Geriatric care. Elder care. Familiar phrases, certainly. In keeping with common usage, we’ve used these words to define our practice for decades. But in truth, the work of supporting loved ones as they grow older isn’t so accurately described that way.
In fact, the word “geriatric” means “of or relating to old people, especially with regard to their health care.” But who decides what is “old”? And who are “old people”?
We’re all getting older, from the moment we’re born. How we define “old” depends a lot on how old we are. After all, “60 is the new 40,” right?
Instead of emphasizing care for “old people,” we prefer to view our clients as whole, unique individuals whom we help to age well, whatever their chronological age and specific health challenges.
That’s why we’re very pleased to be part of a major re-envisioning of our profession by our national professional organization. Formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM), it is now the Aging Life Care™ Association (ALCA).
As Aging Life Care Professionals™, we provide expert assistance and personalized support in caring for a family member or friend. We are partners in helping you make the best decisions and deliver the best solutions for you and your loved one. It’s a holistic approach—with the client at the center—that respects your values, preferences and resources.
The phrase Aging Life Care™ reflects that client-centered perspective and also better represents the broad spectrum of services and expertise we provide. Our colleagues are distinguished by their level of education, expert skills and professional certification, so you can count on quality care.
ALCA members also adhere to a high standard of professional ethics that guide our work. You can read more here. Debbie Fins has helped to write those guidelines as a member of ALCA’s Standards Committee. She also serves on ALCA’s National Board and co-chairs the Education Committee.
You’ll find updated language in our website that reflects this reconceptualization of our profession. You can also find some excellent resources on the new ALCA website.
So, here’s to aging well, whatever your age! We look forward to partnering with you and your loved ones now or in the future.
President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified Aging Life Care™ manager. Drawing on more than 30 years of professional experience in aging life care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.
For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsALCM.
Photo Credit: Donnie Ray Jones