The growth of the assisted living industry over the years means that placement companies like Assisted Living Locators also grew at a fast pace. Assisted Living Locators and similar companies are known as placement companies. Due to their growth, you may encounter them first when you or a loved one seeks out assisted living.
If you’re searching for assisted living, you will likely encounter a placement agency. Here’s what you need to know.
What are assisted living placement agencies?
Assisted living placement agencies employ advisors. These advisors help older adults and their loved ones search for and select an assisted living community. Placement agencies don’t solely focus on assisted living. They can also help you find many types of senior living communities including memory care, independent living and CCRC’s. These placement agencies operate in a few different ways.
Companies like Assisted Living Locators and Senior Care Authority operate in local markets with in-person advisors. Others, including A Place for Mom (APFM) and Caring.com which are two of the largest placement companies in the United States, operate remotely.
We’ve written a previous blog post about APFM if you’re interested in learning more about that company. Companies like APFM and Caring.com employ a call-team of advisors. These advisors respond to online inquiries and follow up with you to determine your needs. Then, they submit your information to their senior care partner network.
The senior care partner network consists of communities in the area you are searching. These partners pay Caring.com and APFM a fee to receive your information. Once your information is submitted to communities via APFM, the communities contact you directly. Once you move into a community, APFM receives a fee from the community you selected. Typically this fee is equal to 1.5x your monthly rent. In contrast, Caring.com passes leads on directly to a number of communities in their network who pay per lead. They also offer a fee per move-in model like APFM.
Placement agencies like Assisted Living Locators and Senior Care Authority are franchise companies. They are owned and operated by people who live in your local market. They also work with a paid, local senior care partner network. But, these local placement agencies provide more hands-on support than their online counterparts. Their advisors may accompany you on tours. They often work with you or your loved one directly for some period of time to find the right fit.
How do assisted living placement companies make money?
As we mention above, assisted living placement companies do not charge you for their services. Instead, they enter into contracts with senior living communities who pay them either for your information or who pay them once you move into their community.
Why would senior living communities pay someone else for your information? Well, in essence, it’s because placement companies spend millions of dollars on marketing their services online. It’s difficult for smaller senior care providers to compete with their budgets.
This is why when you search for assisted living or any type of senior care community online, the first results you’ll see are most often from placement companies. If you are a senior care community, it’s difficult to compete for prospects unless you’re on their listing.
What can I expect from the process?
If you work with one of the large online placement companies, the first thing you can expect is a LOT of calls and emails. Since they send you or your loved one’s information to several communities, representatives from these communities will all contact you directly. While you investigate these communities, you won’t have much contact with your advisor. But they will check in occasionally to make sure you have what you need and see if you would like your information submitted to any other community.
If you work with a local, franchise placement company, most often you’re working directly with the franchise owner or a small group of advisors. They will meet with you to gain a better understanding of your needs first and then recommend a few local communities as a starting point. From there, they can tour those communities with you or they can tour them on your behalf. Some local placement advisors offer additional programs where they charge you a flat fee for communities they don’t have a contract with, and others will not. Some will only show you communities who will pay them a fee upon move-in and others will not. In addition and just like any franchise business, the quality of advisors varies greatly.
For that reason, if you’re searching for a placement agency in the greater Charlotte area, we’d recommend you reach out to Mike Mannion at Senior Care Authority. Our team knows and trusts Mike and his team. He is straightforward and transparent about his relationships with local communities. And, in our experience he works diligently to find the best situation for his clients, regardless if there is a fee involved or not.
What are the alternatives to working with a senior care advisor?
Many older adults and their families investigate senor care communities and care providers based on recommendations from friends and trusted medical professionals. If you’re beginning the process of searching for communities, ask your primary care physician for a recommendation. They often know the better communities in your area.
In addition, clients can opt to work with a geriatric care manager. Geriatric care managers receive specialized training in issues relating to geriatric care. Many can help you with placement in a local senior living community. They typically charge a flat fee or charge by the hour and are agnostic when it comes to community. They work directly on your behalf to find the best fit for you as they are not paid by the community.
Looking for Assisted Living Alternatives in Charlotte, NC?
As part of our monthly programs at CarePods, our dedicated team guides clients through care transitions. In the event you would like to bring in a home care provider or transition from our service to a community, we support you every step of the way.
If you’re looking for assisted living alternatives in Charlotte, Fort Mill or Rock Hill, contact us today for a free consultation.