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  • Writer's pictureLife Options for Seniors

What is Senior Care Referral/Placement Agency?

As important as it is to plan ahead for the need for long-term care, things often don't happen that way. An older adult falls and breaks a hip or has a stroke, and in an instance their life is changed forever. Suddenly family members are frantically searching for senior care services available in their area and try to determine which senior care options can best suit all the needs of the senior. Without expert guidance, this process can be very overwhelming.

When it is time to seek out housing or care options, you will benefit from the experience of a senior placement agency. Having experts in your corner will reduce your stress and save you time. Knowing what to look for in a referral agency, will help you find the best results.

Senior placement consultants help families navigate through the often-overwhelming process of finding care facilities for aging parents and spouses. There’s no cost to the client. The consultants are paid a finder’s fee by the facility that gets the placement.

Consultants are like a personal shopper, helping the client sort through all the issues involved in finding the right placement for their family member. Much of what they do is educate clients about their options. With over 200 assisted living and memory care facilities and more than 800 Board & Care homes in the greater Sacramento area, it can be overwhelming to narrow down the list.

Placement agency consultants start by identifying the client’s medical and personal needs, so they can narrow down the facilities that can best accommodate their needs. They also look at where family members live, so they can find facilities close enough for them to visit easily. Then there are financial considerations, including whether a client has to sell a home to finance their care. A good placement agency thinks long term and tries to stretch their clients budget as much as possible. They also look at the client’s future needs, so they can recommend a placement where the client can age in place as their care needs change.

Currently the state of California does not require any type of special licensing or credentials for Placement Agencies. So it is important to do some research before hiring a placement agency. The key to finding the right placement agency is to find an agency that has Geriatric Care Mangers and consultants who are certified RCFE (Residential Care Facility for the Elderly) Administrators. This will ensure that the agency is well informed and are aware of state filings. A reputable agency should have personnel who are credentialed requiring them to follow the state laws providing you, as the consumer, information about their agency and the communities or care providers they are referring. A good Placement agency provides Disclosure of Services statement that includes agency and client information, details regarding the fee to be received for the referral, a description of the services provided, and frequency of facility tours by the agency.

When home is no longer an option, finding the right community makes all the difference in the world. Placement agencies do the leg-work for you ahead of time, like reviewing state records, understanding the level of care provided, and in some cases negotiating monthly fees. Even the little things like how good the food is, or social/recreational services become big things when your loved one moves into a care community. Using a placement agency can ensure that you find the right community that can accommodate all your medical and personal needs. It can save you time and stress without costing you a dime.

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