Aging-Care Group Launches Virtual Education Series

The “Ask an Aging Life Care Manager” sessions are an opportunity for the association to connect with the public, while perhaps boosting membership too.

May is Older Americans Month, which the Aging Life Care Association is using as an opportunity to virtually open its doors to allow the public to better understand its members’ work.

Throughout the month of May, ALCA will host weekly free Zoom educational sessions billed as “Ask an Aging Life Care Manager,” where caregivers, “solo agers,” and others can ask questions about available care options. Sessions last 45 minutes and are held on four Fridays during the month. “It’s part of our goal to help get the word out across the country about the work we do for our members,” said ALCA President Kate Granigan, MSW, LICSW.

Those who register for the program will be able to connect directly with experts drawn from ALCA’s board of directors and other association leaders. “We wanted to include leaders who were engaged in committee work or had been prior board members—people who had been in the association and involved at a deeper level,” Granigan said.

The program builds on a successful pilot ALCA launched in 2023.

The meetings are kept relatively small to allow all participants to have their questions answered—each session is capped at 15 attendees. Still, this year will mark an expansion of a pilot version of the program ALCA launched last year, which capped the sessions at eight attendees. One lesson the association learned from that pilot is that it drew interest not just from people looking for care for loved ones or themselves, but from people in businesses serving those people. 

“We decided to do an additional session aimed at referral sources,” Granigan said. “That was really an evolution, us recognizing that it’s wonderful to get people who would benefit directly from our services engaged, but we know that many times the way people find us is through their trusted professionals, like attorneys or financial planners.”

During the program’s second year, Granigan said, the association will be looking more closely at how attendees of the virtual sessions respond to the information, and if further outreach is needed. “One thing we’ll look at is, will the attendees engage with a care manager in their area?” she said. “Getting feedback from the folks who participate will help us potentially look at programs throughout the year.”

The experience is an opportunity to engage with members, who are encouraged to promote the program through social media, and to deepen ALCA’s relationship with volunteer leaders who participate in the program, Granigan said. “I think having members participate helps them to feel valued and helps them to feel like we have their back—plus, it’s an easy way to participate.”

It’s also had a surprise benefit in attracting a few people who aren’t in need of the services of an aging life-care manager but who are interested in becoming one themselves. 

“We’ve had [attendees] who are curious about the work itself and using the sessions as a way to explore the association,” she said. “So we’re looking at it twofold—how do we as an association serve our members, and also attract new members? I think this allows for that.”

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