Many senior living communities say, “We will take care of you for the rest of your life.” Really? What if a senior legitimately runs out of his or her resources? Can they still stay for life? Is it a marketing spiel or a real guarantee? What promise is really written in the resident’s contract? Do they offer at least three levels of care including skilled nursing?
Senior living communities can talk about a “fund” to help residents or a “Good Samaritan Fund.” My own mom was lucky enough to benefit from this type of fund. I never dreamed in a million years that my mom would live in a higher level of care like assisted living for so many years (seven to be exact). In the middle of those seven years, my mom ran out of her resources. She has social security, an annuity, a pension and a savings account. Her savings account depleted down to $2,000.
Thank goodness my mom’s Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) had a Good Sam Fund that was developed out of generous donations. The little known fact was that only 10 seniors could benefit from the fund at any given time. My mom was number 10. I never knew if there was a resident whose number was 11 or higher that never received financial help.
Now, I know about two CCRC’s in CA that offer a Guarantee of Care for life. It is straight up and clearly written in the contracts at Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet.
An attorney compared CCRC contracts in Orange County and determined that all were not equal in the guarantee of care for life. Some are straight up and others offer, “A guarantee of care for life,” but add three extra words following this statement in the contract… those three extra words are, “At our option.”
“At our option,” sounds a lot like a Good Sam Fund that has a limited amount of resident users. What do you think?
Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.
Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating. The 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.