The process of deciding to move a loved one to a senior living center is akin to a roller-coaster ride. For starters, the emotions involved can be overwhelming. But the complexities don’t end there. How do you sift through thousands of senior living communities to find an ideal home? How can you best determine the level of care your loved one needs?
Enter a senior living advisor: an invaluable resource to get you through the confusing, complex, and oft-trying process of finding a suitable facility. But how do you select the right advisor for your situation? Here’s a mini-guide to facilitate your search for a senior advisor:
- Ask for Recommendations
To find a suitable service provider, talk to people who’ve had similar needs. For instance, you can rope in a friend who has undergone the experience of searching for an eldercare advisor and seek their recommendation. In doing so, they may refer you to a knowledgeable advisor. But don’t stop there.
Note that their experience with a particular advisor may not be similar to yours. Besides, your elderly parent or relative may have different needs, implying the advisor may opt for a different approach. Or worse, your opinions may differ wildly, compelling you to look elsewhere.
- Lay the Groundwork
If you’ve narrowed your search and have potential candidates in mind, check out their websites. A senior care agency that is actively involved in the local senior community is a good sign as it shows its commitment to the cause. For instance, you can look for an advisor who hosts or speaks at community events geared toward improving the lives of the elderly.
Plus, what senior resources do they claim to offer? What does a particular advisor’s ‘About Us’ page say about their approach? Their website can offer important clues as to whether they are a good fit.
- Read Over Reviews and Testimonials
Examine a care agency’s reviews and testimonials. Start by checking out the firm’s ‘Testimonials’ page (if available), or browse online to learn more about client experiences of the agency from third-party review sites such as Google reviews, Yelp, or the Better Business Bureau. Generally, good reviews on such websites indicate an agency is a good bet.
Also, be on the lookout for the odd 1-star reviews: it might highlight a quirk you may need to be wary of. But, if the agency is in good standing, its 5-star reviews would exceed lower ratings, raising your odds of finding a suitable elderly care advisor.
- Interview Prospective Candidates
Schedule an initial interview with potential advisors to learn something about them. While the advisor would be keen to tackle various aspects regarding your elderly loved one’s care needs and preferences, it’s also an opportunity to learn about their mannerisms. Finding out an advisor’s personality lets you determine whether you feel at home around them. While at it, assess the following:
- Their attentiveness to detail as they communicate with you.
- Whether they appear genuinely interested in helping your loved one.
- Whether they are ready to provide a guided tour of the centers, they suggest.
Consider looking for a different advisor if you don’t click with a particular candidate. After all, it’s your call to make.
- Ask Questions
During the interview, prepare a list of questions to help you better understand a prospective advisor. In your list, you can include the following queries:
- What’s your role in helping a client find a suitable senior living community?
- What’s the typical timeframe for finding an assisted living center?
- Do you have a list of communities you would recommend us to visit and are you willing to come along for the same?
- What are your charges for the service you offer?
- Do you have a contract in place for our arrangement?
- Are you familiar with resources I can use to pay for eldercare?
- Talk About Experience
There’s no question that a knowledgeable advisor minimizes the hassle of finding a suitable living arrangement for a senior. They can research to find a facility with qualified and experienced staff, a stimulating environment, and more. Essentially, you can find high-quality accommodation with their assistance, which goes a long way toward enhancing a senior’s quality of life and overall well-being.
Find out an advisor’s training and experience by questioning them. Also, inquire about the families they’ve helped. If possible, talk to such past clients to learn about their overall perception of the advisor in question. By getting first-hand accounts, you can better understand how well they research potential eldercare facilities and the matching services they offer.
Overall, the transition to a senior living facility isn’t something we can take lightly. As such, choosing a competent advisor makes it easier to find an ideal housing situation that benefits your loved one, thereby simplifying an otherwise complex process. By asking pointed questions, you can clear any doubts you might have and be on your way to finding an ideal candidate to make the transition as painless as possible.