Health & Wealth: Considerations from a Certified Care Manager

Healthcare | InspireHer: Plancorp Women’s Initiative

 Sara Gelsheimer By: Sara Gelsheimer

Until you are faced with a situation where your health is at risk, you might not grasp just how intertwined health and wealth really are. In fact, with the rising cost of healthcare, health-related concerns are one of the top disruptors to building wealth and passing along a legacy to the next generation. 

Planning ahead for potential healthcare needs is a critical component of comprehensive financial planning, especially for women. Among the nearly 17% of adults in the U.S. that provide unpaid care to an adult over the age of 50, more than 75% are women. With this unique impact in mind, InspireHer hosted an event featuring Sharon Gorman, Certified Care Manager and owner of Certified Care Management in St. Louis. She discussed the impacts of aging, how a care manager can assist, and the activities you can do to stay healthy longer.  

How Aging Has Changed & Long-Term Care Insurance 

It is said that “old age” is 10 years older than you are today, and that number simply ages with you. While partially a funny joke or perspective, the reality is aging looks different now than it did even a decade ago – people live longer, work longer, etc. We often feel like “getting old” is something that happens to others, not us. But we all know it’s inevitable and thus planning for it can lead to peace of mind – for you and your loved ones.  

Even with these changes and increased life spans, studies show that roughly 70% of people 65+ will need some type of long-term care during their life. For many, they can self-insure. Others opt for traditional long-term care policies or long-term care/life insurance hybrid policies.  

Doing your homework is important because there are pros and cons to each option and your situation can be unique. You can reference the average cost of long-term care by state, but consider working with a financial advisor (ideally one who is not selling a policy) to help you determine the best path and not fall prey to being over-insured with competing policies that won’t pay or left without coverage. 

What Care Management Can Do For You 

Aging can be complicated and costly but working with not only a trusted financial advisor but a care manager can be a great resource. A great care management company can help you navigate the various impacts of aging, including: 

  • Crisis intervention – a fall, a change in behavior – anything health related that requires immediate attention. 
  • On going health/disability management – disease management, physical impairments (long or short term), medicine management.  
  • Financial – helping you determine WHAT you actually need and how you’re going to pay for it. A financial advisor can also be significantly helpful in this area.  
  • Navigating family dynamics– families are complicated. Most individuals want to get a plan in place so as to not have to rely on family members to care of them. Some families disagree on how best to best care for mom. A care manager can be that third party to help with those potential issues.  
  • Local Resource Assessment – a good care manager has a good understanding of the local resources – what’s available, what they cost, what they offer – and those to avoid.  
  • Advocacy – one of the most impactful aspects of a care manager is their ability to advocate for you. They know your rights, your options, and can be sure you’re getting the best care.  
  • Legal – in some situations, it might make sense to name a care manager as a healthcare power of attorney, especially if you don’t have family or family can’t agree. Again, a third party who is looking out for your best interest.

After you get your plan in place, tell your loved ones. Make sure they know your wishes and where your important documents are located (some even recommend you keep them in the freezer!).  

This can often be an uncomfortable discussion so there are resources to help facilitate – such as a card game “Go Wish.”  

What We Can Learn from Blue Zones 

Even though aging is inevitable, there are some great ways to increase good health and longevity. Areas call “Blue Zones” have been studied to determine the diet/habits of those with longevity.  

  • Eat right – those in these Blue Zones have a Mediterranean diet – food that is grown in the ground or swim in the sea. But ultimately, you need to determine what food are good for you 
  • Exercise – sitting is consider the new “smoking” for your health. Particularly if you sit for your job, invest in a standup desk, take frequent breaks, etc. Incorporate stretching/moving/playing into your daily routine.  
  • Be Social – isolation is a detriment to your health. Find ways to interact with others, particular when it feels your world is small.  
  • Stimulate your mind – there are a lot of studies that show the importance of “brain games”, particularly for stoke and/or cognitive decline. Many activities are great for your brain, including:  
    • Listen to music, play an instrument, sing 
    • Look through photo albums 
    • Paint, color, doodle, use playdoh, do a craft 
    • Do one task at a time, rather than multi-task 
    • Try something new – take up a new hobby 
    • Pray, post positive messages throughout your house 
    • Smile/laugh 
  • Lessen Stress – stress is one of biggest factors in health. Actively engage in activities that reduce stress such as medication, organize areas of your life, rid yourself of “poisonous people”, etc. Particularly if you’re a caregiver, be sure to schedule time to care for yourself 
  • Find a sense of purpose – find a passion or several of them. Whether a pet, an organization to get involved in, give yourself a reason to get up out of bed in the morning.  

We wrapped up our conversation by going around the room and sharing thoughts about our sense of purpose as well as committing to at least one thing we were going to start doing to invest in our health and well-being.  If you’re reading this blog, I encourage you to do the same, and you get bonus points if you tell a friend or loved-one! 

Image July 26, 2023 2_55_34 PM
Image July 26, 2023 2_55_35 PM


The power of being able to say these things out loud, get support from women in similar situations, and being connected to incredible resources and subject matter experts like Sharon are why we started InspireHer 7 years ago. Aging may be inevitable but thankfully there are many things you can do to plan for the worst but be in track for the best. If you’re interested in hearing more about our mission to inspire financial confidence in women, join the InspireHer email list here. 

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Sara came to Plancorp in 2013 with a strong financial background and an even stronger commitment to financial education—particularly for women. A Wealth Manager and Founder of InspireHer (Plancorp's Women's Initiative), Sara is also a new mom. More »