5 Reasons to Reach Out to an Aging Life Care Professional
We are often asked by both professional colleagues and friends when is a good time to reach out to an Aging Life Care® Professional. And, for what reasons? Below are some thoughts on this topic. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it is representative.
Family needs assistance in short term and/or long-term planning for loved one with chronic illness.
An Aging Life Care Professional (ALCP) can assess needs and develop a customized “road map” for better outcomes, including making strategic financial decisions regarding care.
Family is struggling with the progression of dementia in loved one and need assistance with managing care.
An ALCP can offer strategies and education (and realistic expectations of disease trajectory) in managing behaviors and symptoms often associated with dementia.
Adult children live out of state and are unable to manage care of their parents from a distance and/or find it too difficult.
An ALCP offers expertise, experience, advocacy, and ability to “quarterback” medical care coordination and other care needs locally and communicate same to concerned parties. Care at home can also be monitored and needs reassessed ongoing.
Family is overwhelmed and stressed and perhaps burned out trying to care for an aging loved one. There may be disagreements among family members about the “right” thing to do (or do nothing?) and this exacerbates the stress and often paralyzes the family, however well-intentioned they may be.
In addition to focused solutions, an ALCP brings support, expertise, experience, and objectivity to a family at odds with decision making.
Family is unsure if aging in place at home is best for loved one, or a move to an Assisted Living facility or nursing home should be considered.
An ALCP will assess care needs for appropriate level of care and review pros and cons of each option. This considers the loved one’s wishes and the practicality of each option based on realistic expectations, psycho-social values, and financial status.
This recent client interaction offers an example of when reach out to an Aging Life Care® Professional.
Mr. and Mrs. Z have been clients for several years. Mr. Z. was diagnosed with dementia, probably Alzheimer’s about 3 years ago. Both of their adult children live out of state but are very involved and devoted. The ALCP is very involved in Mr. Z’s medical care and ongoing monitoring of the care at home. Mr. Z’s dementia has been getting progressively worse; they have some daily hourly aides, but his needs have increased dramatically, he is becoming agitated and harder to manage and is often up at night, pacing and trying to exit the home. Mrs. Z is exhausted and would like Mr. Z. to move into memory care. The ALCP has worked with the geriatric psychiatrist to tweak medications and document behavior trends to assess results. The ALCP works with the aides to offer suggestions and strategies in dealing with Mr. Z’s unpredictable behaviors and ways to alleviate the resistance. ALCP is working with the family to consider and analyze options for the future: increasing care at home; Mr. Z. moving to a separate apartment with a live-in aide; Mr. Z. moving to a memory care program, among other options. ALCP serves as an objective resource for the family and offers support and guidance during this difficult life transition.