Spencer Brown has been with Accountable Aging Care Management for 10 years. In this time, he’s been able to help our clients by minimizing the negative impacts of aging and increase their quality of life. Spencer has a passion for helping seniors live richer, fuller lives.

What do you think has impacted you the most in your years in the care management field? In my tenure, the lessons that clients I’ve worked with have taught me and the collaboration with professionals/families serving them have impacted me the most.  My growth professionally and personally has been significant.

Why did you pursue a Master of Science in Gerontology? My grandfather had a stroke and passed away during my first year of college.  I was living in the same town and was informal support to my family during this process.  After my parents suggested a career in gerontology from observing me help with my grandparents, I explored volunteer opportunities in the field of aging and explored the degree program at Baylor University.

How did you start working in care management? After a career primarily managing communities for older adults (nursing homes, assisted living and independent living), I began to doubt continuing down that path toward retirement and wanted something different.  The profession of Aging Life Care™/Care Management sparked my interest because of the deep partnership available with family caregivers, clients, and professionals to meet them where they are. During a career transition, I was making I mentioned to a fellow professional in the medical field and shared my interest.  Her reply was “You should talk to Accountable Aging Care Management. They are hiring right now in San Antonio.” Within one month I was on board in this rewarding and important field and a fantastic company.

How did you get involved with Aging Life Care Association® and become President of the South Central Chapter of ALCA®? Throughout my career, I have been involved in state and national associations serving my profession.  For me joining the Aging Life Care Association® was a natural process because I know the value of learning from diverse professionals serving under the same mission.  Being part of something larger than myself is important for professional development and increases the capacity to help others and stand out as a leader in the field.   Through the encouragement of another ALCA member, I began participating at the local level and started attending regular chapter conferences. I began serving on the South Central Chapter board in 2014 and held leadership roles before being nominated and elected as chapter president for 2019-2020.

What do you love most about your role as a care manager?  I love learning something new every day to help the clients I serve.  There are so many different situations and never the same solution to bring to the table.  For each initial client visit I make, I have a mindset of starting fresh to tailor my work to each situation. The more I work as an Aging Life Care Professional®, the more I learn and the better I can help families and clients.  The diversity of what I do every day is also a significant motivator for me. 

What has been the most difficult client situation you have been faced with and how were you able to overcome it? I worked with a young client with a personal injury resulting in paraplegia. There were so many medical issues and the lack of communication among the insurance company, multiple doctors and medical providers created barriers to the client getting the services he needed.  When time and time again services were denied, I drilled down and made sure I had a real person with each and every resource helping the client to advocate (and sometimes fight) to work through the barriers. Thankfully persistence in getting to the right people who could affect change allowed the client to get approval for services such as therapy, special medical transportation, and procedures that would not have been available without strong tenacity and advocacy.

Who are your most valuable partners in the community that aid in your success?  We depend heavily on professionals such as attorneys and financial professionals who know families and their issues deeply.  They are already providing excellent customer service and are in a position of trust. When they learn of caregiver challenges and adult aging issues or families ask for help, they will say “I know of a good resource that can help.  Call Accountable Aging Care Management. They will take good care of you.” Our team can’t help address the array of matters out there if professionals don’t know of the profession of Aging Life Care™, our team, and are willing to tell others about us.  

What is the most valuable piece of advice you could give an individual or family with a loved one approaching their retirement years? Be proactive in planning for your own aging.  Have conversations with those closest to you so they know what you want.  Taking forward steps is better than remaining in a state of inertia because you don’t know what to do.  Have the courage to involve others and ask for help.

What would be your advice to those pursuing a career in care management?  Be flexible and get ready for a career that is unpredictable and extremely rewarding.  Don’t do this if you like the status quo. Since Aging Life Care™ is still a significantly unknown profession, we must tell our story.  Too many people want to open their own business and expect the client to come rolling in so they can support themselves and their families financially.  The process can be slow starting out on your own and I recommend that some consider joining a well-established company that has the tools, client base and professional network that will allow them to more quickly jump into the role of Aging Life Care Professional®.