There are so many websites leading in different directions, each touting they are the premier, largest, biggest, best option for aging parent home care, assisted living or even financial planning and legal advice.
Where does a family turn? How do families know they are getting someone who is working on behalf of them, with the central goal being quality of life based on client values?
The best way is to ask questions. The venture capital company that has just hit on baby boomer aging might be able to gather some health and human service experts – but do they know mom’s community or your community? It isn’t just expertise that you want guiding your choices, it is knowledge on ALL the local resources, knowledge of benefits, aging, care choices and most of all understanding the emotional toll this can bring to everyone in a family.
So, what questions do you ask? I think these are the most important ones:
1) How long has this company been in my community? Are they local or do they just have a national database?
2) How long have their “experts” been with the company?
3) Are these experts credentialed and certified by a creditable process (not a 30 hour course)? Do they have a license – if so, do they have years in the field doing aging or elder care work?
4) Do they take referral fees from outside agencies, facilities or professionals? If it is a “free” service you can assume so, if it’s not a non-profit or government agency, someone pays.
5) Is this person going to help you make a decision and help you see the pro and cons of each decision as it affects your family members?
6) If you are looking for an Elder Law Attorney, Financial Planner or Geriatric Care Manager, do they belong to a National Association that has standards for membership and certification?
Asking questions will lead you to where you will get the best guidance.