Since 1996, Karen Bernat has been working with elders and their families, gaining valuable knowledge and training through her nursing home and assisted living work. She has been a strong advocate for elders, especially those with family living far away, at times, in other countries, serving as a liaison between family members and her elderly clients.
Before starting her own practice, Ms. Bernat worked as a geriatric care manager for Creative Alliances in Boston, MA. As a geriatric care manager, Ms. Bernat focuses on maintaining her clients' independence while balancing their safety needs. Ms. Bernat collaborates with caregivers, physicians, and legal professionals to protect her clients’ interests and well-being.
Prior to Ms. Bernat’s care management work, she managed a social service program for aging Holocaust survivors. In that capacity, Ms. Bernat set up and managed home care, medical and transportation services. She provided intake and referral, assessment, intervention programs, and follow-up services. Ms. Bernat assessed for client safety and helped with the transition from home to assisted living or nursing home facilities. She assisted with guardianship, legal and financial issues.
In the past, Ms. Bernat worked in the mental health system, providing assistance to those with mental illness and substance abuse. Ms. Bernat provided psychotherapy, crisis management, discharge planning, family counseling, and facilitated a number of groups.
Ms. Bernat earned her Bachelors degree in Education from the University of Georgia and her Masters in Social Work from Simmons College. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Massachusetts and is an Advanced Member of the Aging Life Care Association (formerly known as the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers) where she served as a Board Member and former Chair of the Program Committee of the New England chapter from 2008-2009 and currently serves as a Board Member at Large. Ms. Bernat is the 2020 Recipient of the Susan Shapiro Leadership Award (SSLA), awarded for outstanding leadership qualities by New England Aging Life Care Professionals. Ms. Bernat is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and is a Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (C-ASWCM).
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