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What Can an Aging Life Care Professional do for Our Family?


Aging Care SolutionsKay Paggi
Kay Paggi


    As a Professional Geriatric Care Manager, I have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality and availability of aging services. I hold a Master's Degree in Counseling and every year I attend several seminars in various topics related to Eldercare. I am an Advanced Professional member of the Aging Life Care Association, having joined the original association National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers in 1994. I have been in private practice since 1996. (For more information, see my Resume)

    I have been working professionally with aging adults and their adult children since 1989. I know the eldercare system, especially as it is in Dallas and the DFW area. Providing care for your parents is unpredictable, there are few people to turn to for advice, and the medical system is poorly organized. Let me help you help your care receiver.

    My goal as a care manager is to maximize the elder's independence and quality of life, no matter what the setting, and increase the quality of life for the caregivers at the same time. The average time spent providing care for aging parents in the U.S. now is 18 years. Caregivers need guidance in this new, uncharted territory, they need permission to take care of themselves first, and as a Professional ElderCare Consultant, I can provide that.

    Depending on the situation, I often become more a surrogate family member than an outside professional.  You, the caregiver, have a limited amount of time and energy.  You may spend it running errands, going to physicians, arranging care, cooking and cleaning, etc.  Or, you can choose to spend quality time with your parent and allow someone else to do the routine tasks.  Only you can provide the love.

"Kay did an excellent job of evaluating and summarizing Moms needs.  She was especially helpful in locating an appropriate place for Mom.  Within 2 days we were able to get a terrific place.  We would have spent weeks doing that and probably not found as good a place." -Wayne

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   My mother was very ‘hard of hearing.’ She was also a very strong person, determined to have her own way; she absolutely refused to wear her hearing aids. On one of her final Thanksgivings, we agreed to bring our family and the feast food to her house. Keeping things hot was tricky. As the dishes were passed around, everyone who tasted the sweet potato casserole said something like “Oh! That’s Hot.” It got to be a joke because everyone’s startled reaction was spontaneous. Finally, Mother tasted the potatoes and exclaimed, ‘Wow! That’s Hot!’ And everyone burst into laughter. Mother had not heard other people’s comments, thought everyone was laughing at her, and was very hurt

     Most older adults have some hearing loss. This loss makes hearing what is being said at the feast table challenging. There is the clanking of silverware, the background music, the chatter of children, all in addition to the conversation. The conversation is probably more important than the food to the older family members, who may not see family often and are somewhat isolated. To mom’s defense, hearing aids amplify everything and might not have helped her hear other diner’s comments.

     What can you do to improve the holiday experience for your aging family members/friends? Try seating her/him with his back to a wall that may act as a sounding board. Turn off holiday music. Ask the children to sit elsewhere; maybe they can have their own table where they can chatter. Remind your family to speak a bit louder.  

     Even more effective may be having multiple seatings, each with fewer people. Have just a few for the main meal and everyone for dessert. Or invite friends for a morning brunch and family for dinner. Try getting an inexpensive ‘pocket talker’ to amplify conversation. https://www.agingcaresolutions.com/Resources#Hearing




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Contact Kay

Kay Paggi, Eldercare Consultant, www.kaypaggi.com


Advanced Professional Member (Emeritus) of The Aging Life Care Association

Care Manager, Certified (CMC)

National Certified Geriatric Counselor (NCGC)

ElderCare Mediator

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Phone: 972-839-0065
E-Mail: Kay@kaypaggi.Com

Consulting with Caregivers

Caregivers always benefit from having someone to talk to about their aging loved ones.  That someone often is not another caregiver, as each caregiving situation is unique. A caregiver who has dealt with dementia may not be able to assist another caregiver who is dealing with physical frailty. The ideal person with whom to discuss eldercare issues with is someone who has experience with many different caregiving situations and has found solutions.

I am now doing Consulting, both on the phone and in private meetings with family members. I have worked with families of the aging for 25 years as a Geriatric Care Manager. From 1989 through 2015 I facilitated a support group for people dealing with eldercare issues. In addition to my experience, I am a trained Eldercare Mediator, have a master’s degree in counseling, and I am a National Certified Gerontological Counselor. 

In discussions with caregivers of elders who are aging poorly, behaving oddly, have run out of resources, and other age-related issues, I have helped arrive at solutions that improved their situations. Sometimes the best solution has been to understand their parent and their feelings better, or to change physicians and track medications. Other times I have helped caregivers relocate their parents into a safer environment and avoid the guilt that often accompanies such a transition.

Besides my professional experience and education, I was a caregiver for both of my parents. After several years of frustration and anger, my mother sent my father to me in another state because she couldn’t deal with him. I took him to a physician in 1993 who told me my dad had “old-timer’s disease.” (He probably said Alzheimer’s, but I had no context; I’d not heard of that word or what it meant.) Later he died of pneumonia in a nursing home and I was grateful that he was spared further suffering. 

My mother aged badly, too. She described the aliens in the attic and called to tell me she had no food in the house when her refrigerator was full. She wrecked her car; I dutifully arranged to have it repaired, but she drove it home and wrecked it again. The police told me I could not stop her from driving.

By this time, I was already in graduate school studying counseling and aging, and had learned to set boundaries. Looking back, I think Mother must have had vascular dementia, caused by many small strokes. 

There was no one for me to talk to who understood aging issues. My husband had no better insight than I did. I talked to my friends; because I was a late life baby, no one had experience with aging parents. I visited nursing homes and assisted living communities, and talked to Mother about moving into one, to no avail. I talked to an ElderLaw attorney who told me I could not move Mother against her will.  There was no one with whom I could share my concerns or give me advice about how to deal with the situation. I wish I had found someone like the person I am now to discuss my struggles with!

I charge by the hour, and you can use your hour in two half hour meetings or 4 10-minute phone calls, whatever you need. Call me to set an appointment – 972-839-0065

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National Certified Counselor (NCC)

National Certified Counselor (NCC) 
Issuer: National Board for Certified Counselors

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National Certified Counselor (NCC)

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