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The Future of Care Management

As we celebrate Aging Life Care Month this May, I have been thinking about the profession and its history. The Aging Life Care Association defines the profession as “a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges.” Individual Care Management providers coalesced into a professional group in the 1980’s, but several pioneers boast even longer histories. Sage Care Management is celebrating 20 years in service and is proud to be the longest serving Care Management company in South Texas.

Aging Life Care Managers across the country continue to face obstacles such as recognition and affordability. While the profession is nearly 50 years old, it is still considered fairly young. Care managers struggle to be found and understood. Many of Sage’s clients say they wish they had known about us earlier or for other family members. Aging life Care Managers are working in their communities to be better recognized as the resource for aging and disability. Unfortunately, there remains confusion and dilution of the term “care management” as ancillary aging service providers claim to add care management services. Some of these are well meaning but may provide untrained providers and conflicting service models. Consumers should always compare providers to find a model that works for their needs.

Professional Care Management remains fee-for-service. Some long-term care insurance policies cover care management services as do some disease specific organizations, but there are currently no large public payors. Area Agencies on Aging can perform small parts of our services, but this still leaves some of the most vulnerable population without the option of a high quality, certified professional care manager. Sage is proud to work with many of our governmental and non-profit agencies over the years, as well as accept pro-bono cases.

Our collective profession works to overcome these, and other, obstacles to help more people. The future of Aging Life Care Management could not appear more bright. We have a growing voice in state and national policies that affect aging persons and those with disabilities. Care managers have a seat at the table alongside many larger and better known organizations such as AARP, Alzheimer’s Association and NASW. Many younger social work and healthcare clinicians are finding Care Management as a rewarding career. Several Care Management companies, small and large, are finding new opportunities for growth with second generation leadership at the helm.

Sage Care Management is proud to be celebrating 20 years in the Aging Life Care Management business. We have been here for a lot of changes and are poised to serve San Antonio and South Texas for many more years to come. If you or someone you know needs guidance through the confusing world of aging and disability services, give us a call. We’d be happy to talk to you.

Byron

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