When an older adult needs to transition from their home to a senior living community, finding the right fit can seem overwhelming. You might not know where to begin in your search for assisted living options that align with your loved one’s care needs, location preferences, budget, and lifestyle choices. Moreover, identifying a place that provides excellent care can be a time-consuming process. Thankfully, there are specialists available to help, and the best part is, their services come at no cost to you.
These specialists are commonly referred to as senior living advisors, senior housing experts, placement specialists, or referral agents. In this post, we’ll explore what senior living advisors do, how they are compensated, how they can expedite finding a suitable care community, how to locate a local senior living advisor, and how to ensure their recommendations remain unbiased.
What Senior Living Advisors Do for Seniors and Families
Think of senior living advisors as real estate agents, but with a focus on helping older adults find the perfect place to call home. These experts possess an in-depth knowledge of the local area, different types of senior housing options, and insights into what each location is truly like.
When working with you or your older adult, they consider a range of factors, such as:
- Payment options (e.g., private pay, long-term care insurance, VA Aid & Attendance)
- Care needs
- Location (proximity to family)
- Personality and lifestyle preferences
Senior living advisors then narrow down the list to care communities that are likely to be an excellent fit for your loved one. They’ll arrange visits to the top choices and can also assess whether the senior living community has any reported violations with the State Board, providing insights into quality and safety.
How Senior Living Advisors Are Compensated
Much like real estate agents, you won’t be responsible for paying a senior housing expert directly. Instead, they receive their compensation from the senior living community where your older adult ultimately decides to move.
Finding Fast Solutions in Urgent Situations
The value of a senior living advisor becomes especially evident when you’re facing a time-sensitive situation and need immediate housing for your older adult. For instance, your loved one might be discharged from a hospital or skilled nursing facility but cannot safely return home. In such cases, finding a suitable assisted living community on short notice is crucial.
Another scenario is when your loved one’s care needs escalate to require 24/7 assistance, making in-home care financially unfeasible. Transitioning to an assisted living community with the appropriate level of care becomes the best solution. In both these situations, a senior living advisor can leverage their local knowledge, industry connections, and expertise to expedite the process.
How to Find a Senior Living Advisor
To find a senior living advisor in your area, consider the following steps:
- Contact your county’s Area Agency on Aging to inquire about recommendations.
- Reach out to a reputable senior living community in the vicinity and ask for referrals to senior living advisors they routinely work with.
- Seek recommendations from other senior care services providers, such as geriatric care managers, elder law attorneys, or home care agency managers, who may have experience working with reliable senior living advisors.
Understanding Your Senior Living Advisor’s Potential Biases
Before committing to work with a specific senior living advisor, it’s crucial to address any potential biases. Ask if they exclusively recommend certain care communities with which they have ongoing partnerships. Ensure that they are willing to explore and recommend any care community that meets your older adult’s needs, rather than solely focusing on those offering the highest commissions.
Source: Daily Caring Blog
We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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