Here’s something that can be unbelievably overwhelming- you know you need to move your mom or dad or maybe you yourself into a senior living community but have no idea where to start.

How much do they cost?

What level of care do I need?

What communities are in my budget?

Which communities have openings?

And did you know that there are magical companies called placement service companies that actually help you with all of this? They get to know you and your family and then walk you through the process of selecting communities that meet all your needs. Steve Chapek with Senior Care Advisor Group talks to us about what a placement company does and why you should just reach out..now!

What does a placement service do? A Senior Care Advisor/placement company assists the elderly and their family in determining the best environment for the elderly individual.  Often the elderly family member will initially desire to stay home instead of wanting to move into a community so a thorough assessment of their current home situation should occur first.  This assessment should review finances along with the safety of the environment and their ability to manage their medical conditions in the home.  This assessment clarifies the whole situation along with which senior communities would be best for the client if the home is not a viable option.  The Advisor can then speak to the real cost of staying home safely with in-home care compared to the cost of moving into a community.  For those elderly individuals who have minor care needs and clear cognitive abilities staying in the home with professional caregivers can produce positive outcomes and be less expensive.  For those with cognitive impairments and/or extensive physical needs the cost to stay home could actually be higher than entering a community.  It is important for clients to see the options so the best decision can be made.  Once it is determined that finding a senior care community is best the advisor/placement company will then be able to bring their client to the best couple options eliminating time and guesswork for the client.

Why would I need a placement service?  Individuals or companies who provide “placement” assistance will guide their clients towards the community that would best suit their clients’ needs and wants.  Not all communities are alike and matching the client to the right community requires knowledge and experience.  The result of using a service is a higher level of satisfaction from the clients in their new environment. 

When is a good time to reach out to a placement service?  The best time to reach out to a placement service is now.  The earlier the better because being proactive is always better than being reactive.  Once an adult child sees a need for care or a need for their loved one to be in a community setting it is time to reach out.  Mediation between family is often needed so that everyone is on the same page and understands the “need”.  Answering questions and talking through the different options and needs allows for a smoother process when looking for a community.

What can placement services do and not do when it comes to moving into senior living communities? A reputable placement company should be able to show their clients all the best options for their loved ones and not simply communities they have referral contracts with.  A good placement company can also often get reduced move-in costs for their clients and connect their clients with resources to take care of every step of the transition (packing up for the move, moving furniture along with setting up in the new environment, selling the home along with estate sales).   They also can guide their clients to the experts concerning VA benefits or Long Term Care Insurance claim approvals and most other needs that arise.  Placement companies should help encourage clients to ask the communities the hard questions in order to make sure they find the right community for their elderly loved ones.

What do you notice many people have no idea about when it comes to senior living communities? Most people have no idea what questions should be asked of the senior living communities and why they need to be asked.  One question in particular that needs to be asked is what happens when their loved one might need to move to a higher level of care.  As a previous Assisted Living Administrator, I am highly versed in the state of TN regulations and what to be looking for and asking while touring.  Different communities have different thresholds concerning what kind of care they will provide or not provide.  This is important to help a client avoid the shock of getting a call from the community they chose asking them to move their loved one.

What is the biggest misconception when it comes to senior living communities?  One of the biggest misconceptions is thinking that assisted livings are like nursing homes and vice versa.  Although all assisted livings are regulated under the same state law they all interpret the law differently in how they run their day to day business.  Some will request a resident to move to a long-term care community (nursing home) when the loved one’s care reaches a certain level, while other communities will simply request the resident receive hospice care.  Another misconception is that many people think that they must sell everything to move into a community.  Every client’s situation is unique and that is why it is important to talk to a Senior Care Advisor that will clarify each step of the way through this process.

How much can senior living communities cost a month? year? The costs of senior livings range based on which county they are in along with several other factors.  In Williamson County, a senior living community will cost more than a community in Maury County.  An advisor that assists with placement knows to not just look at the cost of the room and board but also to get the details concerning care level costs. 

This information is hugely helpful! Thanks so much to Steve!

You can reach Steve at https://professionalseniorcareadvisor.com/