New Beginnings; Aging Life Care Managers Helping to Keep Older Adults at Home or Transition

By Bridget M. Ritossa, LSW, CMC

Aging Life Care Managers expand your resources and knowledge for making excellent choices related to wellness. 

Aging Life Care Managers, also referred to as Care Managers at times, have been providing older adults and their caregivers long-term choices and advocacy since the 1980’s.  The profession of Aging Life Care is still rather new and emerging.  Many Aging Life Care Mangers include people of all ages.  The mission of Care Managers is to provide choices for people to live as independently as possible in the place that they call home.  There are several ways in which Care Managers do this including, navigation, support, and lastly empowerment.  Let’s break down the process for a better understanding of each step.

Navigation:

Researching and understanding available living options and services can be overwhelming.  Care Managers have the knowledge, experience and resources to help you make an informed decision using current and past client experiences.   Care Managers will provide a comprehensive overview of living options and assistance available in the location you are seeking.  CM’s are knowledgeable of entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Benefits, and will help you determine the best living arrangement based on current and future financial and medical needs.  The services of a CM are usually provided by a Nurse, Licensed Social Worker or other healthcare professional.  CM’s can help activate long-term care policies. 

Support:

With so many resources available in the home today, remaining in your can be a viable solution.  A CM will help you determine if home is the best option.  CM’s have many years of experience and have developed relationships with a variety of resources that help support living at home.  CM’s resources include insurance counselors, physicians, rehabilitation providers, home-care agencies, meal providers, housekeepers, durable medical providers, home repair specialists, medication dispensaries, and more.  The ultimate goal of a CM is to meet long-term needs of the person with disabilities.   Help comes in many forms and CM’s are skilled at helping older adults find options to stay happy, stay healthy and stay home. 

Empower

CM’s believe that empowerment is essential.  Every person should be empowered to take control of their own health.  When older adults are challenged with being able to advocate for themselves a CM can assist.  CM’s are trained at problem solving and advocacy. 

In summary home is where the heart is.  Care Mangers understand that home is the foundation where life happens.  Home is where your friends know where to find you, where your kids come home to stay for holidays, it is the place you can walk with the lights out and still know where you are.  With a CM by your side, you can be at home with confidence knowing your needs will always be met.  CM’s can provide you with the resources and knowledge to make life easier.  CM’s can also help put worried older adult children at ease knowing there are boots on the ground watching over their parents. 

Bridget Ritossa is The Owner of Careplan Geriatric Care Managers and serves as a regional board member for The Aging Life Care Association™ formerly known as The National Association of Geriatric Care Managers. Bridget is the Unit Leader for the Cleveland Aging Life Care Association. She has been practicing geriatric social work and care management for over 25 years in the Cleveland area working in hospitals, CCRC’s and in the home environment. She is a licensed social worker and certified care manager. She can be reached by phone (440-476-9534) or email (bridget@careplangcm.com

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