It’s always beneficial to become the customer’s friend by being a resource for all senior living information. Learn your market choices and share as much information as possible, so the senior or their family can make a good decision.
It’s always good to ask the prospect, if they have just started exploring their options or find out if they are further along into research mode. Seniors and baby boomer adult children, who are just starting out, often need some basic information. How you present it, depends on what senior housing option you represent. When people are making a move, it’s always a good idea to figure out the costs of future health care, home maintenance and services (such as dining, 24-hour emergency call system and housekeeping).
1) One option is for seniors to stay in their own home. Some seniors choose to live with children or have their adult children live with them. This is a great option if someone’s son or daughter is a repair person, great cook and willing to drive them to doctor appointments, when they are not able to drive.
2) Staying at home with home healthcare. Home healthcare can provide a qualified person who can help with medication management and assist with the activities of daily living. Costs average $21 an hour on a national basis, which can quickly turn into $15,000 a month with full time care.
3) Moving into a condo provides for most of the maintenance, repairs, home upkeep and yard work. It can come with home owner’s association (HOA’s) dues of $300 – $1500 a month.
4) Independent living – retirement communities, who offer one level of care, can have strict health requirements, but many communities are allowing in-home care to people’s apartments so they can remain in residence longer. In-home care averages $19 an hour nationally, so just 8 hours of help a day can add up to over $4700 a month. The $4700 a month would be in addition to the monthly rental fee. It varies by state, if the in-home care has licensing and trained staff requirements.
5) Independent living – retirement communities, who offer two levels of care, may or may not have stringent health requirements. If they offer both independent living and assisted living, they tend to be less strict, because they can provide services for two levels of care. The disadvantage is that independent seniors are living with frailer neighbors. Research the cost of independent living and the cost of assisted living (find out what is included with the rent – is any care included – or is care all added on separately?). These prices vary depending on how many meals and services are provided.
6) If seniors wait too long to move when they are independent, they can move directly into an assisted living community, where they can enjoy 3 meals a day and 24-hour care support. Some assisted living communities charge one all-inclusive rate and others charge extra for bathing assistance, medication management, incontinence care, etc. Assisted Living basic rent costs between $2100 and $5700 a month on a national level with bigger rooms and additional care costing more. In Washington State, I personally knew people that paid $9000 a month for heavy assisted living services.
7) Skilled nursing care or rehab is something that people never select as a choice. Typically something happened to the senior that caused a hospital stay and their doctor recommends that they recover in a Medicare certified skilled nursing care or rehabilitation center. This is 24-hour skilled nursing care and can be a short-term stay for a few weeks or a month. Long-term care residents typically cannot get out of bed on their own and live in this environment on a permanent basis. Costs can run nationally between $128 and $678 a day for semi-private room. I have typically seen daily costs in the mid-$200’s for a semi-private room and up to mid-$400 for a private suite on the West Coast.
8) Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC’s) have health and financial thresholds that must be met, in order to move-in. A large number of CCRC organizations, through their foundations, may offer a guarantee of care for the rest of the senior’s life. This can be a powerful choice, to know that if something happened to a senior’s finances that they would have care for life. CCRC’s typically offer independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care, all on the same campus. A one time entrance fee is usually requested that can run anywhere from $60,000 to over $2 million. A percentage of the entrance fee can be refundable back to someone’s estate. There are many varieties of returnable options. The monthly fees of CCRC’s are typically lower than month-to-month rentals for the same square footage.
There are a variety of qualities for all the above choices. Learn your area’s choices and help be an educational resource to the customer. They will appreciate you more and hopefully select your retirement community. Encourage seniors to choose wisely, it’s not just about price, but the quality of services and care that are provided. A good question to ask a prospect would be: What senior housing option gives them the most peace of mind?
Every town, city and state has different pricing. My national price quotes came from: http://www.metlife.com/mmi/research/2011-market-survey-long-term-care-costs.html#findings
Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com. If your curiosity is piqued to inquire on Diane’s availability to speak at a senior housing conference (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Diane is currently consulting in Southern California for Freedom Management Company, the proud debt-free owners of Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. For more information:Twitter: @market2seniorsWeb: www.marketing2seniors.netBlog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/