Embracing the Challenges of Aging
by Felicia Juntunen, MA, CMC, ECM Director of Care Management
A 2018 Forbes article, titled, “The 8 Challenges of Aging,” referenced a collaboration between multiple groups, who identified the biggest challenges in aging. They called those engaged in service to older people to examine each challenge as an opportunity to “do good and do well.” This call to action resonates with the philosophy of Elder Care Management as we aspire to improve the well-being of our clients and their families.
Forbes identified the challenges of aging as: Engagement and Purpose, Financial Wellness, Mobility and Movement, Daily Living and Lifestyle, Caregiving, Care Coordination, Brain Health, and End of Life. Fittingly, these topics are reflected in the eight knowledge areas where care managers base their expertise and which have been identified by the Aging Life Care Association, our professional and certifying organization. As Aging Life Care members, we are continually learning and expanding our awareness in these knowledge areas by attending professional conferences, accessing online learning opportunities, and collaborating with other Aging Life Care professionals. At Elder Care Management we also adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice developed by the Aging Life Care Association to help guide us in our professional practice. With an experienced, professional team and well-developed network of local resources we believe the guidance of a care manager who is an Aging Life Care Professional “leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love.’ We invite you to learn more about the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) through the button below.
Working closely with older adults we understand challenges associated with aging can be really tough. According to Etymonline.com, the word “challenge,” evolved from the early 14th-century term which referred to “something one can be accused of, a fault, blemish,” to the mid-20th century word that became associated with the idea of a “difficult task.” It’s fair to say that the definition of “challenge” has changed from a negative idea someone else has about us to an actual matter for us to engage with or embrace. Care managers are acutely aware of perceptions about the challenges of aging that negatively influence the thinking and actions of many – including older adults themselves. In our encounters with clients and their loved ones, we seek to channel energy away from negative thinking and toward increased awareness about the benefit of preparing for the challenges of aging. Helpful information delivered with quality support assists in accepting these challenges of aging as a consideration we can all engage with and embrace, even when those challenges are difficult.
Elder Care Management’s 2023 newsletter series will address these challenges of aging, unpacking one challenge monthly and exploring how a care manager as an Aging Life Care Professional use their experience and resources to assist their clients. We’ve modified and expanded the list to cover the ten challenges we find most pervasive, including: Brain Health, Engagement and Purpose, Mental Health, Mobility, Safety & Prevention, Transportation, Caregiving, Care Coordination, Elder Abuse, and Advance Directives.
Our hope is you will find this series helpful as you join us in our desire to “do good and do well” by embracing the challenges of aging.