While there weren’t as many services available when I started caregiving as there are now, I knew enough to be careful. An elder is a vulnerable adult. Any time we look for an outside service for our elders, we need to get whatever references are available – and check them out. Normally, the company could be asked for references that you could call, and then hope for a positive response. But is there a better way?
Yes, although it isn’t available in enough areas yet. It’s called Senior Approved Services. Founded by Barbara Mascio of Cleveland, Ohio, SAS serves as an independent third party, verifying the history of quality care as reported by the seniors that have actually used these services. Businesses apply to Senior Approved Services to conduct a confidential survey process of its current and past clients. There is a fee for the survey process. Those achieving a 90 percent or higher rating are then certified as a Senior Approved Service for two years. There are no fees for clients, leads or referrals. Business should visit their website for details.
Mascio has more than 20 years of experience in senior services. After three years of market research, surveys and focus group studies, she launched Senior Approved Services as a method to advocate for the right of all seniors to receive excellent care and to remain safe. It is national in its approach. Therefore, if you live in California, and your elder lives in Kansas, and the area where your senior lives has businesses that have been approved, you will find them on the Senior Approved site. You can type in the zip code you want, and the businesses are listed. Unfortunately, some areas are still without the service. That’s why I like to spread the word. I believe in this business. (And no, I’m not employed by them).
Caregivers can ask providers if they are approved by Senior Approved or another independent party. There aren’t many true, third party approval systems, so I encourage caregivers to ask every business they use if they are Senior Approved. If they are not, give them the web site and ask them to look into it. Being the first in their area to have such a rating would be a boon to their business. Help spread the word. This is a true need, if caregivers are to have peace of mind when they hire care for their loved ones. Let's rattle some cages and get this movement going.
Senior Approved Services offers other help through their site such as access to approved products, a support chat, ideas on how to be an advocate and handling stress.
Share your thoughts about this service in our message boards.
Learn more about caregiving options in our Caregiver Center.
Published On: June 26, 2006