May 9, 2017

This month, we’re featuring a blog from our partners, North Star Senior Advisors. Below is their take on senior placement agencies – are they a scam or being truly genuine to our loved ones?

Upon reading A Helping Hand, Paid By Commission, I completely understand why some feel the way they do towards senior placement agencies. Receiving information about a senior community from someone who may not be qualified to offer you such information would undoubtedly leave you skeptical. This is especially so when they are not 100% upfront about their services. While the article stated it is highly unlikely that a national senior placement agency can visit every senior living community they refer to, this should not stir you away from using placement agencies at all. Consider a local senior advising company from the area you are interested in!

Our Senior Placement Agency

North Star Senior Advisors is a local agency in Orlando, FL that can guide you on the right path to senior living. We currently serve Orange, Seminole, and Osceola Counties. Yes, it is true anyone can start up senior placement agencies, but don’t let a few bad eggs ruin it for everyone. Veteran owned and operated, our trusted team is made up of individuals who have over 20 years combined experience in the healthcare community that range from assisted living, nursing services, and home health. Before we even begin searching for retirement communities in Orlando, we conduct a high-level assessment from our nurse to ensure your needs and interests are met. This includes your budget, location, level of care, and interests. What many senior advisors fail to do is ask further questions about your loved one in addition to their care needs. What did they do for a living? What do they like to do now? Matching their personality and preferences to a home is crucial in what we do. Our goal is to find your loved one a place that ultimately makes them the most comfortable and happy. Your loved one deserves a place that they can call home for good.

Partnered Facilities

An issue mentioned in the article is that placement agencies only show you senior living facilities they partner with, preventing you from all other options out there. First, we only partner with licensed facilities through AHCA (Agency of Healthcare Administrations) and check regularly for any abuse or neglect. Also, every employee of North Star Senior Advisors has personally toured all senior living communities in the tri-county area that we partner with. We do not partner with a home if we have not seen it in person or it is not licensed. We strive to ensure our partnered homes are where we would place our own loved ones. Second, if there is a community you want to see and is not one of our partnered facilities, we will gladly show you that place as well. All we ask is that you let us know the name and location of the community beforehand, and we happily step in to represent you. We are not completely limited by our trusted network. However, the reason we chose to proudly partner with our network of communities is due to their exceptional care and knowing your loved one will be well taken care of in their homes.

The Truth About How We Are Paid

The article explains how senior placement agencies get paid through a commission from the senior living community. While some companies are not always as forthcoming about this, we are here to tell you we do get paid a commission from the community you choose. We tell all our clients this up front on the initial phone call and in an immediate follow-up email. It’s no secret how we get paid. Our services are complementary to our clients and if they no longer want our help, there is no obligation. Our goal is to make this process as transparent and stress-free as possible for you. In doing so, we like to show you at least three communities, so you can compare and discover the one you like the most. If you do not like the homes we show you, we do everything we can to locate another one that fits your criteria.

Tours and Privacy

North Star Senior Advisors also accompanies you on all tours. We do not randomly send your information to a list of communities or force you to schedule and show up on your own. We understand this is a difficult time, so we like to be present during tours to guarantee all questions are answered. Once our initial call is complete, we schedule an assessment to meet your loved one at home, or wherever they may be, and narrow down communities that accommodate your expectations and care levels. After providing you with a list of communities, we ask you to choose your top three choices. We schedule tours and accompany all visits. If you choose a community, we ensure necessary paperwork is filled out correctly by contacting your loved one’s primary care physician. We can also connect you to moving companies, coordinate a move in date and will always follow up to make sure you and your loved one are happy with the chosen community.

Another complaint often heard is online lead generating companies will blast their client’s info out to several communities without getting permission first. Our clients tell us they will get 4-5 phones calls a day from assisted living communities in Orange County they never even knew existed. Without consent from the individual, you are violating the Privacy Act of 1974. North Star Senior Advisors will never give out your info unless we have written consent from you. Essentially, we are the middle man when it comes to contacting senior living facilities. If you would like to talk to the home directly, then we will certainly have the facility contact you.

Scam or Advisors Who Truly Care?

There will always be one company that can ruin someone’s perception and cause people to think every company in that industry is the same. Please do not limit your ability to receive help because you are afraid it is all a scam. There are people who truly care about you and your loved one’s well-being. The founder of North Star Senior Advisors has a passion for helping others in need of senior living as she went through a similar experience when her grandmother eloped from home. That is the reason she created this business, to help others in alike situations and to serve you the best way we can. Consider local agencies in Orlando when considering senior placement for your loved one. We will guide you on the right path and offer resources from our trusted network to eliminate any stress you may be going through. If you are interested in senior living communities near you, please contact us here to browse options or call a senior advisor today at (407) 796-1582.