Find Help With Your Elderly Parents
So, when you started your search, did you use any of these terms? “Elderly parents, aging family members, senior citizens, aged or elder?” Or did you use what you thought the answer was? – “Senior Housing, Old people’s services, Senior Services, Geriatric Care Managers?” Try searching for both the “problem” and what you think the “answer” is. Either approach can work, but the results can vary tremendously. Looking for both the problem and your initial idea of the answer will give you a broader insight on possible solutions.
The second step, once you find a listing under whatever term you used in your search, is to vet the organization that is offering the advice. Just because a website is attractive and the company sounds like a “professional” organization does not mean it is. You need to ask some questions – no matter what the content.
1) How long have they been doing this type of work?
2) Who owns the company and what is their background?
3) Are the people who serve the clients (your parents) licensed, certified (not just holding a certificate – but certified, meaning – tested), experienced and bound to a standard of ethics.
4) Are fees explained clearly? Remember, a very low cost might speak for the service you get. Ask questions, because value is about quality, not just low cost. Make decisions based on quality and expertise, not just cost.
5) If they are a caregiving agency, be sure they are paying all the taxes, insurances and benefits that employees are entitled to in your state.
6) If this is a National Franchise – remember, almost anyone can buy a franchise. Ask for credentials and experience.
7) If this is a facility of care, be sure to check with the appropriate licensing division to be sure there are not citations or serious problems. This is very important.
8) Check for conflict of interest – be sure that the service you are using is “objective” and has a philosophy of “client centered” care.
9) Try never to chose an option with only one call – make at least three calls and always ask good questions.
Many families start their care journey with the guidance of a professional Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) who can give objective options based on current and future needs, client values and financial considerations. The GCM saves families time and money.
Be smart, start with a good direction or, at the very least, ask good questions and don’t be afraid to dig a little.