Life in the Lehigh Valley has its uncertainties, just like anywhere else. Although the challenges of living in our area may be somewhat different from other places, there are decisions to make and needs to be met that make seniors anywhere a special group. Life changes, especially those that involve family caregivers, may require the help of educated and experienced professionals who can navigate issues related to aging and elder care. Aging Life Care Professionals® are those specialists.

 What is an Aging Life Care Professional®? 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. Aging Life Care management is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, the expertise of Aging Life Care Professionals® provides answers at a time of uncertainty.

These professionals are trained in fields that include, but are not limited to, counseling, gerontology, mental health, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology,and social work. While they encourage independent living, they maintain an emphasis on safety and security. These professionals are also well-versed in the availability, costs, and quality of resources in your local area. With this knowledge and the stringent requirements demanded of all Aging Life Care Professionals®, they become the family’s “coach,” helping the team make the right care decisions. These professionals must adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice to qualify.

Do I need an Aging Life Care Professional®? When caring for a loved one becomes overwhelming, it may be time to contact an Aging Life Care Professional®. They are also available to help with younger adults who are challenged by disabilities or serious illnesses.

Some general indicators that a professional is needed include concerns about the safety of the individual; dissatisfaction with current caregivers that may develop into legal issues; limited or no family support; confusion or ignorance regarding financial or legal situations; family discord regarding the care of a loved one; direction for caring for a dementia patient; and many other needs.

What are the benefits of using an Aging Life Care Professional®? Trained, compassionate professionals will focus on the individual, not assume a cookie-cutter approach. They are generally available 24/7/365, coordinating communications between family and service providers. They can help save money and avoid duplication of services and unnecessary procedures.

For more information, visit aginglifecare.org/.

South Mountain Memory Care focuses on high-quality, personalized care. South Mountain Memory Care is proud to offer a wide range of resident-focused daily activity programming to our residents. Each neighborhood offers activity space for group and one-on-one activities.

The brand-new building is a stand-alone memory care community, meaning that the entire building, staff, and programs, are designed to serve residents with cognitive issues. To ensure person-centered care and attention, we have accommodations for up to 28 residents. The building is divided into two neighborhoods (wings), each offering 10 private suites and 2 semi-private suites. South Mountain Memory Care is located in the Allentown suburb of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and is easily accessible from the Lehigh Valley, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. For more information, go to southmountainmemorycare.com.