For the elderly living at home vs assisted living or considering senior housing.

Ted Gottlieb and Eileen Lambert (Oasis Senior Advisors, Chesterfield, MO) discuss their powerful software for matching seniors to senior living communities. Hear her insights as to how you and your loved ones can successfully choose the right path for your needs.

We also discuss how to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Read The Entire Discussion Below:

Welcome back to another Senior Learning Institute’s educational moment where older adults and their loved ones turn for honest and straightforward information. In just a few minutes, you’ll enjoy bite sized, easily digestible nuggets of knowledge empowering you to make the right decision the first time. So without further ado, here’s our founder, certified senior advisor. Seniors real estate specialist, nationally syndicated pot tester and speaker, the advocate. You can trust Mr. Ted Gottlieb. If someone offered you a free service that assured better decision making, would you take it?

Eileen LambertEileen Lambert
Certified Senior Advisor®

Well, not only is that the goal of the Senior Learning Institute educational moment, it’s also the mission of Eileen Lambert. Eileen is the owner of a Oasis Senior Advisers in Chesterfield, Missouri. Eileen, you help folks find the right senior living community. Tell us about that.
 

Eileen Lambert
Certified Senior Advisor®

Well, not only is that the goal of the Senior Learning Institute educational moment, it’s also the mission of Eileen Lambert. Eileen is the owner of a Oasis Senior Advisers in Chesterfield, Missouri. Eileen, you help folks find the right senior living community. Tell us about that.

(Eileen) Sure, Ted. So what we do is we meet with the family. And we go over their needs, their geographic, their financial and their needs. These things they need help with, like bathing or showering. We also look at what their interests are. So after that, we match them with two or three communities. We have every community documented in our senior adviser software and it will generate a list of who’s the best fit. So we match them with communities that we meet with them.

We set up tours and then we encourage the client to visit their recommended communities quite a bit. It’s important that they meet and like the other residents and that  they feel at home.

(Ted) Right. You know, you had mentioned you’ve got a database, which is great. But I also know you’re at these communities on an ongoing basis. And I describe what you do is really knowing the the good, the bad and the ugly of every community and really helping people, I guess, sort through that and making the right decision the first time. Is that a fair characterization?

(Eileen) It is a fair categorization. So, yes, we are very familiar with the communities. We review state inspections. Don’t give much credence to Yelp because we find that people on the community site list are mainly their only complaints. But we do and then talk to the communities. If we see there’s a problem, talk to them how they’re fixing it. So we have a very interactive dialogue with our communities.

(Ted) Right. You know, while we’re having this conversation, our country is going through the covered 19 pandemic. And during these uncertain times, oh, most communities, a lot of them are on lockdown. So how are you helping folks go on tours and I guess providing the information that they need to make decisions because sometimes these decisions need to be made pretty quickly?

(Eileen) Well, Ted, we’re doing several things, and you are correct. Most of the communities are on lockdown, meaning they’re not taking new residents. So we as experts are keeping up with them because this sometimes changes daily to the ones that are taking residents. And so what we’re doing is if somebody approaches us and they want to go to community, a straightforward that at this time e-mail and be able to get a video tour. And the community you may be interested may not be taking, you know, new clients, new residents, I should say.

So at that point, a lot of them that can afford to wait, will wait. And if they still need help, we referred to in-home care companies. So we vet it. So basically, if it’s somebody that really has to go in an emergency, we know the communities that will take them right now. And some of them are putting them in quarantine for two weeks. They’re doing a variety of things to make sure they’re in good hands. Our communities have really stepped up to the plate to protect our residents.

(Ted) Right. I have clients who just moved from their home to a senior living community, independent living community, and they knew prior to going in that they were going to be in isolation. And I think ongoing, not just two weeks, but I think they’re keeping everybody in isolation. Food’s coming up to the to the doors and whatever needs they have. Now, this is not assisted living, but it’s just independent. And they work with that. So you are correct.

Really gotta  like your spouse nowadays.

(Eileen) You are correct in a lot of the communities are having you eat in your room. And there is a lot of isolation. I have a client who moved in three weeks ago and he called me five times this weekend because his wife’s in another community and she couldn’t move in with him like planned because she got was going to move after the shutdown. And so he couldn’t get hold of her. So we solved that problem. But it is it is difficult now on our seniors.

(Ted) Well, so how are you and other folks who do what you do, staying updated on the issue?

Well, a group of us have put together a a database where we update information. For example, one of the communities was only taking for rehab while they changed. So we take from home in an emergency. So we’re having constant contact with our communities to see what their policies are. And it’s a group of us that are all in the same business so that we can stay on top of this.

Ted) Right. So do you have any idea how long these policies are going to remain in place?

(Eileen) Well, the president just put the shutdown through April 30th. We’re hoping if there’s some improvement in the culvert, 19 numbers will be a little bit loosening up. But we’re afraid it’s going to be as long as the government has people and lockdown. But as I said, there are a few committees that are taking people. So somebody really has to go in.

We can find them a place generally.

(Ted) So is that the idea that would be a short term solution, then ultimately go to the place where they really wanted to go?

(Eileen) Good point. Good point. In some case, it might be a permanent solution because they’ll get to like the community and they want to stay there. But you’re right, in some places it may just be a respite, which is a short term stay. Yeah.

And those those moves are tough. You know, making the move in the first place is tough. Make the second move can be even tougher. So hopefully wherever they go, they adapt, adapt to and enjoy it, make some friends. And that’s where they choose to stay. It also gets expensive as well, I guess, to make that second move. Yes. Now, what you do as a transition coordinator or a placement service is a free service to the consumer.

(Ted) So how do you get paid?

(Eileen) Ted, we get paid by the communities. So we look at it. We’re a realtor for seniors like yourself and we know everything about the community. So we are paid by the community. Wow.

(Ted) And you have to have contracts with the communities. And what happens if you don’t have a contract with the community that mom wants to go to?

(Eileen) Sadly, there’s a group of communities that do not pay us. But we still work with the client if that’s the community they want. And we’re very straightforward if it comes out that one of those communities is a good fit. We just explained we don’t have a contract with them, but we’ll certainly set up for them to visit because some of these communities aren’t letting us in now, which makes it like us in before the quarantine, which makes it hard for you to tour your client.

(Eileen) We’re very upfront with their clients. We may say, hey, community A, B and C are the best fit the community. They won’t let us tour you. So they want to set to tour with you directly. So we will do that. Got it.

(Ted) So that’s nice. And you don’t get paid if they decide to go to community. You’re not getting paid, right.

(Eileen) Correct! But we don’t tell the client that I think some of them are smart enough to figure that out. We don’t push on that because we don’t want to. We want people to get the right place, the best place.

(Ted) Yeah, and I. I feel the same way.

(Eileen) It’s not about the money. Yes. We need to. But we need to do what’s in our client’s best interests. And if it’s if it doesn’t happen to coincide with our best interests. Well, that’s just the way it goes. And, you know, I feel as though 50 percent of what I do is pro bono work anyway. I agree. And we don’t get referral fees if they go to in-home care. Generally, we partner with in-home care.

And then when the client’s ready to go, then they come back to us. Right. And I’ve said it nicely.

(Ted) Yeah, I’ve seen that happen.  So I understand that. I want to remind everybody we’re speaking with Specialist Eileen Lambert. Eileen, I know that, as you mentioned, you help folks find quality in-home care providers is, you know, and that’s not something that everybody does.

How to find the best in-home care provider

So I guess my my last set of questions do relate to that. And the first one is, is is it common for folks who do what you do, help people stay at by finding them in-home care providers?

A second question is – How do you vet the companies that you do refer to in regard to in-home care?

(Eileen) Ted, that’s a good question. I know for a fact several my competitors will help him get on in-home care, but I don’t know for certain that some of the others do. And I don’t know if they’re paid for that service. So I’m only allowed to take money for placement. 

Unfortunately, the state has, you know, does not have a lot out there like in our communities or state inspections. But for in-home care, it’s just some cases I say the Wild West for some of the companies. But what we do look for companies that have been in business for a while, we check the references and once we develop a real relationship with them, we’re comfortable with them. We’ll bring them in if something happens.

We certainly will address it with them. I haven’t had any issues yet. Sometimes, though, a caregiver may not match. So the company will bring it. You know, it’s important to the caregiver, matches the client’s personality and they’ll bring somebody new. But I haven’t had any company that I worked with turn out to have any problems. But we do check them out, get references and such.

(Ted) Right. It seems as though we’re such a close knit community that we all seem to know the players and who we know that we know is going to get the job done and get it done correctly. And who has multiple layers there? Especially when it comes to in-home care. You want to make sure that whoever it is you’re referring to as the proper insurance that has, for lack of a better term, a stable of care providers that are available if someone calls out sick, because we know we’re often relying upon that.

(Eileen) So we all really know who the players are. And I think it’s important.  Over the years, we’ve established those relationships. So it’s not to say that we’re not open to other folks, but, you know, sometimes you go, who brought you to the dance? And you know, who’s gonna be reliable. So that’s really, really important information. Again, invaluable information, information that you’re willing to provide at no cost or obligation. And I do the same thing.

And I used to market myself as a real estate agent who who likes to help people stay in their homes longer, which makes no sense from a business perspective. But it’s true. All or most folks want to age in place. We want to stay put wherever we are for as long as possible. I always get the whole the whole deal about I’m going out feet first. I’m not going anywhere. And as long as you can stay home safely, get the level of care that you want.

(Ted)When you’re not socially isolated and that you’re you’re eating well. Yeah. Maybe you could stay home longer than you know, then you maybe you should. But when you start having those deficiencies of eating well or being isolated and falling and all those things and, you know, it’s probably time to go ahead and make that move was it’s in your best interests and also in the best interests of people who are trying to help you.

(Ted) Well, Eileen, thank you so much for joining me today and Thank you for your insight. Someone wants to get in touch with you. How do they best do that?

I’m tethered to two easy contacts: They can call or text (314) 629-9998  Or they can e-mail me at EileenLambert@Oasissenioradvisors.com

(Ted) Great. And then you also have a Web site at Oasis, senior advisers, dot com backslash Chesterfields. That sound, right? That’s correct. Wonderful. Hey, you know, the other thing I wanted to mention as well, which is really important, is that since you are a franchise, there are Oasis senior advisors all over the country. And one of the things that you do, similar to what I do, is I refer nationwide. So if you have a need anywhere in the United States, a lean can be your first stop in regard to contacting Oasis.

And then she can connect you with someone who does what she does in whatever community. And I got a better almost everywhere.

Correct?

(Eileen) That is correct. I just actually referred to Chicago. And I’ve got a referral from the Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona. So, yes, that works out very nicely. Right.

(Ted) And one of the nice things that you do and I do as well, is that, you know, not only are we referring to someone who does what we do there, but we can also refer to the services that you need here, like packing and moving and, yes, selling the house and all those things as how well connected we are. So you’re really a really good a one stop shop, as much as I’d like to be considered as well.

So appreciate you spending time with us again. I want to thank those who have listened to this podcast, and we appreciate you being here at the Senior Learning Institute. It’s another one of our educational moments that we hope that you will share with folks that, you know, that might have similar needs. Here at the Institute, we strive to provide straightforward and unbiased information, the information you need to make smart decisions the first time really, really critical to get it right the first time.

We’re also proud of the fact that we connect older adults and their advocates to the resources that they need. Again, at no charge, without any obligation from staying put to selling the house in any condition to helping you with estate and financial planning needs. Care providers, gosh, you name it, even selling the house, as I mentioned, estate sales and cleaning out the house. So let us know what you need anywhere in the U.S. We’ll be happy to connect you.

Until next time. I’m Ted Gotlieb, certified senior advisors, seniors, real estate specialist and founder of this Senior Learning Institute. And that’ll do it. Thank you very much. You’ve got.

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