Your Senior Housing OptionsIt is important that seniors make a plan while they are healthy and well OR they will find themselves in a situation where family members have to “put them someplace.” My in-laws waited for a health care crisis that you can read about HERE and the adult children were forced to “put them” in more supportive environments. The doctor told my father-in-law that he needed 24/7 assisted living care and another doctor required that my mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s move into a secured memory care simultaneously. 

How do you find a good retirement community, assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing care? “Your Senior Housing Options,” gives tips and advice on exactly what questions a senior needs to ask in order to determine if a senior living provider is great or mediocre.

Almost every week I speak to 50 to 75 seniors about their future health care and housing options. Two months ago, I created a new presentation based on my book, “Your Senior Housing Options.” What an impact it has made. Seniors share how grateful they are for clear and concise information that they can apply immediately in making a decision for themselves. This is my passion and I want to help seniors make a wise choice.

The book articulates the costs and consequences of the various senior living options. I share the ramifications of waiting too long and how a senior can save money and stress by planning ahead.

Seniors can take away valuable tips they can utilize immediately as they begin to research and explore long-term health choices. Most seniors have no knowledge of how to select a reputable home care company or retirement community. It’s important to know states vary on requirements for caregiver training, drug screening and finger printing.   Due diligence of care choices can prevent elder abuse!

Ultimately, a senior can continue to live by a river in Egypt called denial or they can make proactive decisions and create a plan for their future health care. It is scary for seniors to contemplate running out of resources in a higher level of care, but it can happen (my own mom ran out of money living in assisted living for seven years). Hopefully, seniors choose a plan that has a safety net, in case they run out of money.

Current presentations based on this new book are helping seniors make proactive decisions for their future health care needs. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a movement to educate seniors.

Diane Masson has worked in senior housing for 17 years and is the regional marketing director for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern CA (Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet).  Her first book “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” is being utilized by senior housing professionals across the country.  Both her first book and second book, “Your Senior Housing Options,” have a 5-star rating on

For weekly tips and advice go to and learn more from author and senior housing expert Diane Twohy Masson.

Sabotaging Siblings/Children?

Sabotaging Siblings/Children?

Sibling SabotageHow many of you have worked with a senior who clearly needs to make a move into a senior living community? Maybe she is lonely, not eating nutritiously, no longer driving or desires the social connectivity of liked-minded seniors. The senior is one visit away from selecting an apartment and putting down a deposit. A daughter has already consented that her mom needs the support of your community and is emotional exhausted from helping her mom. The son/brother is coming to town and they want him to put his stamp of approval on this move.

Suddenly, the senior and the daughter become uncommunicative with you. The family is a no-show for the scheduled tour at your retirement community. Your phone calls to reach out to them are unanswered. What happened? Are they okay? Did something happen and maybe the senior is in the hospital?

Most likely the son came into town and sabotaged the deal. “Mom is fine. She does not need to move into an old folks home. It is too expensive. Just keep helping her sis.” Maybe this son is in denial or maybe he is worried that mom might drain his inheritance. Either way, it is a sad circumstance for the mom who will lose out on a better quality of life and the sister who is tired of taking care of mom while raising her own children.

What can you do? How can you handle this situation in the best possible light?

Here is my suggestion: Next time, prepare the mom and sister for the brother’s visit. I would say, “I would love for your son/brother to come see this community and the apartment that you are considering. Just remember, when you tell him that you are thinking of moving here, he might believe you are moving to an old folks home filled with hospital beds. He won’t be able to imagine the lifestyle you will have living here. I think he will be blown away when he sees the 5-star dining room, live entertainment schedule and all the classes that you want to partake in. Let him know that you understand it is hard to believe and ask him to come see it for himself. Let him know how excited you are and that you want him to support your decision.”

Please share in the comment section below how have you handled this situation in the past.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.” It is rated by Amazon Editors as one of the best books of 2014 and readers have given it a 5-star rating on  This award winning book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

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