and offer referrals to geriatric specialists to avoid future problems and conserve assets
  • Provide crisis intervention
  • Act as a liaison to families living away from the parent, making sure things are going well and alerting families to problems
  • Help move an older person to or from a retirement complex, care home or nursing home
  • Provide consumer education and advocacy
  • Offer counseling and support
Choose a Aging Life Care Manager carefully. The field of Aging Life Care management is relatively unregulated and many people without specialized training identify themselves as care managers, care coordinators or care advisors. Therefore, it’s wise to screen candidates to ensure that you’re working with a person qualified in this new profession.
  • Ask about candidates’ training, education and background in care management and geriatrics. Ask how long they’ve been a care manager and whether they belong to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers or any other professional associations.
  • A care manager’s ability to be responsive is important. Ask candidates what their average response time is to return calls from clients and their families. Have them describe their communication system. Do they use pagers, portable phones, an answering service or voice mail? Learn about their agency’s size, hours and staff composition. How are after-hours emergencies handled? What are the back-up systems for covering vacations and days off? Will you and your parent work with one care manager or several?
  • Determine the scope of the aging life care managers practice. Some managers or agencies specialize in assessments and care consultation, but typically don’t follow people on an ongoing basis. An assessment is a thorough review of the client’s physical, medical and mental status, and financial resources. It serves as the basis for a comprehensive plan for the client. Other managers offer psychotherapy, money management, or home care. They also can act as conservators, appointed by a court, to manage the financial and/or personal affairs of someone unable to manage his or her own affairs. It’s important that the managers practice setting and specialties meet your needs and your parent’s.
  • Investigate the aging life care manager’s  track record and reputation. Ask for letters of reference or names of previous clients you may contact. Is the manager active in professional associations? Does the care manager perform volunteer work?
While there are no licensing requirements for care managers, there are certification programs. Ask each candidate you interview if he or she is certified, and by whom.
Confusion about fees and billing can be a problem. Be sure you understand the billing rates and how charges are calculated. Fees vary depending on the work setting – private practice, public agency or private non-profit agency. Get a written service agreement that outlines the fee structure and practices.
Finally, ask aging life care candidates if they subscribe to a code of ethics or are guided by professional standards of practice. Get a copy of the standards. They should deal with the right to privacy, fiduciary responsibilities, full disclosure, fostering self-determination, fees, continuing education and professional relationships. Ask how complaints are handled.

Advantage to Hiring a Aging Life Care Manager

Very often children take on the responsibility of looking after their parents as they grow older. While this is admirable, the increasing complexity of health and financial issues facing today’s elderly can become overwhelming. And the stress of trying to negotiate the maze of financial and health-related issues can often put strain on the parent-children relationship.

geriatric care manager (GCM) can help. A GCM will look after the client’s finances search and apply for helpful programs and benefits, and administrate claims on insurance and Medicare. They can use their experience and contacts to suggest high quality assisted living facilities, in-home care providers, and nursing homes should the need arise. A GCM can also help locate reputable legal help for estate planning, willspowers of attorneyhealth care directives, and Medicaid. When children live too far away or lack the considerable time it takes to care for a loved one, a GCM can even do shopping, pay bills, balance the checkbook, and protect a senior from scams.

The primary benefit of a good GCM is peace of mind, but choose with great care. Unscrupulous individuals are out there, so be certain your GCM has a spotless reputation. Monitor the GCM’s handling of your loved one’s affairs closely. An excellent resource is the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers website,, 2-28-04

What’s the cost of care?

One potential downside of care management is the cost.  Geriatric care managers charge between $80 and $150 an hour, so over time the costs can add up significantly.
Long-term care insurance policies often cover the costs of a geriatric care manager, but Medicare does not.
Despite the price Jan Collins, a South Carolina attorney who specializes in elder law, frequently recommends geriatric care managers to his clients.  “Dealing with the elderly is a multidiscipline event,” he says.
He points out that a care manager may actually save money by connecting families to useful community resources, including free ones, and steering them away from expensive living arrangements where fees may quickly rise without warning.  “[Families] who have the least,” Collins says, “have the most to lose.”


For a geriatric care manager, “the most important job is to develop trust in the relationship,” says NAPGCM’s LaBier.  As an example she cites a retired physician she cared for.
Accustomed to controlling every aspect of his life, the doctor had retreated at age 94 into a life of “sitting in his sunroom watching the grass grow,” LaBier recalls. He was also trying to care for his wife, who had dementia.  Bills piled up on the dining room table, no one made meals and their home was a mess.
Furthermore, LaBier says, “stockbrokers were churning him left and right,” talking him into buying and selling stocks at an alarming clip.
The couple had outlived their children and had no relatives nearby, but a nephew in Germany discovered their situation and hired LaBier.
Suspicious at first of LaBier, the physician eventually allowed her to bring in help to clean up the kitchen and cook some meals.  She gradually persuaded him to deal with the bills and call the investment firm that was hounding the doctor to report the broker.  The doctor was able to fulfill his wish of staying in his own home until he died.
Unfortunately, it’s usually a crisis—a broken bone, a hospitalization—that prods families to plan for elder care.  Care managers say they are having some success, however, in getting families to have a plan before a crisis develops.
The NAPGCM reports that even retirement-age people who are still healthy are arranging for their own eventual care needs so their younger relatives won’t have to.
Article By: Linda Greider
Published in: AARP, December 2001, Vol. 42 No. 11, Washington D.C. p 9-13.