An Aging Life Care Professional®, also known as a geriatric care manager, is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide and advocate for families who are caring for older relatives or disabled adults. The Aging Life Care Professional® is educated and experienced in any of several fields related to aging, including but not limited to counseling, gerontology, mental health, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, or social work; with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.
What is Berks Encore Care+?
Berks Encore Care+ is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults. At Berks Encore Care+, our Aging Life Care Professionals™ work with you to provide answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance and expertise helps families take action and make decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love. As a result, this reduces worry, stress and time off of work for family caregivers.
Our professionals accomplish this by:
What is an Aging Life Care Professional®?
Do I need an Aging Life Care Professional®?
When caregiving for an aging family member becomes overwhelming, it may be time to contact an Aging Life Care Professional®. You may need an Aging Life Care Professional® if:
- The person you are caring for has limited or no family support.
- You live at a distance from your loved one.
- The person you are caring for is unable to live safely in his/her current environment.
- Your family is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions.
- Your family has limited time and/or expertise in dealing with your loved ones’ chronic care needs.
- Your family is at odds regarding care decisions.
- The person you are caring for is not pleased with current care providers and requires advocacy.
- The person you are caring for is confused about his/her own financial and/or legal situation.
- Your family needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia.
- Your family has just become involved with helping the individual and needs direction about available services.
Fees and Associated Costs
We provide a complimentary initial phone consultation with a care manager.
A Comprehensive Assessment and Personalized Care Plan can be developed for a fee.
Follow up engagement for the Care Plan can be arranged at hourly fees. Fees are determined by a sliding scale based on the senior’s income.
Please contact us for more information.
For our answers to Frequently Asked Questions click here.
Actual Client Scenarios
Robert had a deep passion for gardening and spent most of his free time tending to the garden at his home. He and his wife were living independently in their community but Robert was also the primary caregiver for his wife. Robert had such a caring nature about him and always shared what he grew in his garden with those around him.
Over time, Robert became more frail and as a result, had difficulty getting outside to his garden, but still had the passion to continue his hobby. The Aging Life Care Manager assisted him in obtaining a walker that he could use to maintain his stability as he traveled to and from the garden. The walker allowed him to continue pursuing his passion for many years. As time passed, Robert and his wife both needed increased assistance, so they chose to transition to an assisted living community together. With the help of some volunteers from the community, we were able to build raised garden beds, which were assembled on site at the assisted living community, and placed within easy access to Robert and his wife’s new apartment. This made it possible for Robert to maintain his love of gardening in the new living situation.
Robert continued his gardening throughout the years with the help of his home health aides and staff at the assisted living community. We were able to overcome obstacles and improve his quality of life by finding solutions to something that might have been seen as a barrier. Aging Life Care Managers help to find solutions to enhance a person’s overall well-being. It’s what we do!
Margaret, a 64-year old female, lives alone. She has undiagnosed mental health issues and has not left her house in over a year due to fear of falling. She did not have health insurance and had not seen a doctor in over 10 years. Due to her fear of falling, she would not shower and had been doing sponge baths at the sink. She wasn’t able to wash her clothing, as she could not bear weight long enough to do laundry. A neighbor shops for her groceries once a week, but she will be moving and Margaret worries about how she will get groceries. She is not cooking, as she cannot stand at the stove, and is only preparing/heating up simple meals such as soup and sandwiches. She is able to pay her bills each month, and has a trust set up to assure that her needs are financially met for the remainder of her life. She has one sister who lives locally, who occasionally picks up food items and does her banking 2-3 times a month.
Working with the care manager, Margaret obtained the services of a home health aide 2x/week to assist with bathing, laundry, and cleaning. She was enrolled in Meals on Wheels so she receives one nutritional meal delivered each day, with a volunteer who will make sure she is ok. She signed up for Berks Encore’s grocery shopping program to supplement meal delivery. The Care Manager contacted the Lion’s Club and procured a walker and shower chair so she is able to ambulate more safely around the home, and sit while bathing. A handheld shower was also installed by the apartment owner to assist her with a more efficient way to bathe. Additionally, the care manager got her enrolled in Medicaid until she is at the age where she can fully enroll with Medicare. The application process and paperwork was completed for MD at Home so Margaret can have her health needs assessed and will not have to leave her home.
In the event any medications are prescribed as a result of the doctor’s visit, the care manager will assist the patient with setting up medications to be prepackaged and delivered to her home.
William a 62-year-old gentleman, was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. He was still working full-time as a welder, and had no idea what was going to happen to him now. During the assessment, the Aging Life Care Manager learned that William was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer. He was no longer able to work because he was a welder, and he couldn’t tolerate the heat; it made him short of breath. He does not have short term or long term disability insurance. His employer was cancelling his health insurance due to him being out of sick time.
William’s two grown children live out of state and can not provide much assistance. The Aging Life Care Manager educated William on social security disability and on medical assistance and assisted him with filling out applications for both of these programs. The care manager researched programs that financially assisted cancer patients with bill paying and helped him to apply for a grant to help pay his mortgage. She also found food banks where he could secure food. Transportation to doctor appointments and chemotherapy was arranged through the Berks County Cancer Society.
The care manager made an appointment for William to meet with an Apprise counselor to learn about applying for Medicare. After radical surgery to remove the cancer of his throat, he went through chemotherapy and radiation. Even though he was considered terminal at the start of the situation, due to the aggressive surgery, he is now cancer free. His quality of life is good due to having oxygen, a special diet, and his financial situation is secure.