Finding the right senior housing community can become overwhelming with all the choices. You can use the internet, but the information can make your head spin. Understanding the terminology, which place is suitable for the person, and the affordability are a lot of factors to consider. Fortunately, there are senior placement services to help older adults figure out which community is right for them.
What senior placement services are available?
There are two types of senior placement services. One is a referral agency, which is a local or national company that provides generic lists of options in your local area. Another option is a placement agent, which provides a more personalized approach to meet the person’s necessities.
How good is a senior referral agency?
Referral agencies can be great since it’s easy for people to get a local list of senior housing communities. People go to the referral agency’s website, type in their location, and a list of communities appears. The problem is that only contracted communities will appear. The occupancy rate at a senior community may determine who is willing to sign a contract. Plus, their websites suggest they provide an unbiased and much higher quality of service, which may not happen.
Are there any problems using a referral agency?
Referral agencies’ websites can be misleading. They claim they are free but are paid and need to be more transparent about their compensation. Plus, they only recommend contracted facilities and exclude communities that might fit the older adults better. In addition, the advisors know little about the communities they recommend. Advisors may not know the communities’ licensing compliances, the place’s cleanliness, and the staff’s competence and friendliness. Furthermore, the agents have little or no experience in understanding and fulfilling the person’s needs. Then there is the complaint that agents are more focused on generating revenue and filling beds or rooms than providing the best advice for what would service the future resident’s needs.
What services does a senior placement agent provide?
Older adult placement agents provide a more personalized approach to meet the person’s conditions. An agent meets the prospective resident and their families and determines the level of care a person requires and their financial situation. Placement agents know the senior housing communities. They see the cleanliness, know their reputation and costs, and recommend communities that fit the person’s needs. Placement agents can narrow the housing options and accompany future residents on the tours. Tailoring the experience can provide a more catered approach.
Is there anything families should consider when dealing with a referral or placement agency?
Most people do not read the fine print and understand that they enter into a contract when they provide their contact information to a referral agency. That means that if families start with a referral agency and then switch to a placement agency, the referral fee could go directly to the referral agency even though the placement agent was the one who closed the deal. Providers and families do not want to be caught in the fee dispute. Therefore, please ensure to end your contract with the party you are no longer working with so payment is made to the appropriate person for their work.
STAGES is here to educate people about the professionals available to help look for a senior housing community.