2017 Mid-Atlantic Conference a Success! President’s Remarks

(Below are the President’s remarks from the Mid-Atlantic ALCA Chapter Conference on Oct 23 in Hunt Valley, Maryland.)

Mid-Atlantic ALCA Members:

Why are we here?

If you are a social worker, here for the CEUs, please raise your hand. Nurses? CCMs? CMCs? Gerontologists? Therapists-speech, PT, or OT?

If you are here to network with other professionals, please raise your hand.

If you are here because you are an ALCA member, corporate or individual, please raise your hand.

Every day we read another news story about the coming “silver tsunami.” And every day we hear about another service or product that is being marketed to those of us in the baby boomer generation, and older.

But for nearly 35 years, Aging Life Care Managers have been doing something unlike all of those other services. So what is the message that we need to continue to get out on the local unit, regional chapter, and national level? Well, it is all here in the second edition of the chapter guides – that we were the FIRST chapter in the nation to publish, in partnership with Steve Gurney.

First and foremost, we have a strict code of ethics and standards of practice that each of our members agrees to follow. While we will never be able to compete with the “free” services on price, and an educated public will always prefer to have a professional who is working for them and NOT indebted to another entity that is paying their fee. And every one of our sponsors and vendors here today understands and supports the value of our services.

Second, you cannot just hang up a shingle and say, “I’m an Aging Life Care Manager.” You can’t just take an on-line course. Our national association has strict standards for membership, the highest standard being the requirements to be accepted as an Advanced Professional member of ALCA. And I’m proud to note that 80% of our chapter members are at the Professional and Advanced Professional level.

Third, Aging Life Care Professionals are unique because of their interdisciplinary work, combining expertise in 8 knowledge areas. And that doesn’t begin to describe the work that we do.

One of our members here today once performed CPR on a client’s beloved dog.

One of our members drove to her client’s home Saturday morning (after making her family’s breakfast) and made her client breakfast and made sure that she took her meds, because her caregiver didn’t show up.

Another member found her client near death, lying on the marble floor of his foyer, after passing out from drinking a gallon of vodka and suffering bilateral subdural hematomas. He’s alive today, years later, because he had an Aging Life Care Manager. And there are hundreds and thousands of more stories of the unique and critical work that we do.

Our challenge, on the local unit, chapter, and national level, is to share the stories of who we are and what we do.

Our challenge, on every level, is to develop and strengthen our partnerships with other professional organizations, such as NAELA, NASW, ADMM, AARP. The list is long.

And, looking to the future, our challenge is to develop and strengthen our relationships with the community colleges, universities, and colleges in our area – to let the social workers, nurses, gerontologists and therapists of tomorrow know about our profession and encourage them to join at the student level. Our challenge is to help them get started when they graduate, whether we mentor them in opening a solo practice or hire them to join an established practice where they work together with more seasoned care managers.

My challenge to each of you here today is to make the commitment to take just one action every month in support of our association. It could be as simple as attending a unit meeting, or taking a banner to an event where you help educate consumers and professionals about who we are as Aging Life Care Managers and what sets us apart from the rest of the crowd. You could contribute a blog post to our chapter blog. Or respond to a request on our chapter listserve.

There are members of our three committees here: the Public Relations, Nominating and Membership committees. Join a committee! There are many of our unit leaders here today. Consider serving as a leader or co-leader of a unit. Every member of our board is here today, and we are building our slate for the 2018 board.

Consider joining us.

And, if you are enjoying this conference, consider being on the 2019 conference committee. Or, if you want the experience of a lifetime, consider co-chairing our next conference!

This association is made up of members, it is your association, and it has been my great honor to serve as your president for the last two years. I’m delighted to pass the torch to Judy Grumbly, a dedicated board member, wonderful nurse care manager and person who I am honored to call my friend.

Susy Elder Murphy
Mid-Atlantic Chapter ALCA

Note: Below are links to four presentations given at the conference.

Brain Fitness (ALCA Conference , October 2017)


Polypharmacy with Geriatrics – ACLA conference 17