21 Aug 2014
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Seniors Helping Seniors Earns Critical Senior Care Provider Certifications

Seniors Helping Seniors San Diego and Orange County (SHS) recently was awarded certification as a Home Care Aide Organization by the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH). CAHSAH is the leading statewide home care association that has promoted quality home care services in California since 1966. Additionally, co-owners Sue Erskine and Tricia Izadi earned Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® designations, the leading certification for professionals serving the senior community.

“We believe it is important for our clients and their families to take comfort in knowing that Seniors Helping Seniors has met the rigorous requirements for certification as a Home Care Aide Organization,” said Erskine. 

Izadi explains, "We take our responsibilities to our senior clients very seriously and believe the specialized training we received as part of our CSA certification positions SHS to better serve the unique needs of the growing senior population." 

The CSA designation is earned after completing a comprehensive course through the Society of Certified Senior Advisors® (SCSA). The CSA designation means that seniors and their families now have a knowledgeable resource they can rely on to meet their senior home care needs. 

CAHSAH established its Home Care Aide Organization Certification Program (HCAOC) because agencies providing non-medical home care aide services are not required to be licensed by the State of California. By being awarded the HCAOC, SHS has differentiated itself from many other home care aide companies and reduced the risk for its clients who are receiving care. 

Erskine explained that most people do not want to take on the risk and responsibilities that come with hiring a private caregiver. When a senior or their family hires a caregiver directly, they become the caregiver's employer and are responsible for paying employment taxes under California's new domestic worker law. More importantly, CAHSAH certified agencies ensure rigorous pre-employment screening of caregivers protecting vulnerable senior clients who are often alone with the caregiver in a private home setting. 

“Many people have no idea what they might be responsible for when hiring a caregiver for themselves or a loved one,” Erskine said. “Caregiving organizations that are awarded the CAHSAH certification eliminate many of the risks that otherwise are passed on to the client receiving care.” 

CAHSAH sets high standards to ensure that the companies it certifies complies with its Code of Ethics,” Erskine continued. “At Seniors Helping Seniors, we understand the value of being awarded certification and know it will help us provide the best possible service to our care receiving clients.” 

Key components of the certification include: having general and professional liability insurance; providing worker’s compensation insurance; caregivers are hired as employees and undergo extensive pre-employment background checks; posting a crime/employee dishonesty bond ($10,000); pre-employment tuberculosis screening; and providing a written client agreement which includes client's rights and how fees are specified. 

There is an explosive growth in the senior population. People are living longer, which means the need for skilled professionals able to serve the senior population is also growing. This demographic shift requires an educated response in how professionals work with seniors and a greater ability to address the challenges and opportunities seniors face. 

Society of Certified Senior Advisors educates and certifies professionals to work more effectively with their senior clients. As the leading provider of certification for professionals serving seniors, SCSA’s Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) credential requires CSAs to uphold the highest ethical standards for the benefit and protection of the health and welfare of seniors.  Accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, the CSA credential is the gold standard for professionals in all areas who work with the senior population. Through a comprehensive educational program, SCSA helps professionals understand the key health, social and financial issues that are important to the majority of seniors. CSAs are required to participate in continuing education to ensure they are well educated on the changes and updates that affect the home care field. 

SHS is unique in that both the clients and the caregivers are seniors. Izadi explains that the certification helps them better address the needs of not only the clients they serve but also their senior employees.

"Our senior caregivers are our best asset and the key to our success in serving senior clients." SHS clients find working with other seniors to be more comfortable because they understand and appreciate the challenges of remaining independent. 

“Our care providers know from their own experiences how best to assist seniors to manage a variety of non-medical tasks. Additionally, our services often are more cost-effective as they are designed to address each client’s individual needs versus charging for a standard minimum amount of time, Izadi said”

The services that SHS provides include companion care, light housekeeping, personal care, transportation, over-night supervision, house maintenance and small repairs and yard work. In most cases the care is provided in the senior’s own home; however, the client may reside with a relative or live in an assisted living community or other group living setting and services can be provide there. 

For additional information about Seniors Helping Seniors San Diego and Orange County, its care options and the locations it serves, contact Sue Erskine 800.481.2488/sue@homecarebyseniors.com or go to www.homecarebyseniors.com.

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