The “Silver Tsunami”: How can an Aging Life Care Professional help?
In its March 2019 blog post “A Silver Tsunami is Coming: Why a Rise in Aging Seniors Emphasizes the Need for Long-Term Care Planning”, Pabian & Russell highlighted the housing and care crunch that seniors face, both in the subsidized apartment market (for lack of inventory) and the supported care industry (due to soaring costs). The “middle-income” seniors get caught in the gap between these services; not eligible for subsidies, but also not able to afford the full price of supported care. The importance of planning ahead, financially and otherwise, is paramount for these seniors.
An Aging Life Care Manager (ALCM) can be helpful in this process in many ways. We at LifeCare Advocates have seen an increase in the last year or two in the numbers of seniors seeking our advice early in their retirement and/or planning years. Perhaps they have been through caring for a family member or have heard stories about friends or community members who have struggled to age in place or find appropriate housing or services as their care needs change. These folks are coming to us, sometimes in concert with their elder law attorney, financial planner, family or other supports, to educate themselves on the options, costs, strengths and challenges they may face.
Especially for those “middle income” elders referenced in the previous blog post, investing some time, money and energy into planning can be very valuable. Their legal and/or financial advisor can help figure out how best to manage their money and assets to get the most out of the quality of their lives, while understanding that unexpected issues can arise. An Aging Life Care Manager is the expert in what the options are in the vast spectrum of housing and care resources, and the costs associated with these options. We can educate clients about the strengths and challenges for each level and type of care, how insurance does or does not interact with these options, and help these planning elders avoid some of the pitfalls we see every day in the medical and care system. Together, the elder, family, legal/financial advisor, and ALCM can craft a blueprint for aging throughout the changes of their lives. We can then be a resource for these clients throughout their aging process, to advise through expected changes, and through unexpected, unplanned illness, decline, or other changes. It is always helpful to have a knowledgeable, objective, professional guide and advocate in your corner!
At LifeCare Advocates, we also provide assistance to families who are experiencing an unexpected sudden and/or gradual change in the health of their elder loved one. In these cases, we can provide support, guidance and advocacy in the immediate situation, but also assist the family in looking at the long-term; what care might their elder loved one, or themselves, need in the future, and how can that care and support be funded or subsidized? Though the path of navigating the health and care spectrum is new to our clients, it is well-trodden by our ALCMs, and we pride ourselves on being a caring, professional, objective member of our clients’ care teams.
If you or a loved one are interested in learning more, or are in need of assistance, please call LifeCare Advocates at 617-928-0200 and speak with a member of our leadership team.