REVELATIONS - March 2016 - Kansas City
Valuable Expertise for Families from Life Care Professionals
By Shirley Fessel
Bonnie and Julia* were at their wits’ end. Their 88 year old mother refused to move from her two-story home. She was angry with Bonnie for trying to move her. Julia was afraid of disagreeing with her mother, making Bonnie furious. Both sisters wanted safety and care for their mother, but were not getting anywhere.
Tim* lived on the east coast. His dad was in a Midwest independent senior community but was failing. Annual visits were not enough for Tim’s peace of mind and his dad did not want to move. What was he to do?
Increasingly, adult children’s concern about their aging parents leave them lost. They struggle with a consuming but unproductive maze of options, decisions and information.
Today families don’t have to master the maze alone. Aging Life Care Professionals – ALCPs- (formerly Professional Geriatric Care Managers) share concerns, advise and arrange full spectrum services for simplifying the path. Independent veterans in the field, ALCPs focus on helping the aging while reframing the dilemmas for families.
An ALCP since 2000 in Overland Park, Annice Davis White, has an extensive background as a geriatric social worker, area agency director, nursing home administrator, and senior advocate. Such professional depth and breadth is typical of ALCPs, who complete a rigorous certification process.
Annice reports “I opened my own practice to be able to treat individual needs without using a system that required one care plan for all. I believe in client centered services and ALCP shares that philosophy. Some families may mistakenly think Medicare or Medicaid will provide all the services they need or do not understand the differences in
state programs. An ALCP is thoroughly familiar with the entire field and can guide the family through the challenges.”
Sometimes a solution is simple but not obvious. A mother’s constant complaints about every facility had exhausted her family. The ALCP discovered that her sense of security depended on routine but the facility’s caregivers changed daily. The ALCP arranged for the same visitor to read to her each day, which she enjoyed immensely. Her anxiety decreased and another move was avoided.
Tim’s ALCP specialized in assisting long distance caregivers. Having an objective advocate and expert presence has made all the difference. Tim is kept abreast of his father’s care while he is away.
The two sister’s ALCP completed a range- of- care diagnostic evaluation. They needed to know how to figure out the next step. The ALCP was in tune with their mother and helped reassure her. They all agreed on a solution of part time home care, safety modifications and monitoring. The mother stayed in her home, her daughters know she is safe and all know what the next step will be.
Visit www.aginglifecare.org or agency Facebook pages. Their 35 year trusted track record, standards of practice, and member directory are listed. From consultation to complex care, ALCPs have already solved the maze for those aging and their families.
ALCPs are certified in 6 areas of expertise:
Home Care Service
Security and Financial References.
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Shirley Fessel offers workshops on Writing for Spiritual Development, the Divine Feminine for women from the Christian tradition, and advanced writing, reading and speaking. Shirley is currently developing a workbook for women suffering religious abuse and domestic violence. She is an educator with DivineBalance.org. Visit her website at www.writingresearchtraining.com or email her at Fessup2@msn.com.