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18 Fearless Years
Caregiver.com 
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Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief

Board of Directors:
The Stuff We Need

When my loved ones took ill so many years ago, finding the right partners to help with their care was quite a dizzying experience. Navigating the brightly lit local stores with the endless maze of display cases filled with products the doctors advised us would be needed was not a pleasant experience. This maze included everything from a wide variety of incontinence products to diabetic, wound care, orthopedic and rehabilitation supplies. Just who at these stores would guide us through the maze? And how would we know that we were getting the best prices for the best products?

With the advent of online shopping and education, the times have certainly changed; but along with these increased options can come increased risk. Decisions have to be made quickly and partners have to be chosen with all due haste. What we most need to decipher as the CEO of Caring for my Loved One, Inc. is who to trust. And how do we share this trust with our Board of Director family members so they know we are finding the best products, at the best prices, and with the best advice? With some of our other healthcare partners, the answer can be a tad easier. Does the doctor have the right experience as well as (hopefully) a good bedside manner? How is the home care agency rated? Do they have references you can check out? How about the hospital? How well are they rated for the procedure that will be needed?

With the myriad of products we need as caregivers, finding the right partner is not always as simple: A few tips for discovering your best online partners:

  • Is it easy to learn who is in charge of the site?
  • Are they accessible by phone or is it a Web-only wall that you cannot seem to climb over in order to find any human support?
  • Will they be there when you have questions?
  • Do they have credible staff to answer your questions?
  • Have they created an easy system to navigate?
  • Will they become a trusted resource for information and training?
  • Do they stand by their products?

At a recent Fearless Caregiver Conference, a caregiver was relating her story of purchasing a mobility product online. As soon as she received the product, it fell apart, and the only response she received from the store was, “Oh, well.” In fact, the online site she used could not answer a single one of the above questions in the affirmative. Thankfully, members on the expert Q and A panel, including an attorney, a VA caregiver coordinator, and a doctor, were able to advise her about what to do. Most of us don’t have such a panel at our disposal; but if we did, I think they would want you to get these questions answered before spending a dime.

Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) now becomes Caregiver Praeparari (Caregiver Be Prepared)

 

 
  Gary Barg
Editor-in-Chief
Today's Caregiver magazine
gary@caregiver.com

Monday December 2, 2013  

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