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May Used to be National Geriatric Care Manager Month

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aging life care as gcmMay has been Geriatric Care Manager Month for 31 years. Now, with a change in how we refer to ourselves – starting with our national association – May has become National Aging Life Care Month. And we Geriatric Care Managers still are GCMs, but we are also referring to ourselves as Aging Life Care Professionals. I would be really interested in what you all think of the change in our “name.”
Aging Life Care Professionals provide guidance and advocacy for families who are caring for older loved ones or disabled individuals…what we at CCM have always called “caring for elders and others with special needs.” With a specialized focus on issues related to aging, we assist clients with the challenges of aging, such as finding appropriate housing, in-home care, referrals to medical providers or elder law attorneys, as well as the advocacy and support that provides families peace of mind. In other words, Aging Life Care Professionals do what we as Geriatric Care Managers have always done. What do you think?
Leadership within our organization did a lot of soul-searching along with a lot of asking people who have worked as clients with our members about what it is we all do. The answers from this journey showed that what we as GCMs do is pretty much valued by the clients whom we serve. We meet people who are going through the gradual changes of life and help make that path easier. We also meet people who have experienced sudden life-changing events within a family such as a fall, a sudden diagnosis or any of the crises that affect how independently an older member of the family is able to live. We are the people who help families to navigate these paths with sometimes a lot of “forks in the road.”
As I like to explain to prospective clients, we are the option-makers for the decision-makers. And since we are daily navigating various parts of this path – a path that our clients typically are navigating for the first time – we can offer a lot of insight that comes from training and relevant experience. Let me get back to the forks in the road metaphor. We help with the road sign that shows you to slow your vehicle to 35 miles per hour on the curve coming up, because we have been down that stretch of road before. Most people appreciate that kind of navigational help when they realize what might happen if they maintained their 65 miles per hour going into that curve without some warning.
Please let me reiterate that I would like to hear from you about what you think of our name change. Does knowing that we are the professional experts on Aging and Life Care give you any new sense of what we all do? Please send your thoughts to us at info@creativecaremanagement.com . We are still here to help you and your loved ones on their journeys. And with this blog, I will continue to keep you updated on the road conditions ahead. Drive carefully…
Charlotte Bishop is a Geriatric Care Manager and founder of Creative Care Management, certified professionals who are geriatric advocates, resources, counselors and friends to older adults and their families in metropolitan Chicago. Please email your questions to info@creativecaremanagement.com.

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