What is a Professional Aging Life Care Manager (ALCM)?
A Professional ALCM is an expert, such as a social worker, counselor, gerontologist or nurse who:
- Has a specialized body of knowledge and experience related to aging and care issues
- Assists older adults and persons with disabilities in addressing issues related to their health, psychological, functional and legal/financial status
- Assesses needs and coordinates ongoing care
- Identifies numerous ancillary services that help maintain independence
- Monitors and evaluates ongoing care needs and current status
- Monitors medical treatment compliance issues
- Determines best living situation for individual and older couples
- Identifies legal and financial gaps and refers to appropriate professionals
- Provides ongoing supervision & maintains communication link to limit out-of-town caregivers’ need for frequent and costly visits
- Serves as an experienced guide and resource for families of older adults and others with chronic needs
How do you know if you or your family needs an ALCM?
You or your family may need a Professional Geriatric Care Manager if:
- You have limited or no local family support
- Your family is newly involved and needs direction about available services
- You or your elder family member have multiple medical or psychological issues
- You or your elder family member are unable to live safely in the current environment
- Your family is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions
- Your family has limited time and/or expertise in dealing with chronic care needs
- You and your family are at odds regarding care decisions
- You or your elder family member need advocacy assistance with care providers
- You or your elder family member are unsure about financial and/or legal matters
- Family needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia
Danger signals indicating a need for attention and possible intervention:
One or more unusual behaviors may indicate that you or your elder family member is having some difficulties functioning, and that it is time to get expert help.
- Frequent falls or unexplained bruises
- Unintended weight loss of 10 lbs. or more in a 12-month period
- Medication mistakes/overdose
- Bizarre or deviant behavior
- Getting lost while driving or walking
- Extreme suspiciousness
- Upaid bills or uncashed checks
- Unsafe driving – accidents
- Confusion or increased forgetfulness
- New balance or mobility problems, unwilling to use cane or walker
- Health complaints/symptoms, but unwilling to see the doctor
- One spouse overwhelmed or in poor health caring for a dependent spouse
Questions families should ask when locating a Professional ALCM:
- What are your professional credentials?
- Are you licensed in your profession?
- Are you a member of the Aging Life Care Association?
- How long have you been providing care management services?
- Are you available for emergencies?
- Does your company also provide home care services?
- How do you communicate information to me?
- What are your fees? (should be provided in writing prior to starting services)
- Can you provide me with references?