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Senior Placement Services

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Senior Placement Services & Referral AgenciesMoving to a new home is never easy, especially when you have to select from a wide assortment of senior living centers. While searching for a senior care home can be done independently, there are times when eliciting the help of a placement agency can be beneficial.

Understanding and then accepting that it may be time for an elderly family member to move into a senior living community is never easy. It is common for families or even seniors themselves to avoid talking about moving into a care home due to the emotional strain it can cause. Another reason many seniors and their families delay the conversation is that the actual search for a senior care community can be overwhelming. This is one of the advantages of working with a senior placement service. Senior placement agencies and placement services will pair the family with a senior living advisor. The advisor will simplify the process and guide the seniors and their families throughout the entire process.

When Should I Use A Senior Placement Service?

It is not mandatory to use a senior placement service or agency to gain admission to a quality retirement community, but there are times when it may be the best option. Families that are on a strict time schedule can benefit greatly from the help of a senior care placement agency. This can include situations where the senior is leaving the hospital or other skilled nursing center but is no longer able to remain safely at home. Another example is when a senior needs more intensive skilled nursing care, but their finances prevent them from hiring an at-home nurse for their needs. Time-sensitive situations are easily managed when working with a senior placement agency because they have a diverse knowledgebase about which facilities are available locally, how to gain admission, and how to speed up the enrollment process.

There are other times where using a senior placement service can be beneficial, even if there is no urgency involved. Seniors who don’t have family members or other support can get the help they need through a senior placement service. Seniors who are suffering from depression, dementia, or Alzheimer’s are also able to benefit from the support of a placement agency. Those who are at risk following a health scare or accident can also leave the stress of finding a home up to a senior placement agency while they recuperate. Seniors who have very specific needs, such as seniors who are smokers or those who look for assisted living that allow pets may have a hard time finding proper facilities without the help of a senior placement service.

How Does A Senior Placement Agency Work?

When you or a loved one are looking for senior housing options, your search starts with a list of homes, locations, costs, and services. Most often hours, if not days will be spent on the phone speaking with various locations about what they have to offer. After that, time will be spent trying to match a facility to your needs. Of course, this is all done before you even start visiting locations or thinking about admission. The groundwork for selecting a senior or assisted living community can be extremely tedious and tiring, even for the most energetic person.

Senior care placement services take care of all these details on your behalf, which reduces your search time overall. The agency will work directly with the senior or their family members to identify their care needs and to create a list of appropriate facilities. To start the process, a senior living advisor will first sit down and create a profile that will help them to match the senior with the perfect residence. Some information they will collect is:

All of this information will paint a clear picture of what type of senior care facility will be best suited to the individual. The advisor will then sort through the agency's list of locations that match the senior's needs.

What Does a Senior Living Advisor Do?

A senior living care professional, or more commonly called a senior living advisor plays an important role in locating senior housing when using the help of senior placement services. Typically, a senior living advisor is employed by a senior placement agency (although there are also advisors who work independently) and will be your connection to care facilities. There are so many options available when it comes to housing for seniors, and an advisor will help to narrow the choices tremendously. He or she will help the family locate a suitable facility based on the care needs of the senior, their method of payment, budget, and overall preferences. When you work with a senior living care professional, you are tapping into their network of known connections and senior communities they have creates a strong relationship with.

Most senior living care professionals do not charge for their placement services because they receive a commission from the facilities they recommend. When employed by a senior living referral agency or placement service, this commission is typically split between the agency and the advisor. Long term care is already costly, so it is a great help to seniors that working with a senior living care professional is most often free. Advisors also intimately know the rules, amenities, and admission requirements of the communities they suggest. This makes it easier to find a senior care home that fits the needs of the senior much quicker.

How Do I Locate Senior Placement Agencies Near Me?

Finding an agency is as easy as completing a simple internet search. If you don’t feel comfortable searching online, you can ask for recommendations from any doctor or nurse that you trust. There are often social workers that are attached to rehab centers and hospitals that are able to give seniors a list of reliable placement services as well. One of the most well-known and trusted nationwide senior placement services is called “A Place For Mom” and it can be reached at (877) 666-3231.

How To Choose A Good Senior Placement Agency

Just as there are many senior living facilities, so are there numerous local senior placement agencies. Before entrusting your future to an agency, it is important to research their track record. Make sure the placement agency you select is reputable and holds a good track record for senior placements. Check reviews, both online and through word of mouth. A simple internet search often will bring back a wealth of information, both positive and negative if you know what to look for. There are also other aspects to consider when choosing a senior placement service.

Being a local offers a lot of advantages. If you don’t plan to stay in your immediate area, it is a good idea to select a senior placement service that is local to the general location in which you want to reside. A senior care coordinator who is familiar with the area will be able to better provide advice to you on locations that fit your preferences.

Language is the way we communicate and get out thoughts and desires across to those around us. Make sure that the senior placement agency you use speaks your language. There are plenty of services that have senior care advisors from various ethnic backgrounds that will speak your language as well as understand your cultural and religious needs.

Time management is important when choosing a senior living community, even if there is no urgency. Some seniors may be in a situation that requires them to secure a space urgently while others may be facing health issues that require a quicker solution. Make sure the placement agency you choose has an advisor who is able to dedicate ample time to your case.

Paying for long term care is always a concern for seniors. An agency that is knowledgeable about insurance company rules, Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, and other payment options is critical. Agencies can help seniors, and their families choose a location they can afford while also helping them find ways to make their stay more affordable. 

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Senior Placement Agency?

Senior placement agencies, just like independent senior advisors, often don’t charge clients for their placement services. This is mainly due to commissions and enrollment contracts offered by local senior care homes. Agencies get paid for each senior that enrolls in their location that has been referred to or placed by the service. Each care home will offer agencies a different rate that often depends on the type of resident that is referred to their location. While this is not always a bad thing, it is important to keep this in mind when choosing a senior living referral agency.

To ensure that you are being offered facilities that are in your best interest, not only those that offer the highest payout, ask about referral policies. When looking at the list of senior care locations they offer, ask the agency which ones they hold referral contracts with. If you notice that an agency only suggests locations that offer a commission, it may be a good idea to find a new senior placement service.

Finalizing a Facility Through a Senior Living Referral Agency

The agency will speak with each of the senior care homes that make the top three list of matched locations. They will ensure there is space in the facility and then set up an appointment for an in-person visit. Most families will visit at least four locations before they make their final decision. There is no limit to the number of facilities you can tour. However, working with a placement agency helps to narrow down the list of those that would be a good fit for your loved one in order to save time.

Once you or your family have had a chance to visit several locations and decide your top three choices, the placement agency will start working on your payment eligibility details. Many seniors believe that just choosing a senior community is all there is to securing admission, but there is much more involved. A senior advisor will work with you or your family to understand what care services are covered by your insurance, SSI, OSS, Medicaid, or any other payment arrangement you plan to use. Understanding what is covered and what you may have to pay out of your pocket will help you choose a location that best fits your budget.

Working out the payment details is probably one of the most time-consuming parts of moving to a senior care community. Senior placement agencies are fully invested in finding affordable senior housing that fits your best interest. The senior placement service will also work with you to coordinate and organize your move to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Even after a senior has moved into their selected facility, most senior care advisors will still stay in touch with the family to make sure everything is going according to plan.

Questions to Ask a Senior Placement Service

When you are considering a placement agency for your senior living arrangements, there are a few important questions you should ask the senior placement service:

  • How long have you been placing seniors with quality care facilities?
  • What methods do you use to match seniors with their facilities?
  • How many seniors are you working with currently?
  • Who determines the level of care needed?
  • How long does placement usually take?
  • Are visits and appointments arranged on our behalf?
  • Do you get a commission per admitted senior?
  • Are there fees for your service?
  • Do you offer a pricing list for senior care homes you suggest?
  • How many locations should we visit before selection?
  • Do your consultants help with admissions?
  • Are there resources you can suggest to pay for senior care?
  • Is a contract required to use your agency?
  • What other support do you offer for seniors?

Final Thoughts on Needing Senior Placement Services

Sometimes, it is easier to work with professionals who are able to navigate the field of senior care with expert precision. Senior placement services and senior living agencies have an appreciation for seniors while also understanding their unique needs. Seniors face a unique set of challenges that can make choosing the best long-term care facility difficult.

Working with a senior care placement agency gives the families the tools they need to make sound decisions for the future. A quality agency will be familiar with the senior living locations in their metro area as well as the best way to pay for care. Always ask questions before deciding which agency to use and make sure to visit locations in person. Ask about commission rates, biases, and any fees that may be incurred for using their service. Above all, keep in mind that senior placement services are there to help you in your time of need.

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