Regina’s Reflections

By Regina McNamara

Regina's Reflections

The Value of Trustworthiness?

OK, I know what you are all thinking…. ”This is a before picture of her “ and a terrible one at that. The reality is that I was in the throes of serious viral bronchitis. Unable to work, eat, or sleep, I sat on the bed feeling very ill and quite sorry for myself. Slowly, our dog Darcey moved toward me. She sat, gave kisses, waited for hugs. A well-trained dog, she responds to commands. But there were no commands, just a dog who loved her owner and trusted herself to know exactly what she needed. Thanks, Darcey.

Trust. We all need it, seek it, depend upon it.

However, for a significant segment of the population, trust is not an option, it is critical.

Seniors and the families who love then are entering an important stage of their lives. No longer able to be totally independent, they need assistance. For most of them this is the first time they have allowed a stranger into their homes. They are afraid. And they are justified.

A friend and colleague of mine holds a significant position in a large regional bank based in CT. Her position as Regional Director of Fraud and Abuse, has never been more challenging. Her frustration? Fraud against seniors accounts for 40 % of the losses suffered by the bank. And little of it is recoverable by the family or the bank. A typical scenario, often on camera : a caregiver shows a senior how to write out a check for herself or the or the caregiver, then has the senior cash it, for the caregiver.

Just as I was beginning to think I had heard all the stories of elder abuse, this one stopped me in my tracks. According to my colleague, Some to these thieves were privately hired caregivers with no control. But a majority were hired through an agency. Some with background checks, some not all. Most had little supervision while in the senior’s home. Few were hired with references. Few drug screens had been done. Trustworthiness in a senior company is not an option. It is an essential . Seniors can be too trusting too vulnerable to have their care delivered by anyone who is not upstanding responsible and thorough. ASK TO SEE: background checks both criminal and drug screens, references from former clients of hers/his, make sure billing is professional and reports are sent. Regular unannounced visits to the home to check client and caregiver are essential . Any outside trips by caregiver with seniors need to be reported in daily notes.

None of these expectations are excessive when senior safety and financial health are concerned. ASK …And hire only trustworthy companies.

Like ours. We understand the importance of trust and strive to provide that to our special clients. ■