Making Sure Services Work For You
Now that you have succeeded in getting a particular service started
for your older relative or friend, your worries may not be over. From
time to time, there may be problems with the delivery of the service.
For example, home health aides may not show up or may not complete
the tasks required, or the respite care worker may show up late on an
afternoon when you had planned a social outing. Likewise, senior transportation
services may be late picking up your relative for a doctor's
appointment. In any case, both you and your relative will need to be
good consumers and share feedback to service providers about problems
Exchange telephone numbers with a contact person for every service
you are receiving. Find out, in advance, how you should handle
voicing a complaint and to whom you should address it. Restate what
you can expect from the service, how the service will be delivered,
and when. If you have a problem, follow the agency's complaint process.
Start with the person you interact with most and then go to that
person's supervisor and continue all the way up the chain of command
until your concern is addressed to your satisfaction.
Talk with your older relative or friend and make sure that he or she
understands the services being provided. When a new service starts, you
may want to be there the first few times so you can meet the service
provider and begin establishing a relationship. Remember-a thank
you note for good service will go a long way with service providers.
If you really want to make an impression, send a thank you note to
the provider's supervisor commending him or her for the great job.
Again, always remember: gratitude will help you gain cooperation
and support like nothing else!