How Senior Living Advisors Help Find Assisted Living

Senior living advisors help find senior housing options that fit your older adult’s care needs, location, budget, and lifestyle preferences

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 assisted living 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.


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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:

  • Budget
  • Payment options – private pay, long-term care insurance, VA Aid & Attendance, etc.
  • Care needs
  • Location – distance from family
  • Personality
  • Lifestyle

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.


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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 the ones that pay them the highest commissions.


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team


This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.

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  • Reply October 18, 2023

    Bentley Carla

    weel in my case, the residential care hime that I chose charged a $3000.00 facility fee to move in.
    when I moved my mother out, I asked them if the advisor I used had been paid that for the referral. The representative hesitated but then admitted he did receive it; and had threatened to sue them if they didn’t pay him.
    I knew he was weird and regret not just doing the work myself to find her a temporary residence while we readied our home for her to live with us.

    • Reply October 18, 2023


      Unfortunately, there are many fees involved when moving into an assisted living care community. Typically, commissions that a senior living advisor or senior living placement company generate from referrals are agreed to ahead of time in a long-term contract and aren’t associated with specific care community fees.

  • Reply April 18, 2022

    Debra Brown

    I have a situation where my mom 83 years old diagnosed with alzheimers approximately 4 years ago. She’s in great shape otherwise. she has developed a shuffle. and has a harder time getting out of the car.

    I am 66 and in good health so I am her caregiver. I do laundry, cooking, take mom to appointments, etc. she loves working in the garden yet.

    We have a huge house . 2 story. lots of yard. a swimming pool , and a mother in law apartment which I use to live in till it became necessary to move into the main house.

    The family and I would like mom and I two get a two bedroom apartment preferrably in a senior living place, and get the house ready to sell without the stress of mom being around, and her being stressed watching us get the house ready to sell . We however are also limited to our social security incomes.

    I have worked in a nursing home. I was capped as an LPN years ago but never practiced . I have a cousin who is an RN and a great resource, so I can care for mom for along time as long as my health holds out. So I’m wondering how we can get the 2 of us an apartment with me as a caregiver. I’m just thinking with mom’s alzheimer’s; places may be reluctant to rent to us . Money is also an issue . I would love some input and out of the box ideas. We live in Bellingham Washington which is a great senior living place, but don’t see anything that meets out particular requirements.

    • Reply October 18, 2023


      Maybe you could widen your search area in case there are suitable places that are a bit farther away. Or, consider selling the house first (even if it’s not the ideal solution) so that you’ll have the money needed to find a suitable new place to live.

  • Reply February 8, 2021


    What if you need to move out of state to be closer to family and specialized healthcare? I live in a very rural area. I have a rare disease that nobody treats here. I have been bedridden for over 3 years. I need to sell my home and move to Michigan. My brother lives here also. He has to sell his home to move back also. He is a triple stroke survivor but cannot walk. When I look at the cost of housing in Michigan, I get so upset. With proper healthcare, I could live a normal life. Right now, I can’t even clean the house.
    I have tried to find SSRI realtors but there are none.
    How can 2 bedridden people (SSI and SSD) get help finding an affordable home out of state to buy in a safe area, and sell the 2 homes they own in TN? We both have been ripped off hiring housekeepers out of the paper or on the online websites like the top rated ones. We have no friends or family here. We feel trapped and have no options here. Can you do some research maybe? We are in the TN Valley and would like to move to the Woodward/696 area in Oakland County, MI. Or we have family in Florida but houses are so expensive there. We could afford a house in MI under 125k. Thankyou. This is a big problem in this country.

    • Reply February 8, 2021


      We’re so sorry to hear about this situation. It might be helpful to speak with a senior living advisor to find out what they’d recommend for your situation.

      Or, you might also contact your local Area Agency on Aging to see if they can connect you to local programs or organizations that could help. More info here – Area Agency on Aging: Resources for Seniors

  • Reply September 25, 2020

    Ramona Burton

    I have had problems qualifying for apartment. Finally moved into a studio that is my last and only place to live. I am 65 years old, on social security. I don’t have to move until june of next year. I always get frustrated and going all over town. I decided to start early and get help to find a apartment.

    • Reply September 26, 2020


      It’s great that you’ve found a place and that you’ll have plenty of time to look for the next one. It’s a wise plan to start early and get help. We hope the resources on this page can be helpful.

  • Reply November 24, 2019

    Steven Czyrny

    Really, a very nice information you have shared. Senior Living Advisor helps to get the right decision to join a senior living community.

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