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Can Silver Nation Verify Backgrounds of Business That Target Seniors?

I want to believe. It's a great idea to prevent businesses with sketchy or even criminal backgrounds from defrauding or harming seniors. Silver Nation, a Bethesda-based startup, is going to offer a patented software-based background check service, paid for by individual participating businesses.It will be packaged in different names by sponsoring state organizations -- for example, in South Carolina as Senior Shield and Washington, DC as SeniorChecked. Broader marketing of the online service begins next month, according to Beth Dresing, VP of Marketing and Mark Hansan, President -- and the founder pedigrees are certainly impressive.

But think about it -- businesses must voluntarily sign up (for a fee of $175) to be background-checked. And we're talking deep background check: legitimate, licenses, lawsuits, complaints, crime-free.  Wouldn't it be great if all of the senior living facilities did that? What's $175 to a big ALF? The difference (for those wondering) between the Better Business Bureau or other consumer complaint groups is the sheer proactiveness of the concept. Don't wait for a complaint -- become 'SeniorChecked' as a marketing initiative.

But the folks that come in and fix the air conditioning or heat, repair plumbing, put in new floors, hang the hurricane shutters, or hang window blinds? The only pressure that could make that happen is consumer pressure. And the only thing that makes it work is adoption -- maybe word of mouth plus advertising plus advocacy. AARP could make it happen. Hope so.




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