If you and your parent or loved one are beginning to think about the next phase of life, whether that be moving in with a relative, hiring an in-home caregiver or moving to an assisted living community, you don’t have to go it alone.
Obviously referrals from family members or friends can be extremely helpful as you try to navigate through the many choices available. But, sometimes you might benefit from the knowledge and expertise of someone who has a broad view of what’s available nationally and in your area.
In most cases information and referrals from a senior care referral agency are free and without obligation. Often these referral agencies are wonderful resources for information about the aging process, tips for caregivers, updates on national trends and step-by-step guides for finding a care solution that works for you and your family.
Eldercare referral services have started to pop up all over the Internet because, quite simply, families want and often need help in making difficult decisions about adult care. However, it turns out that some referral services are truly looking out for the best interest of the senior and his or her family, but others are not.
A 2011 investigation in Washington State found that in some cases seniors were being referred to facilities that had financial ties to the referral service, even if those facilities were facing licensing violations. In 2012 Washington State passed legislation aimed at protecting seniors and their families from being manipulated for financial gain.
The key provisions of the legislation are as follows:
The referral agency must fully disclose any fees it receives from senior living facilities. This means that if a referral agency has a financial relationship with a senior care facility or if a placement advisor gets a commission for making a senior placement, they must disclose that fact.
Care assessments must be conducted by qualified senior care professionals with the appropriate training or credentials.
The referral agency must disclose the last date that a care professional toured the senior facility.
The referral agency must confirm that the facility is not in current violation of Washington licensing requirements.
Although many senior care placement advisors are dedicated to finding the best placement for each family to work with, it’s important to ask questions and do some independent research. Again word-of-mouth and family referrals are often your most trusted resources.
If you want to know more about Elder and Vulnerable Adult Referral Agency Act, click here.
At Daystar Retirement Community we believe our residents are our best recommendation. If you are beginning your search for a caring community for your loved one you might well want to contact a referral agency to get a several names of facilities that meet your criteria, but there’s no substitute for visiting the facility and talking with the people who live and work these residential communities.