To whom it may Concern,
I would like to introduce myself if I have not already. I am an Aging Specialist in the state of Arizona, with over 15 years in Senior Care. We have a local Resource Center for Older Adults, Senior Communities & all local Healthcare Providers and Professionals. Our goal is to give information to the Public & all Healthcare Professionals and to bridge the gap between Higher Acuities all the way through the Continuum of Care.
During this pandemic many things have changed in the Senior community here in Arizona. Especially for Senior Placement! Right now it’s hard for many Placement Agents to make a living with just placement. Many have transitioned to Hospice, Home Health or Hospitals. During these uncertain times many older adults prefer to stay at home until it’s absolutely necessary to leave or go to the Hospital. We have seen over the last year many of the referrals are going directly through Hospice, Home Health, Public Fiduciaries, Mobile Physicians, Case Managers, Realtors, even through transport drivers. Right now referrals are being done by anyone who knows someone. This is very sad. Just so someone can make an extra buck.
Will a Hospice just make a referral or will they inquire about the patients finances and recommend a place they can “Age In Place” at once their funds are depleted or will they have to move? If they are getting paid by Medicare are their Liaisons, care Transition Coordinators or Social Workers allowed to charge the facility a fee? Are they following state regulations by completing a disclosure for any referral made?
Does Home Health liaison/Social Worker know that recommending a good Residential Facility they have worked with in the past is not enough. If an older adult is more Independent and all the other patients are directed care and advanced dementia, will the patient not decline? If they are getting paid by Medicare are their Liaisons, care Transition Coordinators or Social Workers allowed to charge the facility a fee? Are they following state regulations by completing a disclosure for any referral made?
If a Realtor recommends a Facility because they are involved in the Industry but have no clinical knowledge, it will most likely result in relocating and causing transitional trauma. Are they following state regulations by completing a disclosure for any referral made?
If a Public Fiduciary offers placement as a free service alongside the other services they provide, do they actually go and tour these facilities they are recommending to their clients? Are they able to tell the families what deficiencies the Facility has? Are they following state regulations by completing a disclosure for any referral made?
So what I am asking is, if you have to help an Older Adult with Discharge i.e. Housing, Temporary Relocating or recommending a community, please do your due diligence and refer to;
1.Someone whose Scope of Practice is “Senior Placement”.
2. An agency or an individual that has Clinical Experience or has a Nurse on Staff to do proper Assessments.
3. Someone who follows the Rules & Regulations of the state and discloses to the families the fees that are charging and their involvement in the Industry. It is a $1000 per placement if no disclosure if completed prior to moving in.
4. Someone who doesn’t charge for ALTCS patients. There are some grey areas when an individual/agency can charge for a resident and it’s typically before they apply for ALTCS.
Older Adults are Suffering because so many people are out to make a buck. If we stop using placement agents everyone else that has no idea what they are doing or others who know what they are doing but enjoy taking advantage of the vulnerable will start doing their job. This Industry is unregulated so it’s up to the Healthcare Professionals to educate themselves and refer to an individual who is experienced and qualified to do their job.
We have 320+ Assisted Living Centers, 1800+ Assisted Living Homes, 50+ Adult Foster Care Homes, 1200+ Group Homes and more in the State of Arizona. Some smaller states like Tennessee don’t really use Placement Agents. But here in Arizona we can’t afford not to, our older adults’ lives depend on Healthcare professionals with experience. This way we can reduce the amount of Readmissions & Transitional Trauma.
I have attached a link that gives you access to an updated list of individuals working as placement agents. It may be a good resource. Also its password protected, feel free to comment or give me any insight you may have from your perspective.
Ligia Ilea-Naik |Aging Specialist | 480-550-2408
3143 E Greenway Rd Suite 801
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Ext 2. Senior Services
Office: (623) 201-8545 Office
Fax: (623) 201-8546 Fax