PWR's San Diego Experts: Aging Life Care Manager with Betsy Evatt

Welcome to “PWR’s San Diego Experts” column. Here we highlight San Diego experts and discuss how they are helping to better our community. We hope you enjoy our experts series as we have much more to come!

Betsy Evatt  Windward Life Care®

Our first expert is Betsy Evatt. Betsy is an Aging Life Care Manager and is a great resource for elder care living options and creating a safe space for individuals to age in their homes.

We learned about Aging Life Care Managers a few years ago and found out they offer “advice-only” services like PWR. Aging Life Care Managers are paid hourly to advise on aging care options. They serve as a liaison between the caretakers or facilities, the client, and the client’s family members. An Aging Life Care Manager is the best way to receive unbiased information to find the care option that is best for the elder.

We asked Betsy a series of questions, and below are her answers.

A little bit about Betsy Evatt:

Betsy Evatt, LCSW, CMC is the Director of Clinical Services at Windward Life Care®. Betsy has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Washington in Seattle with a concentration in Aging. Betsy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of California, is certified by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, and speaks Spanish. A leader in our professional community, she has served several years on the Board of Directors of the Aging Life Care Association’s Western Region Chapter. She was the recipient of the prestigious 2014 “Outstanding Chapter Member of the Western Region” award and the 2017 “Rose Kleiner Award.”

So Betsy, what is an “Aging Life Care Manager”?

An Aging Life Care Manager specifically is a care manager who belongs to the Aging Life Care Association, a professional organization with stringent education, experience and certification requirements. In general, a care manager is an expert guide and wellness advocate who provides very personalized support to individuals and their loved ones. Typically, care managers work with older adults and their family members, but we also work with adults who have a disability and their family caregivers.

When should someone seek help from an Aging Life Care Manager?

The short answer is before a crisis! An Aging Life Care Manager can help people avert crisis by having a plan in place and finding the right balance between safety and independence. When you feel confused or unsure about a loved one’s current or future care needs, or if you are overwhelmed by the demands of their care, an Aging Life Care Manager can help you navigate potential solutions and ensure changing needs are addressed.

What role does an Aging Life Care Manager play in the process of finding care?

There is a maze of different services out there and a variety of ways to ensure one’s care needs are met. An Aging Life Care Manager uses their expertise, experience and objective perspective to guide people to the most appropriate care options according to the clients’ unique circumstances and preferences.

What are the fees associated with working with an Aging Life Care Manager?

Care management services are billed on a fee-for-service basis. Rarely, but occasionally, long-term care insurance plans cover care management services. In that case, the policyholder would be reimbursed for the cost of services. People are often surprised that this valuable service is not covered by health insurance.

What is your favorite part of being an Aging Life Care Manager or what the industry does?

It is a blessing to be able to work with people to reach their highest potential at the later phase of their lives. I love being able to be the calm advocate when families are in an emotional crisis. We have seen it all and can apply this “wisdom” to help the older person and the involved family.

Do you see any trends happening in Aging Health Care or anything younger individuals should be preparing for?

Loneliness is now being recognized as a health concern. Just as we should exercise regularly, we need to remain connected to others.

Do you have any tips for us as individuals on how to stay healthy or safe while aging?

Say yes to support! Decide what is most important to you and utilize support to reach that goal. Do you want to age in place? Then let’s find ways to make that as safe of an option as possible for as long as possible.

Are there any other significant questions you get asked most often that you think are important to cover?

I’m always asked, “How do I get my mom to accept help?” It is rarely the mom who is asking for assistance. It is the family members who see the decline. What I encourage families to do is to tell the older person that the help is needed for them! If the family feels more comfortable, they allow greater independence. Tell her, “Mom, I need the care manager. You tell me that you are ok, let the care manager reinforce that to me and I can get out of your hair!” This approach often gets our foot in the door.

Why do you love what you do?

People often find themselves needing to make difficult decisions when they are least capable, due to a new diagnosis or disability. This can be very overwhelming, especially if there are no family members nearby to help. Care Managers help clients and families make informed decisions toward cost-effective outcomes that are in alignment with their values and preferences. I take a very spiritual look at my career as a Care Manager and health care advocate for older adults and those with disabilities and am very clear that it is my personal mission. It’s a blessing to be able to do what I love, with people that I love, in service to families for whom I care so deeply. I am endlessly curious about my clients, and feel I’m the luckiest person in this world, to get to do this work.

If you have more questions for Betsy, you can reach out to her via the Windward Life Care® website. If you need help with a comprehensive financial plan that includes a “care plan,” let us know, and we would be happy to help you plan your financial future and protect your assets.

Alicia Butera, CFP® is a Financial Planner for Planning Within Reach, LLC (PWR) located in Scripps Ranch, San Diego, CA. Alicia is the Director of Financial Planning and Marketing for PWR. Alicia manages the financial planning process from start to finish with her clients, answering their questions and providing them guidance. Alicia has 8 years of experience in wealth management and works virtually with clients all over the US.

Planning Within Reach, LLC (PWR) is a fee-only and fiduciary wealth management firm offering one-time comprehensive financial planning, ongoing impact-focused investment management and tax preparation services in San Diego, CA. PWR is a virtual firm that is woman-owned and serves busy families and impact investors. Planning Within Reach, LLC and their advisors never receive any type of commissions for sales and does not have any insurance licenses or brokerage relationships.