To meet the increasing demands of new and current retirees in the San Francisco Bay Area, more professional health care staff will be needed, especially for elder care. For expert advice, Linda Fodrini-Johnson, Executive Director of Eldercare Services, offers insight on her background and career advice for people interested in a position in elder care services.
What is your current position and educational background?
“I am the founder and executive director of Eldercare Services, a full-service Care Management and Home Care Company with an emphasis on “Family Education to Empower Family Caregivers.” My educational background is a B.A. in Social Services and a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. I also hold a license in CA as a family therapist. Beside the education, I am a Certified Care Manager – meaning I have met the experience and educational qualifications to take an exam to certify that I am able to offer comprehensive Care Management.”
What is needed to enter your field of study?
“You do need more than an education to practice Care Management – you need practical supervised experience and I usually recommend individuals go to work for a non-profit or the government as a care manager before they start out in a private practice. I have over 250 employees now with a professional staff of 15 care managers who have a variety of backgrounds from nursing, psychology, counseling, gerontology and social work. This is a profession that required ‘expertise’ – that does not come from education alone.”
What advice can you offer to others interested in pursuing a career in health care?
“If you want to serve the older population, understanding behaviors, moods and personalities will assist you in the delivery of such services as Professional Geriatric Care Management. My care managers who have licenses also do counseling with older adults or their families. I think there is room to be creative with psychology and aging adults – developing home therapy or art therapy or even music therapy could help family caregivers and adults in the early stages of progressive diseases. Being creative and patient is paramount.”
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.