A User’s Guide to the Best Online Senior Living Referral Services
For many families or individuals facing the need of finding a living facility for themselves or a loved one, the options can be daunting. With countless online senior living referral services available, how can you find the best, easiest to use, and most helpful? A great place to start is to see what others have to say about the various referral sites, and SeniorAdvisor.com recently compiled user reviews for several popular sites.
Site Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars from 168 users (as of Nov. 2016)
Site Rating: 4 out of 5 stars from 39 users (as of Nov. 2016)
Founded in 2007, the site offers local search capabilities by type of living situation desired or health condition. If you’re still learning about the different types of housing options, you can review the sections that offer an overview of each, including costs, level of care, and things to consider. The site also offers additional articles and resources for caregivers in its “Caregiver Wellness Solution Center” and numerous online support groups covering a wide range of topics. User reviews of caring.com noted helpful, friendly assistance and information upfront, but felt that they would have preferred more follow up after initial recommendations were provided.
Site Rating: 5 out of 5 stars from 4 users (as of Nov. 2016)
Similar to A Place for Mom, this site offers free individual advisors for each family, providing help and support in what it calls the “6 steps of the senior living process”: timing, choice, cost, conflict management, preparation, and transition. These six elements are also covered in the site’s downloadable Family Guide. The site allows you to search by state, city, or zip code, as well as by type of senior living option or assistance level. Many of the reviews of OurParents.com are brief, but positive. The more detailed reviews explain that the staff is often willing to go the extra mile – by, for example, making phone calls to local facilities – and that being able to speak to another human was very valuable.
Site Rating: 4 out of 5 stars from 2 users (as of Nov. 2016)
Focusing on a searchable directory of housing locations, this site offers information on more than 80,000 communities “without the sales pitch.” For each community in its database, it includes photos, ratings from family members and local experts, monthly costs, amenities, types of health care provided, and a map. The site also offers a free care advisor available over the phone. Reviews for SeniorHomes.com noted that the advisors were helpful and provided useful information.
Site Rating: 4 out of 5 stars from 5 users (as of Nov. 2016)
Similar to real estate search sites, this site offers an extensive database searchable by zipcode, with easy-to-use links to request information from the communities. The listings include photos, map, overview, care levels, and payment options, as well as onsite services (barber shop, meal planning, exercise, etc.) and activities (art club, gardening, social hours, etc.). The reviews of Seniors for Living are mixed, but mostly positive. Most families were happy with the service, but some reviewers feel the company didn’t really personalize the information they sent.
Insight from other users going through what you are experiencing can be especially helpful as you start your information gathering process. By utilizing the online referral that works best for you, you can help reduce stress and make the transition as easy as possible.
Written By Megan Hammons