Eventually, everyone is likely to reach an age where they need additional assistance from day to day. When that happens, finding appropriate senior care can seem intimidating. There are many different options, and it can be difficult to recognize and navigate the process involved in finding the best alternative.
Fortunately, there are advocates that can help, such as the team at Concierge Care Advisors. But how do you know the person you’re relying on has your best interests at heart? The secret is knowing what questions to ask.
Do they adhere to HB1494?
The State of Washington is actually one of the leaders in protecting the elderly and their families when it comes to senior care. In fact, they passed a law known as HB1494 that carefully outlines an ethical approach. We should know – we advocated heavily for the protections and served as the model for agencies under the new law. If your advisor doesn’t seem familiar with the measure, or appears evasive or dismissive, it’s a red flag to dig deeper.
Are you being asked to work with them exclusively? Do they have exclusive relationships with any housing or service recommendations?
HB1494 clearly states an “agency may not create an exclusive agreement between the agency and the client, or between the agency and a provider.” If you are feeling as though you’re being pressured to only work with that agency or its providers, you should probably look elsewhere.
What is their relationship with the facility or service they’re recommending?
An important aspect of HB1494 is that care advisors (and their families) must clearly disclose equity or ownership interest in any supportive housing or care services that are being recommended. While it’s required, it’s still worth asking so you don’t miss any “fine print” or last-minute disclosures that indicate biased recommendations
As importantly, the advisor should be able to make their referral relationships clear to you. Much like realtors, senior care advisors are free to you, and generally compensated by the seller (in this case, the care facility). But unlike realtors, this compensation might not be equal across every recommendation, or they may only have a few, limited options in their network. Concierge Care Advisors has the broadest network in the state, and every contract has identical terms.
What is the process for conducting background checks?
According to HB1494, every member of a care and placement organization (including owners) must pass a criminal background check every 24 months. And they cannot have ever been found by a court or similar disciplinary authority to have abused, exploited, abandoned or neglected a minor or vulnerable adult. Concierge Care Advisors not only adheres to these requirements, it also ensures that employees pass regular drug screenings.
Do they require training and certification for advisors?
It’s also important to know if the agency you’re working with has a training and certification program to ensure advocates are following industry best practices. The Concierge Care Advisors certification program, which includes written, hands-on and observational training, was created in the absence of any state-mandated training and certification and is considered the standard in the industry. Employees must successfully pass this rigorous program, stay current with our monthly continuing education training, and also become HIPAA certified, to work as a Concierge Care Advisor.
When it comes time to sort through the many options to find the best possible care for our seniors, it’s important to find resources to help – and to make sure they have the knowledge, experience and unbiased perspective to give you the best possible advice and guidance.