By guest author Julie Ouellette, Owner NW Senior Resources
NW Senior Resources has been around since late 2007. It was started by Nancy Raske. I went to work for Nancy about 3 years before she retired and then I purchased the company in late 2015. Kay Loeffl joined me in 2016. It has been our goal to maintain and expand upon the high ethics that Nancy started the business with.
I have been in the Senior Housing Industry since 1999. I began my career as a marketing director, I then took a regional marketing position, I helped open a home care agency and I went into regional operations for a mid-sized senior housing company.
I believe my years of experience have served me well on the placement side of the industry. Since I was a long-term care community sales and marketing director and a former administrator, I know how important it is to find the appropriate options for clients. We also understand why one care home might work for a specific client and another care home won’t. We believe it is our job to advocate for our clients as well as to advocate for you, the provider.
We believe it is our job to advocate for our clients as well as to advocate for you, the provider.
Working with a Placement Professional
Referral Agencies or Senior Housing Advisors can be helpful in many ways to adult care home providers. Our first step is to pre-qualify the client so we make sure it is an appropriate referral. We do our best to determine which homes can meet specific care needs. Some of our intake questions might include the following:
If someone is an insulin-dependent diabetic, we look for homes that are willing to assist with the insulin shots. We ask the client or family what is important to them in a new home. For example, if someone hopes for a home with children or pets in it, that is what we look for. We also ask about the financial ability of our clients. If they only have a year's worth of private pay funds, we look for locations that are willing to work with those terms.
Senior Housing Advisors are a great resource for families to start their search. We have several referral sources that send folks our way. Hospitals, communities, skilled nursing facilities, past clients, and more, regularly send us folks in need of assistance.
We help educate families on the many positive aspects of care homes. We help them understand what a safe and positive environment it can be for their loved ones. I often say that care home residents become members of the household's family. Many people don’t understand how care homes operate. We explain this and sometimes have to dispel incorrect notions. We share how we have had our own family members in care homes and we’re always grateful for the tender loving care our family members received. We often point out that care homes have the best staffing ratios in the industry.
We share how we have had our own family members in care homes and we’re always grateful for the tender loving care our family members received.
Because we all get multiple calls each month from folks seeking help, we are able to bring valuable referrals to you. We know how busy you are so by doing the prequalification work, we only bring tours that should be viable potential residents.
We review provider records with DHS. If a provider has a clean record, we will readily refer to them. If there are questions about violations on a record, we may call the provider to see if there is a reasonable explanation for it. We hope you understand when we call about violations, we aren’t pointing fingers, we simply want to hear your perspective on things. We coach our clients on how to interpret violations as well.
Posting Your Vacancies
We enjoy being a member of the Oregon Senior Referral Agency Association (OSRAA). It has its benefits. OSRAA provides training programs for our members. We receive education on disease processes such as dementia or Parkinson’s. We have had speakers discussing funding programs, ethics, changes in laws or rules and regulations, and more.
It is an expectation for OSRAA members to meet certain standards to be a member. We also all work really well together. In fact, When one of our members has a tough client, we might email the whole group asking for suggestions based on a brief description of the individual’s needs. These emails or phone calls between members happen weekly if not daily. This collaboration again allows us to bring these individuals to the homes that are best suited to meet those needs.
If you wish to let us know about your openings, please go to OSRAA.com and post your vacancies. This reaches all OSRAA members. We can easily access the information anytime we wish. We also get an automatic email every Tuesday showing any vacancies that have been posted that week. It isn’t necessary to post vacancies more than once per week but you are certainly welcome to. Many of us look at the weekly email when looking for clients. We often call the homes that have reported vacancies first - before calling others.
We know you all work incredibly hard to take care of the residents in your homes. We appreciate what you do more than we can say.
We enjoy meeting adult care homeowners and staff, and I think we learn from one another every day. We enjoy having good relationships with providers. We know you all work incredibly hard to take care of the residents in your homes. We appreciate what you do more than we can say.
Article by Alyssa Elting McGuire, MA, MPA
Originally posted 6/10/19. Updated 2/16/20.
One of the more common questions I’ve been asked, both when I was with licensing, and now as an independent consultant is, “How do I find residents?” My advice has always been to start thinking about your strategy to market your adult foster home from the very start of the process, and use a multi-pronged approach to getting your business noticed.
To better assist my clients now, I continuing to seek out beneficial resources and partnerships that will allow them to most effectively get the word out about their vacancies to the right people. That is key. To the right people. You want to go where people are looking for the care you provide. Don’t simply cast the marketing net wide, but instead be deliberate and strategic in your approach.
There are a several avenues for finding potential residents, both private pay and Medicaid consumers. The list below is not comprehensive, but is a start. The options listed below provide similar services, yet are targeted to different audiences. Just like your stock options, you want to diversify. I’d like to tell you a bit more about each option.
Placement agencies: These agencies receive a fee from the adult foster home provider for successful placement. Generally the fee is between 75 – 100% of the resident’s payment for the first month. Their target market is individuals and families looking for placement in a long-term care facility, including adult foster homes. A good resource to connect with a referral agent is the Oregon Senior Referral Agency Association(OSRAA), which also has a page to post your vacancies.
Posting Websites: The target market for vacancy websites is individuals and families looking for placement in an adult foster home. Laria Care Finder is a local business that allows you to post detailed information about your home, about yourself as a provider, and about your vacancies. You can also add your business to the Alzheimer’s Association Community Resource Finder.
Discharge planners, care managers, and social workers: Get to know discharge planners, care managers, and social workers at your local hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Contact the facilities to introduce yourself and let them know what level of care your provide.
State diversion/transition program: The State has a program specifically to move Medicaid consumers from nursing facilities to community-based facilities, such as adult foster homes. You can locate the local diversion/transition (D/T) programs by contacting your local licensing authority (LLA), also know as your local licensing office.
As you can see, there is no single avenue to find residents. What it takes is a solid, strategic plan, and being both proactive and persistent. Put yourself out there and develop professional relationships with others so they both know and trust you, and the care you provide.
Article by Alyssa Elting McGuire, MA, MPA
I was recently sitting in a class on the topic of website marketing offered through the Small Business Development Center, and I started thinking to myself, “why do so many adult care home businesses not have websites?” I’ll be the first to admit I’m no marketing expert, but I can say I recognize the value of a small business having an online presence.
Why, as an adult care home provider, should you invest the time and money into having a website or an alternative web presence for your adult care home business? I’d like to give you seven reasons why you need an online presence that showcases you and your adult care home.
You don’t have to be a web designer or developer to create your web presence. If you have some understanding of website development and design, you can create your own site, but your time is money, so I would encourage you to consider hiring out this service, or using a service that will do the work for you to market your home. Let the professionals handle it. It will be worth your time and money, and you’ll be on the right path to creating a professional, online presence for your adult care home business.