Electronic Communication Policy (ECP)

The use of various types of electronic communications is increasingly common and many individuals prefer electronic methods of communication over other forms of communication, both in their personal and professional lives. However, many of these common modes of communication put your privacy at risk and the law and standards of many helping professions require the protection of your privacy. The Lifestyle 55+ Network, Inc./ SeniorCareAccess electronic communications policy (ECP) has been prepared to assure security and confidentiality of our work with you, and to assure that it is consistent with professional ethics and the law.


This document is intended to clarify our use of electronic communication during our work with you. Reviewing this policy will help you understand how our consultants conduct themselves online as professionals. It will also help you understand how you can expect them to respond to various interactions that may occur online. Providing you with this information helps you understand the benefits and limitations of electronic communication and helps ensure that you can give informed consent to such communication.
As new technology develops there may be a need to update this policy. Clients interested in reviewing the policy and any updates are invited to access the latest policy at https://www.seniorcareaccess.com/consulting.  Clients who prefer a paper copy should submit their request via posted mail with return address.  A paper copy will be mailed to you.   

Non-Secure Electronic Communication Overview
Email, text and other forms of electronic messages provide convenient methods of communication. Please be advised that these methods, in their typical form, are not confidential means of communication. Therefore, we will only use email communication and text messaging with your permission. If you use these methods to communicate with your consultant or with our company, there is always a chance that a third party may be able to gain access to those messages. The types of parties that may intercept these messages include, but are not limited to:

If there are people in your life that you do not want to access these communications, please talk with your consultant about ways to keep your communications safe and confidential.
Let your consultant know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this.

Email
Email is not a confidential form of communication.

  1. No form of encryption is used by us for outgoing emails.
  2. The list of our consultants can be found on our website. Only those consultants listed as part of our team is entitled to read and respond to emails from clients. Each consultant has their own business email address and communication intended for your consultant should be sent to their SeniorCareAccess.com email address; if you do not know your consultant’s email address send the email to connect@seniorcareaccess.com. When using the connect email address, please put the consultant’s name and confidential in the subject line. This email will then be forwarded unread to your Consultant.
  3. When you receive a message from a consultant at SeniorCareAccess the personalized signature line clearly indicates the sender.
  4. Email messages become part of your record with us and may be shared along with your file should the documents be subpoenaed by the courts, RCMP or other governing agencies. 
  5. You may revoke your consent for email communication at any time. You may discuss any questions or concerns with your consultant.
Additional Steps to Keep Email Secure and Private:
If you use a secure email service that offers end-to-end encryption, your messages are difficult to get. There are still more precautions you can take:

  1. Beware of keylogging software that captures what you type right from your keyboard – before the secure email encryption can protect it.
  2. Safeguard your mobile devices and make sure they are protected with strong passwords and have no guest accounts or similarly unprotected access allowed.
  3. Be vigilant of social engineering. Phishing attempts can be very cleverly designed to trick you into handing out personal details, information or even passwords.
  4. Do not write down or share any passwords. Never make a note of the password that lets you decrypt secure emails you receive. Guard passwords to other email accounts or social networking accounts.

Text Messaging
With your agreement, your consultant may text you to remind you of appointments or check in with you about issues or concerns. While this is an easy and convenient way to send communication, it is also not secure, and you may want to consider the risks to your confidentiality surrounding this mode of communication with you. Below is a list of potential risks associated with the use of text messaging:

  1. Communication issues can arise when communicating in text due to the lack of access to visual or voice cues, as well as the possibility of limited space, and the chance of misunderstanding when using “shorthand” words or characters to represent meaning.
  2. A lost or misplaced cell phone, or a phone simply left in an insecure location, can inadvertently communicate to others that you are receiving services from us.
  3. All text messages become part of your records with us and as such may be subject to being shared along with your record should the documents be subpoenaed by the courts, RCMP or other governing agencies. 
  4. You may revoke your consent for text message communication at any time. You are also welcome to discuss any questions or concerns with your consultant.

Third-Party Access to Communications
When you use electronic communications methods, such as email, texting, online video, etc., there are various technicians and administrators who maintain these services, and who could conceivably have access to the content of those communications.
If you use your work email to communicate electronically, your employer may have access to those communications. There may be similar issues involved with other email accounts associated with organizations that you are affiliated with.
Furthermore, people with access to your computer, mobile phone, or other devices may gain access to your email or text messages. It is important to contemplate the risks involved if any of these persons were to access the messages exchanged with your consultant.

Video Remote Meetings
The use of video software, such as Zoom, is often used for client meetings. Sometimes, those meetings are recorded for our training purposes or for our own records in the event that we have to go back to something that was said in a meeting that we didn’t note down. When meetings are recorded we inform the clients of this and what the purpose is. If you do not want a meeting recorded, please let us know that before we begin speaking with you.

Data and Cloud Storage
The use of cloud based services to share information with our consultants, especially when a case is being shared, is an efficient and effective way for us to communicate. While every effort is made to ensure that the sources we use are secure, there is always a risk that there can be a breach and client information will be visible to others. If a breach occurs we will contact all clients as soon as it becomes apparent. No client information is stored on our website. Individual consultants may keep client records, notes or information on their personal computers but will make every effort to ensure that it is secure.

Social Media
The use of social media and electronic communication is a convenient and often preferred way of communicating. However, privacy and confidentiality are not guaranteed in these forms of communication. Consultants with SeniorCareAccess do not communicate with, or contact clients through social media or networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, WeChat, etc. Additionally, if they discover that they have accidentally established an online relationship with you, they will cancel that relationship. This is due to the significant security risk these types of casual social contacts can create for you.
Our consultants may participate on various social networks for personal and marketing purposes, but not in their professional capacity as your consultant. If you have an online presence, there is a possibility that you may encounter them by accident. If that occurs, please discuss it with your consultant. We have researched this issue and concluded that social media communications with clients have a high potential to compromise the professional relationship. Please do not attempt to contact consultants in this way.
SeniorCareAccess at times posts articles related to our services on our website, on the SeniorCareAccess Facebook page and may make other posts on Twitter, Instagram and Linked-In.  We have no expectation that you as a client will follow these posts. Our primary concern is your privacy. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow SeniorCareAccess’ posts. 
If you have any questions about anything in this policy, please bring them up with your consultant. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when SeniorCareAccess/Lifestyle 55+ Network, Inc.  may need to update this policy. The website policy will be updated to reflect any changes.
 
Interacting
Please do not use messaging on social media or networking sites to contact your consultant.  These sites are not secure, and the messages may not be read in a timely fashion. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with your consultant in public online if you have an established relationship. Engaging with your consultant in these ways can compromise your privacy and may also create the possibility that the exchanges will need to be documented and archived in your client records, becoming a part of your legal record. 

Business Review Sites
You may find SeniorCareAccess on sites such as Yelp, Google, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other places which list businesses. Some of these sites include forums in which users rate their providers and add reviews. Many of these sites comb search engines for business listings and automatically add listings regardless of whether the business has added itself to the site.
You have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. Please note that by posting publicly about your consulting experience, you may inadvertently expose your private information. We urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as we take the commitment of confidentiality. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with your consultant about your feelings about our work, there is a good possibility that they may never see it.
Protecting your confidentiality means that our consultants cannot tell people that you are a client. But you are welcome to tell anyone you wish who your consultant is or how you feel about services to you, in any forum of your choosing. But please do not rate or review your consultant’s work with you on any of the above-mentioned websites while you are still working with them. Doing so has a significant potential to damage your ability to work together and may jeopardize your own privacy.