Senior Placement Services Benefit Seniors and Their Loved Ones
By Mike McClernon, Eldercare Advisor/Owner, Assisted Living Locators
The latest U.S. Census Bureau, Population Projections reported that in 2018, there were 52 million Americans ages 65 and older. According to the Popular Reference Bureau, there will be a 50% increase in the number of Americans 65 and older requiring some nursing care, from 1.2 million in 2017 to approximately 1.9 million in 2030. The reality is many seniors will require some change in their living arrangement. The decision to move to a more supportive environment is wrought with high emotion and often a lack of information regarding all of the options available. Alleviating the confusion and helping to facilitate the right decision are Senior Living Advisors specializing in senior placement services. Understanding how these advisors work, their services and the benefits derived is important for anyone faced with finding a place for their family member.
Senior Living Options in America Today
There was a time when seniors either remained in their homes or were placed in nursing homes; nothing in between. Now, there are independent assisted living facilities, retirement apartments, memory care facilities, nursing homes, and short- and long-term care facilities. Among them, assisted living is the fastest-growing option for seniors with over 835,000 Americans currently residing in assisted living communities. While assisted living facilities may be the fastest-growing, other options may be more suitable. That is why a comprehensive assessment conducted by an experienced Senior Living Advisor is so important.
The Role of the Senior Living Advisor
Senior Living Advisors do not charge their clients a fee for their senior placement services. Instead, they receive their fees from the facilities to which they refer a resident. With no allegiance to any one facility, they follow a disciplined process in order to make the best determination on behalf of their clients. This process begins with a comprehensive discovery through which a series of questions are asked to best assess a senior’s needs, values and lifestyle.
The Discovery Process
The in-depth assessment focuses on key areas, including:
- Mental status
- Bathing, Dressing & Grooming
- Managing Finances
- Contact with Medical Providers
Within each of these areas, the senior living advisors will ask questions such as:
- Can the senior be left alone without supervision for 24 consecutive hours?
- Does the senior move around independently, even if with a cane or walker? During an emergency, would he/she be able to evacuate their home?
- Has he/she been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia?
- Can he/she use the phone independently?
- Can he/she manage housekeeping and shopping?
- Does he/she have any complex medical conditions?
Determining the Right Facility
Through these and other questions which consider the senior’s social level, recreational preferences, religious practices, and other lifestyle factors, the senior living advisor can gain a full profile of the senior. The Senior Living Advisor then assists with selecting the best facility which also takes into account a location convenient for visits by family and friends. If an Assisted Living Community is chosen, the senior will receive some assistance with their daily living needs (i.e., bathing, dressing, medication management, grooming including beauty shop services and transportation to their doctor’s visits, shopping, etc.).
Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia based on other neurological conditions would be placed in a Memory Care facility where they would live in private or shared rooms in a secure environment, receive care by trained memory care professionals, and participate in activities designed to support their cognitive abilities. Think of Memory Care as Assisted Living for people with cognitive issues. The resident also may receive assistance with medical monitoring, medication management and daily living needs.
The costs for these various senior living options vary. National averages indicate that Assisted Living facilities range from $4,000 to $10,000 plus monthly, memory care facilities range from $5,000 to $13,000 monthly, skilled nursing homes cost around $18,000 monthly for a semi-private room, and independent living communities are priced based on location, amenities and level of care provided. To determine the best way to pay for their new living arrangement, the senior living advisor will consult with the senior’s estate planning attorney or financial planner.
A transition in living can be difficult, especially for someone who has lived his/her life in one place for a long time. An experienced, compassionate Senior Living Advisor can help with this challenging process, giving families peace of mind knowing their loved one is in the best possible setting with the right care in place.