NO, NOT AT ALL. Whether you are doing it for you or your loved one, researching on your own for the “Right” retirement or senior living community can be very difficult and confusing. And most times, in the end, you both remain unsure about what options are really out there.
Listed below are four tips to keep in mind, even if the process has already started:
- Search Engines
Every retirement or senior living community can be found using Internet search engines like Google, Bing, Internet Explorer, etc. Search results will recommend attractive communities with similar amenities. However, this does not mean these retirement or senior living communities are of the best quality or are the right choice for you or your loved one.
- Word of Mouth
When your friends and family begin giving their opinions and suggestions about which retirement or senior living community is best for you or your loved one, they don’t mean any harm. They just want to help. Because Community “A” was the right choice for your friend’s mother does not mean that Community “A” will be the right choice for you or your loved one. Consider the fact that there are more communities than just Community “A” — Let someone more knowledgeable guide you on what Communities “B” and “C” have to offer.
- Commercials, Billboards, and Ads. Just because a retirement or senior living community has a local, regional or national commercial, does not make it the best. A billboard on the highway does not make a retirement or senior living community the right choice for you or your loved one, nor does a full colored page ad in the Sunday’s newspaper or local magazine. Let someone help you understand what the retirement and senior living communities have to offer based on your or your loved one’s preferences and needs.
Location may not be the answer. A retirement or senior living community in close proximity to you does not mean it’s the right fit for you. Convenience is not always the best answer.
ALL ELDER CARE ADVISORS ARE NOT EQUAL!
Some Elder Care Advisors charge for advice. Initial consultation fees can range from $300.00 – $700.00. Remember to ask up front if there is a charge for advice. Here, there is No Relationship with the Elder Care Advisor.
Some advisors do not charge, but they give you an overwhelming amount of options, and then entice you to sign up for their services (on their website, for example) in order to obtain information about you [without your knowledge]. This causes you to receive impersonal and sometimes annoying and unsolicited telephone calls and emails. Here, there is only a Telephone/Email Relationship with the Elder Care Advisor.
Some Elder Care Advisors provide free services and customize a Senior Living Transition Plan that’s right for you or your loved one to accommodate all your needs and requests. These are characteristics of a Personal Relationship with the Elder Care Advisor.
- Find the ‘RIGHT’ Elder Care Advisor, build trust and ask lots of questions.
- Don’t search for a retirement or senior living community on your own.
- Don’t rely solely on word-of-mouth, the Internet, ads, commercials, billboards, or the convenience factor.
- Don’t pay a fee for advice — Why pay an advisor when you can receive free advice without worrying about being flooded with unsolicited information, phone calls and/or emails?
- Don’t solely rely on recommendations from rehabilitation or skilled nursing staff — they mean well but are not trained Elder Care Advisors.
The Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® is the leading certification for professionals serving older adults and is a designation awarded to qualified individuals. Earning the CSA certification requires individuals to pass a rigorous exam and to uphold the highest ethical standards for the benefit and protection of the health and welfare of seniors. CSA’s are multidisciplinary professionals who have demonstrated advanced knowledge in the multiple processes of aging. Many Elder Care Advisors are also CSA’s.
Select the Elder Care Advisor who will do all the research for you. By understanding what you are looking for, he/she will narrow down your choices so it is less overwhelming. This trained Elder Care Advisor will take the time to learn about retirement and senior living communities in order to provide the best choices for you (their client). This Elder Care Advisor will provide guidance, so you can make your own choice, the RIGHT choice for you or your loved one. This Elder Care Advisor will be your advocate. So, let him/her advocate for you.