If you are a caregiver for your loved one, you might consider it overwhelming to find out information or resources that might be available to you from someone who is both knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Bad advice can sometimes be worse than no advice. Your neighbors and friends might have opinions, but do they really know all that is out there to help you care for your loved one while still also living your life to the fullest?
In addition to many other fine professionals that provide services to seniors, one good resource you can turn to is to locate a certified senior advisor (CSA).
The Society of Certified Senior Advisors (SCSA) certifies professionals who work with seniors. The CSA credential applies to professionals who are able to demonstrate their competence and knowledge of working with older adults in their professional practices.
By creating a network of qualified professionals, SCSA strives to create a strong and safe environment for seniors and those working with them.
In order to maintain the CSA certification, individuals are required to demonstrate a commitment to high standards, continuing education, professional ethics, and trust. This sets the CSA credential holder apart from other practitioners working with older adults.
Each certified senior advisor has a main occupation that usually works with seniors and can also be a great resource to assist caregivers with giving them recommendations for programs, other professionals, organizations, etc.
CSA's have a broad knowledge of the health, social and financial issues that are important to seniors, and how these factors work together in seniors' lives while keeping their interests in the forefront. They learn what is important to seniors, how to relate to them and how to effectively communicate with our aging population.
As mentioned, a core principle of the CSA designation is trust. No title, certification or credential can make someone credible. Credibility must be earned and is the sum of knowledge, skilled communication, and high ethical standards.
CSA's strive to understand their clients' needs in the complex world facing seniors today and provide them with honest recommendations to help make their lives better.
If you are a caregiver, don't be afraid to ask questions of various resources, but be careful of whom you trust, what their motivations are and how credible they are. Compare information but don't be afraid to reach out to true professionals.
If you would like to find a CSA you can access a list in our area by visiting www.csa.us.
James Wogsland, Certified Senior Advisor, is the owner of ComForCare Home Care. JWogsland@ComForCare.com; www.HiltonHead.ComForCare.com