As part of celebrating the month of May as Aging Life Care Month, we would like to help educate our visitors on what it is that Aging Life Care Professionals, also known as Geriatric Care Managers, do to help aging persons and their involved family members to plan for care and solve aging challenges.
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and I can attest to that myself. As my own mother’s medical POA and hospital advocate, I experienced the difficulties of navigating her care needs and understanding options available to aid in her care. Proceeding through the process, I didn’t realize I was doing the work of a care manager. Caring for her showed me the value of having an advocate who could help navigate care challenges. I already had my bachelor’s degree in public health and health education so I pursued a graduate certificate in Geriatric Care Management from the University of Florida and started my journey helping others navigate complex care decisions.
As a care manager since 2012, I have assisted many families in navigating the multifaceted aspects of elder care. My role extends beyond the medical realm and involves supporting clients with a range of needs, including seniors adjusting to life changes, individuals with disabilities, and those living with chronic illnesses. Rather than focusing on a specific condition like a nurse or doctor might, I take a holistic approach to understanding and addressing clients’ diverse care requirements. This involves providing guidance and emotional support as well as connecting families to appropriate resources and services.
Care management takes a comprehensive, forward-looking approach to supporting seniors and their loved ones. Working collaboratively with families, care managers develop and execute tailored care plans, offer advocacy through challenging healthcare processes, and help implement strategies to meet each client’s unique needs and goals. Through this work, I have developed a deep appreciation for the physical, emotional, and logistical challenges of aging with dignity and independence.
In addition to help clients who have families, I also work with people who do not have family to help care for their needs as they age. They are sometimes referred to as solo agers. I work with them to find the appropriate resources to be there as their stand-in decision makers in case they can’t communicate their wishes for care. I help them plan for their future and prepare for any housing needs that may exist. I understand and document their goals and wishes so they have peace of mind that they’re not alone and have professional assistance available.
My goal is to help those who feel lost and unsure when it comes to managing their aging care needs. Many individuals are unaware of the options available to them, and struggle to find the options needed for care.
My job is to provide education, empower clients with knowledge, and support them as they make informed decisions. Trusted with individual circumstances, I am grateful to be there when people need support the most. It is hard work but so fulfilling to see our clients living their best life possible and families feeling relief knowing that the best care is being provided to their loved ones, whether the family lives in our local Denver community or at a distance.
Every day I am fortunate to meet unique families and learn their individual stories. I take pride in helping people live their best lives, providing the resources they need, and ensuring they are comfortable and happy in their homes. No family is the same, which keeps each day interesting and fulfilling.
If you or a loved one need help navigating care challenges, I am here to support you with the knowledge and guidance needed to make informed decisions and improve your overall wellbeing. You can reach me directly at Lily.Hotaling@AnswersforSeniorCare.com. or by calling (303) 799-1313.