Massachusetts has greatly embraced the use of senior living referral professionals as a means of making effective use of time, energy and resources for consumers looking for supportive housing and care options. One problem, however, is that the referral industry is, for the most part, currently unregulated. There are quite a few referral agencies that have made a practice of taking advantage of families during one of the most difficult times in their lives by making referrals based upon undisclosed financial incentives. This has led to referrals that were not helpful and may even have been harmful to the resident. Consumers have the right to choose a referral agency or provider who will work in their best interest. Industry professionals should be confident in the referral service they are endorsing. Here are 10 questions to ask referral providers before enlisting their services:
- What is your level of experience and/or what are your credentials?
- How do you select the communities to which you refer?
- How many communities do you typically refer?
- How often do you check communities to make sure they have no violations with the state?
- How well do you know the facilities that contract with you?
- Do you inform your clients about communities you are not contracted with?
- How do you qualify clients before you send them to communities?
- How much time do you spend with your clients?
- How often do you tour senior living communities with your clients?
- From where do you receive most of your clients?
Before you work with any type of referral provider, make sure they will not share personal contact information without written permission and ask to see a copy of their privacy practices statement. The benefits of using a good referral service are immeasurable. Having a senior living expert offer an insider’s perspective on local senior living and care options is what most families really need. So much time can be saved when families do not have to do all of the research on their own. It is very reassuring to have someone trustworthy checking in throughout the process and helping with the transition when the time is right. View the About 2Sisters FAQ page for more information about our services.