4 Keys to Assisted Living

Senior living and care decisions are some of the hardest in life – especially those involving Assisted Living or Memory Care. Safety, quality of life, and dignity are all affected and costs average $3,700/mo. A professional called a senior placement agent works in person with families to find peace of mind by addressing 4 vital areas:

1 Options
Greater DFW has over 500 options just for assisted living – and more every month. Try finding a list. Many web sites offer selected information at the cost of unexpected marketing calls and hidden commitments. Large, new, and heavily marketed locations are easy to find. Some of the best care, however, is found at places with limited marketing budgets and even less marketing expertise. A good advisor knows the options.

2 Safety
Safety should be the first criteria in narrowing options. In Texas, however, only recent violations are published for Assisted Living. Years of historic data plus personal experience make for the best assessment. Long Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates organized by each state. They know their locations intimately. Senior Care Authority is a placement agency that tours extensively and assigns safety ratings based on years of violation and complaint history. A good advisor knows the safety record.

3 Care
Care is impacted by leadership, staffing, licensing, training, policy, culture and other factors. Many families are pointed in the wrong direction through generic lists, internet research, or inexpert referrers. They invest precious time and energy considering a community, only to later realize it could never meet their needs. A good advisor knows the capabilities of each option – especially when they differ from what is advertised.

4 Cost
This is used car sales. Not due to unprofessional marketers, but because of similar market dynamics. Every location is unique. High holding costs, combined with monthly corporate goals, create cyclical pressure to fill rooms. Specials are common, change monthly, and can obscure long term impacts of “inflation” and care adjustments. Families have a huge information disadvantage. A good advisor helps get a fair price.

Now project each of these factors forward in time. A placement agent helps families consider today as well as the future. Transitions are no longer crises. That’s peace of mind.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by John Alagood, CSA, CPA, CDP. John is the Area Owner of Senior Care Authority and may be reached at (469) 333-8833 or john@scadfw.com.