FAQs

Membership FAQs

What are the different levels of ALCA Membership?
Aging Life Care Association™ (ALCA) offers several levels of individual membership and benefits that respond to the needs of Aging Life Care Professionals™ at every step of their careers. The Advanced, Professional, and Associate levels of membership are for those who are currently engaged in the direct practice, administration or supervision of client-centered services to the elderly and their families. Members must meet specific education, experience, and for the Advanced category, certification requirements. Additional membership information can be found on our Membership Criteria , Member Benefits , and Membership Application pages.

What is a Corporate Partner?
Corporate Partnerships are for those companies who are not primarily in the direct practice of Aging Life Care™ / care management as defined by ALCA, but are supporters of the profession. Corporate Partners may include elder law attorneys, physicians, educators, researchers, home health agencies, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, manufacturers or distributors of durable medical equipment or other products or services related to the care of elders.

Please visit our Corporate Partner page for additional information.

Why does ALCA need different member levels?
The profession of Aging Life Care™ / geriatric care management is growing and different professionals within the field have different levels of experience, education, and certifications that support their expertise. ALCA is proactively meeting the needs of the profession by creating membership categories that recognize high certification standards and professionalism while also being inclusive to allow all practitioners of Aging Life Care / geriatric care management a home within ALCA. The profession represents a diversity of people with different levels of experience and education, but ultimately the end goal for everyone is improved service and quality of life for the older adult and their families. ALCA’s member levels are designed to accomplish all these objectives.

How do I Join ALCA?
To join ALCA, please review the membership categories, to review membership requirements. You can then download and print the appropriate Membership Application. Attach the necessary documentation for the category of membership to which you are applying. On the application you may provide credit card information or you may send payment via check. Submit the application, documentation, and dues payment along with the $25 application fee to the ALCA Office. Applications may be submitted by mail, fax, or email.

For additional questions regarding membership, please contact the ALCA Office via phone at 520.881.8008, by email at membership@aginglifecare.org or via the Contact Us button.

What is a Regional Chapter, and how do I join?
ALCA is divided into 9 Regional Chapters. All ALCA members are assigned chapter membership according to their business location when they join. If you would like to join a different chapter, or join additional chapters, you may do so by selecting the additional chapter on your membership application. Additional chapters can be added to your membership for $50 each.

Where can I learn more about my chapter?
Chapter information is available on the ALCA website via the Regional Chapters button. Each chapter has its own website. You will find each Chapter President’s contact information and the links to each chapter’s website on the overview page.

How do I get my member logo?

As a member, you have access to many member benefits and resources -- the official ALCA Member Logo being one of them. The logo is available once you log into your member account. Locate the Logo Program section of the website to submit an electronic Logo Request Form. Note: you must maintain your ALCA membership in order to continue use of the ALCA member logo.

Social Media communities are mentioned as a benefit, how do I join the conversation?
After becoming a member of ALCA, you may join our social media communities at any time, simply follow the links below. If you are not currently a member, you may still become a “Fan” of ALCA, and follow our social media announcements and updates.

ALCA on LinkedIn
ALCA on Facebook
ALCA on Twitter
ALCA on YouTube

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Certification FAQs

Why is ALCA placing so much emphasis on the differences between categories and certification standards? Aren’t we all professionals in different capacities working toward the same goal?
Yes, and like many professions, certain certification or education requirements are considered the standard of professionalism within that industry. Like attorneys or clinical healthcare professionals, a profession’s commitment to high standards begins with acknowledging established criteria related to education, experience and minimum certifications. While ALCA is unique in that its mission is to be inclusive of all practitioners, including non-certified professionals, the development of industry-approved standards of professionalism will only serve to improve the entire profession of Aging Life Care/geriatric care management. This commitment to excellence is not only a beacon to consumers who are interested in Aging Life Care Professionals/qualified geriatric care managers, but also to practitioners who plan to become Certified as part of their longer-term career path.

Is an ALCA Advanced Aging Life Care Professional the same as a Patient Advocate, Senior Advisor, Senior Navigator, or Elder Advocate?
Patient Advocates, Senior Advisors, Senior Navigators, and Elder Advocates may perform some of the tasks that an Advanced Aging Life Care Professional performs and in some cases may have similar training, education, or experience. However, in order to become a member of ALCA, all Advanced Aging Life Care Professionals must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization. All ALCA members are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. ALCA offers more information on what qualities and criteria to look for when choosing an Aging Life Care Professional in our About Aging Life Care pages of our website. For information on membership requirements, please visit our Join Us pages.

Where do I find information on the four different certifications approved by ALCA?
Below is the contact information for the ALCA-approved certifying bodies. For additional information regarding the certification or re-certification process, please visit our Certification page .

Care Manager Certified (CMC)
Provided by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM)
http://www.naccm.net/

Certified Case Manager (CCM)
Provided by the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC)
http://www.ccmcertification.org/

Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (CASWCM)
Provided by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
http://www.socialworkers.org/credentials

Certified Social Work Case Manager (CSWCM)
Provided by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
http://www.socialworkers.org/credentials

If I am having difficulty choosing the right certification, who do I contact?
For detailed questions regarding certification (e.g. requirements, process, exam schedule, etc.) we ask that you contact certifying bodies directly.

Does a Certificate in Geriatric Care Management from an educational institution fulfill the ALCA requirement to be considered “Certified”?
No, Certificates in Geriatric Care Management are not uniform in their requirements, nor do they require the same levels of education and work experience that are required by the four ALCA-approved certifications.

Certificates are the result of having taken and passed a series of educational courses offered by a recognized academic institution. A certificate of completion is granted by an educational institution. Many universities offer certificates in care management, which is a great way to learn about caring for older adults and the profession.

Receiving a certificate from an accredited university or college, does not qualify an individual to be classified as “Certified.”

What if I’ve been an Aging Life Care Professional/geriatric care manager for a long time but don’t meet all the requirements (education, experience, and certification) to qualify for the Advanced level of membership?
You may likely fall into the Professional or the Associate levels membership that are designed specifically for practitioners who do not meet all the requirements to sit in the Advanced level of membership.

What if I meet all the education and experience requirements, but do not hold one of the four approved certifications that qualifies me for the Advanced level of membership? Please see the Professional level of membership. Whether you are working toward certification or not, the Professional level of membership allows practitioners to still contribute and benefit from ALCA membership.

What tools are useful for studying for the Care Manager Certification exam (CMC), administered by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM)? The most frequently used study material are:

  • “Handbook for Geriatric Care Management” 3rd Edition, by Cathy Cress. This book is available on Amazon. *4th edition coming in 2015.
  • "Guidelines for Case Management Practice Across the Long-Term Continuum” available from Connecticut Community Care at www.ctcommunitycare.org.
  • Online Practice Test in Care Management – On the NACCM website, click on the link titled “Learn more at WWW.PTCNY.COM”. When on the Professional Testing Corporation website, scroll and find the “Online Practice Test in Care Management.”

Each certifying body also supplies a list of additional resources in their application manual. Please contact your certification body.

When are the deadlines for submitting certification exam applications?
To learn more about future testing dates for the CMC (Care Manager, Certified) go to www.naccm.net.

To learn more about the CCM (Certified Case Manager) testing dates at www.ccmcertification.org.

NASW’s certification process is open to members of NASW and does not have an exam but will take time to gather the needed information for the certification application. You can learn more at www.socialworkers.org/credentials.

I am confused by what “supervision” means for the CMC application.
The National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM) administers the Care Manager, Certified (CMC) exam. NACCM views supervision as an ongoing process of consultation and performance appraisal for the purpose of continuously improving the quality of one’s care management practice. Professional consultation/supervision may be conducted by professional colleagues, mentors, or supervisors in formal and/or informal arrangements. Activities may include face-to-face review, client satisfaction survey/analysis performed onsite, electronically or via teleconference. The content of professional consultation/supervision may include discussing care management issues, ethical issues, care plan development and care management interventions, use of clinical skills, and core care manager functions.

To take the initial exam, a minimum of 2 years of paid full-time supervised care management is required and proof of 50 hours/year of ongoing supervision.

NACCM does not require a specific number of hours per year of professional consultation/supervision for certification renewal.

What is the definition of supervision for the NASW certification?
C-ASWCM: For the first two years of post-MSW practice, regularly scheduled face-to-face supervision meetings should occur at a rate one hour for every 30 hours of direct client-level case management tasks (minimum of 50 hours per year). Thereafter, supervision and consultation may occur on an as-needed basis.

C-SWCM: For the first two years of post-BSW practice, regularly scheduled face-to-face supervision meetings should occur at a rate of one hour for every 15 hours of direct client-level case management tasks (minimum of 100 hours per year) . For the subsequent two years, the rate should be one hour for every 30 hours of direct case management tasks (minimum of 50 hours per year). Thereafter, supervision and consultation may occur on an as-needed basis.

For additional information please visit http://www.socialworkers.org/credentials/applications/c-aswcm.pdf or call 202-408-8600.

The Advanced level of membership includes many additional benefits.
If you would like to change your membership category to the Advanced level please review the education and experience requirements – if those qualifications are met, please submit a copy of your certification certificate to the ALCA National office. An additional fee will be required.

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Continuing Education

Does ALCA offer Continuing Education (CE) opportunities?
Yes, ALCA offers Continuing Education (CE) hours at our annual spring conference, in special sessions and intensives. ALCA also presents a series of Clinical Webinars that provide CEs.

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING CE CERTIFICATES: When registering for a CE-approved event be sure to preorder your certificate. Preordered certificates are included in the registration fee and will be provided to you at the conclusion of the event. Replacement certificates will be available following the event at a cost of $25.00 each.

What types of CEs are available?
NAPGCM applies for credit hours in Social Work, Nursing, Care Management (CMC), and Case Management (CCMC). Not all events are approved for CE Hours, additional information regarding CE hours are made available for each event offered.

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Events, Advertising, Sponsorship and other Opportunities

Can I advertise in your publications? Who do I talk to?
For information regarding our Sponsorship and Advertising opportunities, click here. If you have any additional questions, please contact ALCA at 520.881.8008 or email jwagner@aginglifecare.org.

I’d like to write an article for your publications. I’d like you to review my book. Who do I talk to?
For more information on articles and reviews, contact ALCA at 520.881.8008 or email jwagner@aginglifecare.org.

What educational programs does ALCA offer and when are they scheduled?
To view ALCA programs, please visit the Education Central button on the website. Education Central is your one-stop-shop for all ALCA offerings. Among many offerings, ALCA hosts one annual conference each spring, 8 educational webinars (Business and Clinical), and a business teleconference series each year. Continuing Education hours are provided for live clinical webinars. For additional event schedules and pricing please visit the Events Calendar.

Where can I find schedules for conferences and events?
To view ALCA events, please visit the Education Central button on the website. Education Central is your one-stop-shop for all ALCA Offerings. You may also visit our Events Calendar. You may search for calendar items by category or subject.

Who can attend ALCA Events?
ALCA Events are open to anyone interested in learning more about Aging Life Care/geriatric care management, unless specified. For schedules and pricing please visit the Events Calendar.

Does ALCA offer advertising and sponsorship opportunities at events?
A full array of advertising and sponsorship opportunities are available for the ALCA annual conference. Information can be found on our Sponsorship Opportunities page. You may also contact ALCA at 520.881.8008 or email cdaters@aginglifecare.org.

What is the speaker acceptance process for the annual conference?
A Call for Speaker Proposals is made approximately 6 months before a conference. Information and Proposal Forms are placed on the ALCA event calendar. For more information regarding proposals, please email meetings@aginglifecare.org Proposals are usually geared to the following areas: Clinical, Business, Ethics/Legal.

Who should I contact about ALCA Chapter events?
Information about ALCA Chapter events is available on each chapter’s website, as well as the events calendar on the national website. To view events on the chapter websites, please visit the Regional Chapters page, and select a chapter. If you would like to see events on the National event calendar, please visit the Events Calendar.

How do I learn what has been written about Aging Life Care/geriatric care management?
To read articles related to ALCA, formerly National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM), its members, or Aging Life Care/geriatric care management, please visit our Newsroom. The Newsroom section can be found on the Homepage.

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Education for Aging Life Care Professionals

What are the educational and professional employment requirements to consider a career in Aging Life Care?
In accordance with ALCA membership qualifications, a practicing Aging Life Care Professional should have at minimum, a Bachelor’s degree in a health-related discipline, for example, Social Work, Nursing, Gerontology, Psychology, or Counseling. An Aging Life Care Professional must also have two to three years of supervised Aging Life Care/care management experience. The supervision required for membership in ALCA is an excellent opportunity to build your skills and make contacts in the profession.

If you are considering Aging Life Care as a profession please review educational and professional employment requirements for each stage in your career by visiting the ALCA Membership Categories page .

What literature is available to learn more about Aging Life Care/geriatric care management?
ALCA has various professional development materials intended to help you in the development and management of your practice. Literature available through ALCA includes the New Journal of Geriatric Care Management, and Inside ALCA Magazine (formerly Inside NAPGCM Magazine) published by ALCA for ALCA members. For more information please visit our Join Us section of the website.

How do I get connected with local Aging Life Care/care management resources?
Joining ALCA also provides membership in a regional chapter. Each chapter differs slightly in their educational and social offerings, and many provide Units, which allow for local collaboration. Members of ALCA are assigned to a regional chapter based on their primary business address. ALCA Members may also choose to change their chapter, or join more than one; the cost for each additional chapter is $50. For more information on chapters, please visit our Regional Chapter page.

How can I find a supervisor/mentor to help me develop and improve my practice?
ALCA does not automatically assign mentors to each new member of the association; however, we do offer the opportunity to receive business mentoring via our Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program . Additionally, members may reach out to other members and inquire about supervision and mentoring through our ALCA listserv, Annual Conference, Chapters, and Units. ALCA also offers a variety of other educational opportunities to assist with the development of an Aging Life Care practice like the Xtreme Mentoring session offered at the Annual ALCA Conference.

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Business of Aging Life Care

Where and how do I learn more about the business of Aging Life Care?
This question and many more can be asked and answered by participating in one of our Building an Aging Life Care Business Series Teleconferences, webinars, Care Management 101 and 201 sessions during the Annual NAPGCM Conference, or our Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program. Attending an ALCA national or Regional Chapter Conference gives you the unique opportunity to network with other Aging Life Care Professionals. You may also review the Professional Development products in the ALCA Store for helpful tools.

You can also learn more about becoming an Aging Life Care Professional from a number of professional associations, university programs, and credentialing organizations. There a many geriatric care management certificate programs as well as undergraduate and graduate programs but ALCA does not endorse any one in particular.

Additional resources include, but are not limited to the following: Professional Associations:

  • Aging Life Care Association (formerly NAPGCM)
  • American Geriatrics Society (AGS )
  • American Nurses Association (ANA)
  • American Society on Aging (ASA)
  • Case Management Society of America (CMSA)
  • Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM)

Credentialing Organizations

  • National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM)
  • Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC)
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

What should I consider before starting an Aging Life Care practice?
This question and many more can be answered by participating in one of ALCA’s educational or business events. If you are interested in a solo practice, you will need a professional background and a network of professional contacts. Having business experience is also very helpful in creating a realistic business plan.

Example Considerations:

  • Educational and experience requirements as outlined by ALCA
  • ALCA educational and business offerings and professional development tools
  • Employment with an existing Aging Life Care/care management provider or plan to open your own business
  • Your expectations regarding unreimbursed time and your personal income
  • Consulting with a business attorney and business advisor at the SBA (Small Business Administration)
  • Operations of the practice: space, equipment, marketing, accounting, policies/procedure, staff

What type of salary can I anticipate if I pursue a career in Aging Life Care?
An Aging Life Care Professional’s salary can depend on a number of factors, including an individual’s experience, the location of their business (urban/rural), and the setting in which they work (solo practitioner vs. employee of an established practice). Salaries for a full-time entry level Aging Life Care Professional after 3-5 years may range from approximately $44,000 to $60,000.

Fees and salaries are the result of business decisions made independently by each Aging Life Care Professional and Aging Life Care practice. The antitrust laws prohibit any kind of agreement among competitors with respect to these matters, and ALCA does not host or condone discussions regarding specific fee or salary amounts.

How does one determine pricing for services?
To determine the best pricing strategy for your services, you must first consider the nature of your business/practice. Examples have been provided below; however, for additional guidance on how to ask and answer these questions for yourself, please consider participating in one of ALCA’s Business offerings or Entrepreneurial Mentoring program. For upcoming events, please visit our Event page.

  • What services will you bill for and how (hourly, service, combination of both)?
  • What profit margin are you looking to establish?
  • What are others charging in your geographic area?
  • How do you want to position yourself in the marketplace?

Fees and salaries are the result of business decisions made independently by each Aging Life Care Professional and Aging Life Care practice. The antitrust laws prohibit any kind of agreement among competitors with respect to these matters, and ALCA does not host or condone discussions regarding specific fee or salary amounts.

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