After I published my book The Caregiving Zone, I found myself at a turning point. Writing the book had enabled me to organize my ideas and reflect back on 25 years of gaining experience in providing caregiving services. What I hadn’t expected was that I would fall in love with caregiving all over again. I went looking for new ways to use what I had learned. I have been giving talks and workshops on illness, aging and dying, but I missed working with individuals and their communities.
Checking out websites on caregiving I kept coming across references to Geriatric Care Managers. As I read more about this relatively new profession I got excited. Here was a whole new set of tools for my caregiving toolkit. So I enrolled at the University of Florida in their Graduate Certificate Program in Geriatric Care Management.
What an adventure! I had to learn the technology—my first experience with a chat room. I became reacquainted with writing term papers, not to mention online midterms and final exams. Library research is a whole different universe from when I did my master’s degree years ago on the psychology and physiology of aging. Since then the whole field has changed. It’s all so different and challenging—research on the brain/mind connection, illnesses and their treatment strategies, geriatric psychology and pharmacology.
It’s an amazing process to be starting my fourth career at age 60.
In his book Management Challenges for the Next Century, Peter Drucker writes:
“One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it. In a period of upheavals, such as the one we are living in, change is the norm. To be sure, it is painful and risky, and above all it requires a great deal of very hard work.… To make the future is highly risky. It is less risky, however than not to try to make it.” (quoted in The Daily Drucker, pg. 69)