A senior living advisor helps seniors find a place that suits their needs
When your older adult needs to move out of their home, finding available senior housing options can feel overwhelming.
You might not know where to start to find a place that fits your older adult’s care needs, location, budget, and lifestyle preferences.
And finding a great place that will take excellent care of your older adult can be a time-consuming process.
Fortunately, there are specialists who can help – at no cost to you.
These specialists are typically called a senior living advisor, senior housing expert, placement specialist, or referral agent.
A senior living advisor can help narrow the list of potential senior living communities by identifying the ones that are the best fit and have a reputation for high quality care.
We explain what senior living advisors do, how they get paid, how they can help when you need to quickly find a suitable care community, how to find a local senior living advisor, and how to make sure their recommendations aren’t biased.
What senior living advisors do for seniors and families
Senior living advisors are similar to real estate agents, but they specialize in helping seniors find the right place to live.
These specialists know the local area, the different types of senior housing options, and the inside scoop on what each place is really like.
Each advisor takes many factors into account for each individual situation:
- Payment options – private pay, long-term care insurance, VA Aid & Attendance, etc.
- Care needs
- Location – distance from family
The senior living advisor helps narrow the options to care communities that will likely be a good fit for your older adult.
Then they’ll take you and/or your older adult to visit the top choices.
These specialists also know how to find out if the senior living community has violations that were reported to the State Board and can share advice on quality and safety.
How do senior living advisors get paid?
Much like real estate agents, you don’t pay a senior housing expert out of your pocket.
They get paid a commission by the senior living community that your older adult moves into.
Get fast help in crunch-time situations
You might especially appreciate a senior living advisor when you’re in a crunch and need to find housing for your older adult immediately.
For example, your older adult could be getting discharged from a hospital or skilled nursing facility, but can’t safely return to their home. In this case, they may need to find a suitable assisted living community on short notice.
Or they could start needing 24/7 care, but hiring around-the-clock in-home help would be financially impossible. The best solution would be to move to an assisted living community with the appropriate level of care.
In situations like these, it helps to work with a specialist who’s already familiar with all the local options, knows how to navigate the system, has connections in the senior care industry, and can help make things happen fast.
How to find a senior living advisor
To find a senior living advisor in your area, you may want to start by calling your county’s Area Agency on Aging to see if they have any recommendations.
Another idea is to call a reputable senior living community in the area and ask them to recommend a few senior living advisors that they regularly work with.
You could also ask another senior care services provider for a referral. For example, a geriatric care manager, elder law attorney, or home care agency manager may have worked with senior living advisors that they’d recommend.
Know your senior living advisor’s biases
Before committing to working with a specific senior living advisor, it’s important to ask if they only recommend certain care communities – for example, ones they work with regularly.
Find out if they’re willing to search for and recommend any good care community that would meet your older adult’s needs – not just those with the highest commissions.
Recommended for you:
- 7 Senior Housing Options: Which One Works Best?
- How to Pay for Assisted Living: 6 Options
- Handy Checklist and Tips on How to Find a Good Assisted Living Facility
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Fredonia Place
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