Mary’s Corner: Senior Placement Agencies and Elders
We harp on adult children a lot to get involved with their parents’ placement in senior living communities, but it’s up to senior placement agencies as well.
First and foremost, there are placement agencies like ourselves, that do their due diligence when moving seniors to their final home, but there are many that only provide the bare minimum, and still others that are downright scandalous. While I don’t want to downplay the “scandals” involved in senior living, it’s not worth going into here since it’s unarguably wrong; people who look at seniors as opportunities for a quick profit are villainous to say the least. However, the senior placement agencies that only provide the bare minimum shouldn’t be viewed as much better. Granted, many of these people do put in effort, but not enough.
There are industries where “less is more”, but senior living is not one of them. You’re working with people’s lives, it should go without saying that that’s a delicate thing. Too many senior placement agencies crunch numbers before assessing people.
To expand on that, let’s say an agency is contacted by an elder’s family and this is the information they walk away with: their loved one will be discharged from the hospital in 3 days and they’re showing signs of dementia. With that information, it would seem obvious that the elder should be placed in a senior housing facility that offers memory care… but many elder placement agencies weigh those needs against openings. They may find an assisted living community with memory care that would be perfect for them… but it’s fully booked for another week. Meanwhile, a reputable community has 3 openings now… but it doesn’t offer memory care. At that point, they crunch numbers instead of assessing needs.
They may recommend the assisted living without memory care because the senior hasn’t been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In fact, even if they’re showing signs of dementia, without confirmation they don’t necessarily need memory care.
This is what I’m talking about when I say “Due Diligence”. This type of senior placement agency is not doing something inherently bad, they’re trying to help; they’re trying to help a senior and their family find a home within the time frame they were given. In another industry, this would be noble… but instead it feels more like a shortcut.
If the family decided to choose this assisted living without memory care, they could be happy for a while, but if the senior has dementia, then they’re going to need to find a facility with memory care and move AGAIN! This is expensive, stressful, and could’ve been avoided.
When we say “Due Diligence” we mean, you find the best option and put seniors before numbers. An esteemed placement agency would contact the assisted living communities with memory care and negotiate a deal. Maybe the senior can move into a shared room until a private one becomes available. There are no shortcuts when it comes to seniors’ lives.
The stress of senior housing comes from this, you’re dealing with two very serious things: health and real estate. When you get a diagnosis from a doctor, how many tests do you like to run? How many second opinions do you get? Similarly, when you’ve rented an apartment or purchased a house, how many do you look at? Research? Visit?
The problem that placement agencies and adult children face is that they’re usually on a time crunch (often it’s 3 days before a hospital discharge), so they’re in a rush to make a decision. But that’s all the more reason why senior placement agencies need to step it up. It’s understandable that families would feel rushed, stressed, and panicked. It’s the job of senior placement agents to be cool headed, have all the research at the ready, and find the best possible solutions.
At Concierge Care Advisors, that’s what we do. If your loved one needs help, then contact our Care Advisors, and we’ll ensure their safety and wellbeing.
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