Aging Life Care Association- Empowering, Inspiring, Motivating
Aging Life Care Association- Empowering, Inspiring, Motivating By Erin Kopecki
As head of TUCKed In Eldercare, I’m proud to serve the aging-in-place needs of Nantucket’s senior residents and caregivers. As a member of The Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), which provides education and high standards to support professionals across the country in the field of Aging Life Care Management, I have the confidence and support to provide the highest quality of service to the Nantucket community.
Formerly known as the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, ACLA is a non-profit association with over 2,000 members making up nine regional chapters. Members of ALCA include social workers, nurses, and gerontologists, many who further their credentials by becoming a certified care manager, also known as an Aging Life Care Manager™.
If you are unfamiliar with the term Aging Life Care™ or geriatric care management, ALCA defines it as: “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 the answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress and time off of work for family caregivers through: assessment and monitoring, planning and problem-solving, education and advocacy, and family caregiver coaching.”
ALCA offers professional networking, mentorship and education. The association’s members follow standards of practice and a code of ethics, professionalism and sound policies in their Aging Life Care Management™ practice.
After becoming a member in March of 2018, I was fortunate to attend my first ALCA conference soon after in May, in Chicago, IL. This four-day conference was full of informative presentations on topics including clinical and ethical standards, dementia, opioid use, guardianship, advocacy, mental health nutrition, and long-term care insurance. The days were filled with educational sessions and opportunities to network with fellow colleagues.
Inspired, empowered, and motivated is exactly how I felt at the end of the first day’s session, reinforcing my goal to grow professionally in the field of Aging Life Care Management™. The stories, passion, and advice members shared willingly was commendable.
The past president of ALCA expressed the importance of taking time and slowing things down when it comes to facing the difficult process when caring for a loved one. Caregivers need to understand that “messy is okay,” and lowering your expectations, not setting the bar so high for the one you are caring for, is appropriate. The aging process can be overwhelming faced with the many choices, decisions, and struggles; you don’t need to do it alone.
My peers’ encouragement assured me this is what I’m meant to do. I am now part of an amazing association of dedicated entrepreneurs who are passionate about serving our growing elderly population and their many devoted family caregivers. I am delighted to be a member of ALCA, eager to heighten my knowledge and build on my connections during next week’s conference in Scottsdale, Arizona! I look forward to implement new ideas and enhance care opportunities for our Nantucket seniors and families.
TUCKed In Eldercare is affiliated with Best of Care, a family owned home care agency serving Greater Boston, South Shore, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard for over 36 years. Erin Kopecki, a former employee, and Kevin Smith, President, and COO of Best of Care, avidly share the vision and understand the importance of providing the highest quality of care to their clients. Together they hope to make a difference in the lives of those residing and summering to and from Nantucket.
A Nantucket “washashore,” Erin Kopecki has an MS in gerontology and management of aging service and a BA in gerontology. She is a member of the Aging Life Care Association, a certified geriatric care manager, a licensed nursing home administrator, and an Alzheimer’s Association family support volunteer.