Life Changes Counseling & Care Planning

Finding what's next, together.

About the practice

Life Changes Counseling & Care Planning is a values-based group of highly skilled providers committed to helping individuals thrive in the later decades of life. We believe all lives are enhanced when people are encouraged to discover their own unique ways to live with passion, authenticity and purpose, particularly in the face of life’s challenges.

Our team brings a keen awareness of how the varied elements of life—emotional and physical health, the environment, day-to-day realities, relationships—interact to impact people’s overall wellness. Our providers bring this holistic approach to both counseling and care planning services. Whether you want talk therapy, guidance in planning for the future or simply aren't sure where to start, we can help. We believe this one stop shop approach sets us apart from many other qualified providers who may focus only on therapy or only on finding and coordinating practical resources.

Kate Krajci, LCSW founded Life Changes Counseling & Care Planning in 2015 to live her passion of supporting older adults and family caregivers seeking transformative change through psychotherapy and proactive future planning. To increase access to experts in aging and mental health, Life Changes Counseling & Care Planning is expanding to include additional professionals who are passionate about aging-related issues.

Our Values

We firmly believe that values act as a compass for meaningful living. Life Changes Counseling & Care Planning embraces these values for our clients and team alike:

Our Team

Sarah Chen, LCSW (she/her)

Sarah Chen

“Getting old is not for the faint of heart.” I hear this often from my clients! As we grow and as life changes around us, we often find that it takes energy and determination to continue holding on to the things that are important to us. It takes intention for us to stay active and engaged with our priorities and values, especially if we are making big adjustments or dealing with significant changes or losses in our lives.

I mostly work with older adults, adults with chronic illnesses, and care partners, with a special focus on neurodegenerative conditions and dementia. My clients find me to be a good listener who understands what they’re going through, and someone who they can rely on for an empathetic and supportive conversation regarding their situation.

When I work with you, I listen to where you are coming from so that I can help you create practical strategies for the changes you would like to see in your life. It’s usually in your stories where we find the strength and wisdom to craft those strategies, and I consider it an honor to help you in this process, while also gleaning a little bit from your life and insights. There is so much wisdom to be gained as we work together!

Psychotherapy approaches

My style

Training and experience

My social work career has focused on supporting adults with chronic diseases, older adults, and care partners. I have spent the majority of my career working in long-term care, skilled rehabilitation, and healthcare settings. These various settings have allowed me to gain expertise in understanding the nuances of cognitive impairment and various forms of dementia, Parkinson’s Disease and other related movement disorders as well as other neurodegenerative conditions.

I have a passion for advanced care planning and palliative care, especially helping clients and care partners better understand their wishes and preferences for both medical and non-medical care. I am comfortable facilitating these difficult conversations because I believe the best gift someone can give themselves and their loved ones is sharing their wishes and preferences for care.

A commitment to older adults

I originally planned to major in political science so I could work in the foreign service but quickly realized I needed something more hands on. Since declaring a major in social work my sophomore year of college I wanted to focus my career on aging. I adored my grandparents and was exposed to a variety of intergenerational programs growing up. So an opportunity to blend my desire for service and to support older adults seemed like a natural fit. And this natural fit continues to be confirmed as my career has progressed. I honestly would not be anywhere else.

A bit about me

When not working, I enjoy spending time taking walks in my neighborhood, making a mess in the kitchen baking or in the garden, and listening to podcasts or audio books.

Kate Krajci, LCSW (she/her, they/them)

Kate Krajci

I love being a social worker and I opened Life Changes Counseling and Care Planning to pursue my dream of doing this work with fewer competing demands than in other types of mental health and social service settings. I see my role as rooted in high quality listening and application of evidence-based techniques. In our work this means I strive to ensure I am understanding you, your experiences and strengths while also intentionally listening for patterns and opportunities that invite exploration and potential growth.

I am a self-described “aging geek,” so I enjoy nearly all areas of my work. That being said, I particularly like working with caregivers, people living with a dementia, individuals who are experiencing a major life transition, feeling stuck and want to re-ignite their own personal spark, as well as those who are grappling with their sense of legacy and exploring a meaningful death.

My clients say they feel deeply supported and through our work have discovered different outlooks on life, re-imagined versions of themselves, new coping and self-care tools as well as opportunities in the face of some of life’s most difficult situations, including end of life.

I’m taking a break from working with new clients to focus my energies on my current clients and nurturing Life Changes Counseling and Care Planning as the practice grows.

Psychotherapy approaches

My style

Training and experience

During my social work career, I have worked with older adults, their families and friends in community-based mental health, geriatric care management, health care and nursing home-based rehabilitation settings. I have also supervised teams of social workers, developed models of care and presented extensively to both public and professional audiences on topics related to aging.

A commitment to older adults

Growing up as the youngest of a small, multigenerational family, I was surrounded by people older than me. As a result, I had exposure from a young age to the concerns that arose as my family members grew older or coped with chronic and terminal illnesses. I saw first-hand how both individuals and families wrestled with changes in health and memory, differing opinions, end of life issues and grief. I began to notice how society often overlooks older people as individuals, minimizing their unique life experiences and strengths. I decided to devote my career to changing how society views aging and to helping those who face challenges in later life continue to thrive despite the circumstances they might face.

A bit about me

People are often curious about my last name. It's pronounced "KRAY-chee," and is Czech in origin. When not exploring my love for all things aging-related, I can be found gardening, tending to my extensive collection of houseplants or deeply appreciating music.


Appointments

We choose to follow rigorous COVID-19 safety precautions because we work exclusively with people who are likely to be considered at high risk for the negative impacts of COVID-19 infection.

At this time most appointments are telehealth virtual appointments using a privacy-protected video service called Doxy.me. Your provider will send you their personal Doxy website address and you will follow simple prompts to check in for your appointment. No downloads, special apps or registration is needed.

When in-person appointments are needed, we ask for proof of timely vaccination and both you and your provider will wear masks. Our office also enhances health safety by using air purifiers, humidifiers, and sanitizing wipes, and by offering personal protective equipment. We review our safety practices regularly, using Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for healthcare settings, city of Chicago regulations and the CDC’s Level of Community Transmission for Cook County/Chicago.