As a passionate New York Giants fan, Allison Shevlin is fond of using football analogies to describe her role as a Geriatric Care Manager for ElderCare360®, a program of Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service.
“Older adults and their families can think of me as their ‘quarterback of care,’” she says. “I’m there to check in with their loved ones, tackle health issues that arise, then follow through with doctors, specialists, physical therapists, medications—basically whatever is needed so that they can live their best lives.”
A graduate of Towson University with a bachelor of science in gerontology, Allison comes to her role with nearly 20 years of experience in the long-term care industry. This includes everything from running a memory care unit to managing an assisted living environment and planning enrichment activities for skilled nursing facility residents. She joined Alpert JFS in 2017 as a care manager and was recently promoted to geriatric care manager and outreach specialist for ElderCare360®.
A non-sectarian program, ElderCare360® provides support and advocacy for older adults, ensuring safety, quality of life, and peace of mind. The program is beneficial for people with complex health problems, chronic medical illnesses, or memory disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, and those who require close oversight and care coordination.
“I coordinate care with the client’s physician(s) so that medical problems are fully assessed and addressed,” says Allison. “We take a personalized approach, based on a client’s level of need and preference.”
Allison’s breadth of expertise is handy, especially when a client’s family lives out of state. “Since I’m familiar with senior living environments, I can bridge communication between families and facilities so they understand one another’s expectations and meet in the middle. This is where the 360 comes in—serving as a connector between everyone involved—the older adult, their family, friends, doctors, specialists, and therapists. Whoever is involved, we want to make sure everyone is on the same page.”
Allison also notes that she services a diverse cross-section of older adults through ElderCare360®. For example, some join the program when they’re still independent, but want to know someone is just a phone call away when needed. Others enter the program with more immediate needs, usually related to an acute episode like a fall, with adult children living out of state struggling to manage the situation from afar. “If there are four kids, I’m an additional fifth.” Allison will accompany them to a doctor’s appointment, to serve as another set of ears and as an overall advocate on the client’s behalf.
With the inevitable push and pull of family dynamics, Allison can advocate for either side, depending on the situation. “I’ll often serve as a professional buffer, and many times I’m the person whom families rely on to explain a plan of action to their loved one.”
She admits that like any job, hers has its challenges, but like football, she’s passionate about making a difference in people’s lives.
“I recently had a client tell me that it brought her comfort I’d be there with her at a doctor’s appointment. This made my day!”
For a complimentary phone consultation about ElderCare360®, please call (561) 684-1991. More information is also available at www.AlpertJFS.org/ElderCare360/.