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Catherine Ray


Catherine Ray found the field of Gerontology as she provided care to her aging mother-in-law when she was ill. “We didn’t know what options were available to us.”  A Geriatric Care Manager provided critical assessments, resources, and referrals to her family as they navigated shifting care needs of her mother-in-law.  “I realized we should have known about care management long before we found it.”  After this experience, Catherine was inspired to help families caring for elders.  She chose UMSL to pursue her Master’s in Gerontology.  She was drawn to the ability to target her education and build practical skills needed for geriatric care management.  Moreover, she appreciated the ability to take individual courses in-person. “When I spoke with Program Director, Tom Meuser, I knew UMSL was the right choice.”

Catherine founded her own geriatric care management business in 2013.  Today, she provides a variety of services to caregivers and older adults in the St. Louis metropolitan area from evaluation to coordination to advocacy.  “In my work as a Geriatric Care Manager I use something I learned at UMSL nearly every day.” At the core of Catherine’s work are the skills she learned in Gerontological Assessment from test administration to observation to analysis in context of the physical, psychological, family, and social systems.  Throughout other courses, she learned about legal, financial, insurance and safety issues and strategies to support families experiencing challenges in estate planning, guardianship, Medicare, or competency.  Catherine still uses the mantra ‘Change is hard’ from the course Aging & Health Behavior.  This small, but powerful lesson grounds her work in the face of tough transitions.

Catherine has found that, “quality of life is successful aging. Good quality of life can mean watching a movie with family at home, the afternoon pizza snack in the memory care community, feeding the cats behind the assisted living community, or a walk around the grounds in independent living. What I observe is successful aging on a micro level, one encounter, one moment at a time.” Geriatric care management is fulfilling and purposeful part of her life. Driven by her passion for aging, Catherine plans to grow her business and continue serving families in the greater St. Louis area.