If you are thinking of becoming a geriatric care manager in the booming field of services for the aging, heed the words of Cathy Cress a national expert on Aging Life and Geriatric Care Management and author of the Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, a leading publication on geriatric care management. Calling it “a very tough profession,” Cress says to enter the field one must be “steely-nerved” and have compassion, business acumen and have a broad knowledge of financial systems and family dynamics. “Even a normal family becomes dysfunctional when dealing with this,” Cress says. Once an elder who is the head of the family goes out of commission, it is, Cress says, as if the queen bee is gone. What happens? “The hive goes crazy.” The GCM must manage all this and more, including understanding the health care system and local and government regulations and programs for the aging. It should be no surprise, then, that becoming a GCM, especially one that is certified and recognized by the profession’s association, has stringent requirements. The professional association for GCMs was founded in 1985 and was once called the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). In May 2015, it renamed itself the Aging Life Care(tm) Association (ALCA). ALCA now calls geriatric care managers Aging Life Care(tm) specialists, meaning that the person is considered a GCM. The ALCA, like other professional associations, establishes criteria for certification, publishes a journal, conducts conferences, offers tools for the profession and grants continuing education credits. ALCA also sets ethics and conduct standards.