Working with an Aging Life Care Professional
Make it a good experience
A positive and open relationship between an Aging Life Care Professional® and a client is important to successful outcomes. The key is effective communication. The communication starts with asking the kinds of questions discussed here. Use the answers to the questions as a guide not only to the Aging Life Care Professional’s qualifications, but also as a way of determining whether you can comfortably work with this person.
If your concerns are not responded to professionally and personally, if you don’t like the answers to your questions, if you do not like the Aging Life Care Professional’s reaction to being asked all of your questions, or if you simply do not feel relaxed with him/her, you do not need to hire that person. Only if you are satisfied with the professional you have hired from the very start, will you trust him or her to do the best job for you.
If you take the time to make sure you are happy and compatible from the beginning, you can make this a productive experience, giving you peace of mind and your family member the highest quality of life and the best aging life care possible. You will thank yourself, and your Aging Life Care Professional will thank you.
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Once you have found an Aging Life Care Professional
Once you decide to hire an Aging Life Care Professional, ask that your engagement be put in writing. The writing can be a letter or a formal contract. It should spell out what services the Aging Life Care Professional will perform for you and what the fee and expense arrangements will be. Remember, even if your agreement remains oral and is not put into writing, you have made a contract and are responsible for all charges for work done by the Aging Life Care Professional and her/his staff.
After an agreement is made, the Aging Life Care Professional will most likely meet with you for an “assessment virtually or in person.” During the assessment, you will be asked by the Aging Life Care Professional the reasons you are seeking help and to meet all the parties involved. It is especially helpful that you are prepared with all relevant information for the care of your family member or friend.
After you have discussed your situation, ask:
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- What resources will it take to handle this situation?
- Are there any alternative courses of action?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative?
- Who will be working with you?
- How many professionals may be involved? What about off-hours and backup?
- How are fees computed?
- How are travel time and mileage handled?
- How are services terminated?
There are many different ways of charging fees and each Aging Life Care Professional works differently. You will need to know how often they bill. Some bill weekly, some bill monthly, and some bill upon completion of work. Ask about billing at the initial conference and ask for billing policies in writing, so there will be no surprises. If you don’t understand, ask again. If you need clarification, say so. It is very important that you feel comfortable regarding your financial obligations.
In addition to fees, most Aging Life Care Professionals will charge for out-of-pocket expenses, such as charges for mileage, caregiving supplies, long-distance telephone calls, etc. Find out if there will be any other incidental costs.
Note: There may also be additional fees if outside professionals are called into the case. It is imperative that the Aging Life Care Professional receives approval to bring others in before the situation arises, if possible.
Be sure to discuss and make sure you have all questions answered before proceeding with an agreement for services. You should expect a written agreement including fees before services begin.
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