"Vulnerable adults." That's what the law in the State of Washington calls people who need help to navigate life. Your aging parent may be among that group, due to physical, cognitive or emotional frailty. Or maybe all three.
You, too, may FEEL like a vulnerable adult at times, simply because of the complexity of eldercare issues that you must wade through. Although age is on your side (you're not pushing 80), you can still be confused by the financial, legal, and social ramifications of decisions you make on behalf of your parent.
Not long ago I spoke with a business owner. He and his wife own a clothing store in the heart of our city. He is respected by leaders in the business and professional fields. Yet when it came to finding housing and care for his dad and mother, he felt like he was in kindergarten.
Fortunately he got some help through a professional with three letters behind her name: CSA. Those letters stand for SocietyCertified Senior Advisors, a national society of professionals who work with seniors. Realtors, Home Care Providers, Senior Care Advisors and Financial Planners are just a few of the types of professionals holding this designation.
What makes the CSA special? Those seeking the CSA attend classes which provide a strong foundation on the many issues facing seniors: psychological, medical, financial, legal, religious and more. They pass an exam, which also includes an ethics section. And afterwards, they commit to doing continuing education which usually includes learning about issues outside their field of speciality.
The Certificated Senior Advisor program produces accountability. If members violate ethics standards, they can be sidelined or ejected from the group.
Trust is huge in working with adult children and their parents. When I refer families to a home care agency, a professional organizer, a moving company or other professional, I look for the CSA. When I refer to other CSA's (yes, I'm one of them), I can be pretty sure those folks will meet the needs of the families I work with l as their "vulnerable adults." Trust builds trust.