“As a professional Geriatric Care Manager, I pledge to help older adults and their families solve problems through assessment, consultation and care coordination. Guided by a client centered care plan, ongoing education and grounded in ethics, my goal is to protect older adults, promote their self-determination and provide a better care experience.”
Teresa has over 15 years of experience in professional elder care, across a variety of settings. She leads, motivates, manages, trains, volunteers and ultimately achieves desired results.
Liberal Arts Degree in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University
Master of Science in Gerontology and Healthcare Administration from the University of Southern California.
At the heart of Teresa’s work is the mission to serve others. Every elder, family member, and industry professional will encounter in Teresa a spirit of compassion, care, dignity and ethics.
Teresa Le Leux has embraced a personal and life-long dedication to serving elders. Inspired by the creative effervescence of her maternal grandmother and the hardworking, no nonsense faithfulness of her paternal grandmother, Teresa learned early that active, successful aging is a life long journey enriched by choices and attitudes. As she watched her own grandparents age, Teresa grew up cherishing the word “elder” as synonymous with respect, experience, wisdom and rich legacy of love.
Teresa’s career in elder care services began early as a volunteer and part time staff member for California Lutheran Homes (now Front Porch), where she assisted in various acts of service in a retirement community. During these high school and college years, Teresa’s admiration for elders grew and fostered her professional aspirations. After earning her Liberal Arts Degree in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University, she went on to the University of Southern California to earn her Dual Masters in Gerontology and Health Care Administration, specializing in Public Policy and Long Term Care (LTC) Administration in 1996. Those academic years were nurtured by her grandmothers and the residents of California Lutheran Homes who were constantly challenging her to rethink “normal” aging as both a physical and spiritual journey. Teresa learned from these elders that successful aging can be defined by the following guideline: A “use it or lose it” can-do attitude, balanced by a deep and ongoing relationship with our loving and faithful God.
Teresa was quick to take on leadership roles within California Lutheran Homes. As the assistant administrator of both the Alhambra Lutheran Home and Walnut Manor Retirement Community (now Walnut Village), she became an integral part of the life and operations of these faith based not for profit senior living communities. An active member of the corporate Ethics Committee, Teresa helped create policies that changed how the organization approached end of life care and intensity of care decision making. Teresa also served as the Accreditation Coordinator leading a team of Executives through an intense self-study process resulting in a successful accreditation with the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission. She also developed and implemented a customer service/quality improvement/employee recognition program at Walnut Manor. Through this program, she challenged staff to define and deliver exceptional care and services to all their customers.
Marriage led Teresa to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1997 where she joined the team at Wesley Community Services/Friendship Hall Adult Day Services. As the Director of this fledgling program, Teresa led a team to increase enrollment, implement target marketing strategies, and expand services. Teresa embraced the opportunity to learn about and serve elders of Appalachian descent with their deep roots and cultural ties. Professionally, Teresa easily adapted to learning the landscape of elder care programs and services in a new city.
A return home to sunny Southern California in 1998 gave Teresa an opportunity to nourish her public policy interests as the Long Term Care provider specialist and eventually the manager of LTC Programs at CalOptima the County Organized Health System for Orange County. Conducting provider outreach, managing communications, creating and delivering educational seminars and launching new programs fueled Teresa’s desire to reach a broader scope of elders. Teresa was inspired by the intellectual energy where research resulted in implementation which further resulted in changing elders’ lives for the better. Leading small teams to implement large programs was especially gratifying to Teresa.
Among these important years of professional development at CalOptima, there was something important missing for Teresa – daily interaction with elders. Not being around older and much older adults left a void and as a result, Teresa decided to make a change. In 2002, Teresa became the Administrator of Freedom Village Healthcare Center, a 52-bed skilled nursing facility and 65-bed assisted living facility. Under this roof, where elders fight daily to maintain their dignity when they have little else, Teresa learned the importance of giving everyone an opportunity to thrive. Whether a dishwasher, a nursing assistant, a rehab patient with a quick discharge pending or a long term resident with dementia, each have blessings and gifts to share. Operationally, she implemented a risk management program and successfully led her multidisciplinary team to pass the annual certification survey conducted by the California Department of Health Services, ensuring compliance with state and federal nursing home regulations. But to Teresa, her most important achievement at Freedom Village was creating an atmosphere of teamwork, pride in work, true fellowship and renewal in mission and ministry to serve elders in an intimate way.
During the child raising years, Teresa realized that she could no longer give herself fully to her residents and staff and her family too. In 2003, Teresa decided to leave full time work and explore the joys and challenges of motherhood. Professional development continued but with a different set of customers to serve. As a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) Group Leader, Teresa brought young mothers together to share their stories and learn from each other how to be better parents while growing in trust and faith in God. She also became an independent distributor for Xocai Healthy Chocolate, hosting marketing events and sales promotions for a line of healthy chocolates. Teresa gravitated toward leadership on many fronts. She has been a CubScout pack leader and chairperson, room parent, school retreat coordinator and event planner. In all cases, Teresa has been praised for her organization, delegation and sense of calm and peace, despite the circumstances. These years also inspired a love for wholesome, healthy cooking and eating. Teresa loves a fresh and healthy recipe and gets particularly excited by healthy, wholesome desserts. Additionally, Teresa has become more committed to the importance of healthy lifestyle choices in determining physical and emotional health at any age.
Teresa returned to part time employment in elder care in 2009 as a Care Coordinator for the Caregiver Resource Center of St. Jude’s Medical Center. Although short in stay, Teresa renewed her love for older adults and those who serve them. In 2010, Teresa joined Silverado At Home, a home care and care management company specializing in memory care. There, she was introduced to the field of Professional Geriatric Care Management. Teresa was so intrigued by how she could apply her skills in organizational health care management to help elders and their families resolve their daily struggles and help them achieve their goals. By March, 2012, Teresa decided to launch her private practice as a Professional Geriatric Care Manager.
Since March of 2012, Teresa has been serving elders and their families as a private consultant, helping them solve problems and meet their needs. Teresa aspires to consult with more business entities by helping them improve the quality of eldercare programs, launch new programs, or better understand their customers. Teresa also volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Association as an educator of long term care. She volunteers for the Office on Aging Speakers Bureau. Since 2013, Teresa has developed an interest in advance care planning and has developed and delivered a seminar on “Picking and Training your Health Agent” to church groups and senior groups. She also volunteers for the Orange County Aging Services Collaborative by delivering presentations on Advance Care Planning. In 2014, Teresa launched a faith based caregiver support group which meets monthly in Lake Forest. Teresa is a member of the Aging Life Care Association (TM), National Association of Professional Gerontologists, and LeadingAge of California. In 2014, Teresa became a Certified Professional Gerontologist.
Among all her earned credentials, Teresa is most proud of being a Professional Gerontologist. In this role, she is most comfortable because she firmly believes this is the best way to use her God given gifts. Her love of older adults has transported her career into diverse settings, all with the ultimate goal of enhancing the lives of elders. She is reminded constantly of those two elder women who graciously taught her how to age – her grandmothers. Teresa prays that she honors them with her work. Each of them found joy in the journey of aging through different, but highly spiritual means. Teresa’s goal for every client she serves, whether an elder, their family or a service provider is to discover the joys of their personal journey.
Find Stability. Honor Client Wishes.
Discover Joy In the Journey.