About Square One:
I started Square One to help people avoid the disruption unexpected caregiving responsibilities caused in my life, and to promote workplace productivity by educating employers and workers about caregiving, aging and health care.
Most of us know little or nothing about health care or elder care until we face a crisis. Suddenly we become patients or caregivers, without being taught how to find help or provide good care. This problem is growing rapidly as the population ages.
In 1995, I got an unexpected call that my father – who lived on the other side of the country – was very sick. When I got to his side, I dropped into a world where people talked in medical and Medicare terms that were completely foreign to me. I spent many frantic days working my way through offices, agencies and facilities to arrange his care so I could get back to work. I learned a lot, but the process was slow, frustrating and expensive.
Twenty years later, I was able to move closer to my mother toward the end of her life. I knew more about aging and the health care system, but found little change in the barriers to getting her good care.
I decided to become a health advocate to help others manage the problems of aging and caregiving, starting with the Patient Advocacy certificate program at University of California, Los Angeles Extension. I completed this program in October 2016.
My practical experience in health advocacy includes 5 years of service as an Ombudsman with the Long Term Care Ombudsman in San Luis Obispo County. In addition, I am a member of the Leadership Council for the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, the national advocacy group for long-term care consumers. I have completed Certified Aging in Place Specialist classes through the National Association of Home Builders, and am a community educator with Campaign Zero for Patient Safety, which teaches people how to avoid common complications in hospitals.
I am a member of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates and subscribe to its Code of Ethics, which you can find at https://healthadvocatecode.org.
Square One does not provide financial, medical or legal services. We are here to improve lives and productivity.
Learn more about Square One
Hear from Linda Beck about steps to prepare for aging, health care, and caregiving and the resources available to get safer health care for your aging relative.