(623) 934-2722 shudson@aginginaz.com

As part of celebrating the month of May as Aging Life Care Month, we would like to help educate our visitors on what it is that Aging Life Care Professionals, also known as Geriatric Care Managers, do to help aging persons and their involved family members to plan for care and solve aging challenges.

I started my work as a care manager in 2015. While I was working in hospice and home care, I saw the growing need for expert assistance among older individuals, to help them solve challenges as they aged. Seeing this inspired me to pursue a career as a Care Manager, which is allowing me to provide support that helps aging persons in our community live their life on their own terms.

Every day of our work involves unexpected situations, needs, and concerns. No two workdays are the same. This diversity creates an experience level in each of us to see any problem that is occurring and work through the best solution for that person. Two clients can have the exact same challenge, but the solutions may be completely different. We must be fluid and attuned to the needs of each of our clients and the satisfaction when success is reached is what feeds our continued endeavors. I am compassionate for every client and every family. Empathy coupled with knowledge drives my desire to help every client with kindness and patience.

Often, when we meet a family, they have preliminary information from physicians and other resources, but they really don’t have the full story. As we carefully begin the navigation of laying out the care needs of the aging individual and their specific diagnoses and needs, I look for ways to support the family as we show them the whole road map. Emotions from both clients and family are strong through the process. Clients are seeing how their lives are changing and they are facing limitations and often increased cognitive decline and memory loss are imminent. For families, their lives are changing. Becoming a family caregiver is a difficult task. Each caregiver has a life situation and adding care of another person changes that situation. My goal is to help reduce as much stress and burden as possible as they continue as the primary caregiver and decision maker.

Much of our work is serious and focused on complex care needs; however, occasionally we encounter a moment of humor. I recall shopping with a 97-year-old client who needed a new recliner, and we were looking at lift chairs. I had recently recovered from a foot fracture myself and I told her that I needed to sit for a moment. She enjoyed that moment and told me that I was the one who needed the lift chair.

I love people, hearing their stories, and learning about their lives. I feel that people of all ages have something to offer us, but most importantly our elderly community has so much knowledge and experience. Every day, I have the privilege of connecting with extraordinary people who carry a lifetime of meaningful stories and remarkable wisdom. My mission is to ensure each client’s wishes are respected throughout their care journey by providing opportunities for them to remain independent as much as possible.

This work brings me satisfaction, whether it is working on very difficult options, or enjoying a light-hearted moment. More importantly, the work that I do brings satisfaction to clients and families. They tell me regularly how much I have helped them and how much peace I bring to their caregiving.

I would be honored to help your loved one and family navigate complex care decisions while respecting their autonomy and bringing compassion to the table. Please reach out to me, directly at (623) 934-2722 or SHudson@AginginAZ.com to discuss how we can help you.