Have you ever thought of all the possibilities that a social service career could offer?

Sometimes you find a career you love, by accident. Fresh out of college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Humanities and Social Services, Leslie Flores happened to find a job as a care manager. That was 1987, and she has been in the field ever since. “Over the years I’ve worked in different agencies and in different capacities,” she said. “But for most of my professional life, I’ve been a care manager.”

What is a typical day like? Well, actually there are no typical days. “That’s what I enjoy about the work,” Leslie said. “Every day is a different day. I’m never bored. I’m always solving problems and using my creativity. I love the variety!” Leslie stated that her day might involve spending time finding transportation, a primary care doctor, locating resources so a client can pay his/her electrical bill, or working with a family to find the right home care services for a parent with dementia.

Besides the variety, Leslie stated she enjoys visiting with her clients and hearing their stories. Currently she has a caseload of 17 clients, and many have been with her on a long-term basis. “I get to know my clients on a deep level, more so than would happen if I worked floor shifts or made rounds in a home health setting, where there just isn’t time to give a lot of individual attention to residents,” she said. “As a care manager, I can get to know my clients and better understand their needs. I use my social service background all the time.”  For instance, Leslie recently reached out to a local senior center and connected one of her clients to their services. “He was lonely,” she said. “I showed him the benefits and convinced him to give it a try, and he’s happy he did.”

Leslie has worked in Texas and Alabama, and has learned about the different services available for residents in each state. Her human services background has served her well in her career. “Care managers take a holistic approach,” she explained. “We don’t just look at the person’s medical history. We take into consideration the individual’s physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial needs. All of these things need to be addressed in order for people to age successfully in their homes.” Over time Leslie has become familiar with a wide range of community services and supports for aging adults, as well as state and federal entitlement programs. “Care management is not just a job and not just a career,” she said. “For me, it is a calling.”

As an objective third party, care managers can help families resolve conflict and issues concerning care for an aging loved one or a family member with disabilities. They are proactive problem-solvers and their work makes a difference. Sound interesting? Want to learn more? If interested please contact Brittany Fortmayer, HR Recruiter, by phone at 228-467-5900, or via e-mail at info@www.givingtreeseniorcareoptions.com. You can review our careers page on our web site at http://www.givingtreeseniorcareoptions.com/careers/

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