How does a senior referral agency work?

Senior Referral Agencies help families find the best retirement living, assisted living, or adult family home for their loved one. Senior care advisors provide education and support. The family is then able to make an informed choice.

Why should I consider working with a referral agency rather than finding care or senior living on my own?

Referral agencies can make a difficult job easier. First, they visit and evaluate the many senior choices in  King County. They also get to know the family and the elder well. The details about care, finances, and desired location all help the advisor and the family work together.  The end result is a new home for the elder that—in the words of Goldilocks—“is just right”.

Are all referral agencies alike?

Some agencies are Internet-based. The family creates an online profile. The senior care advisor communicates with the family by email and/or by phone but not in person and provides a list of possible locations for the family to visit on their own. Other agencies work person to person, They meet with the family to gather information, and later tour. The referral agents also do on-side visits with senior care providers to evaluate care.

What sets Silver Age apart from many other agencies?

We know how confusing searching for elder care can be. In King County alone, there over 1000 adult family homes and hundreds of assisted living communities. Besides the difficulty of so many choices, families know that this is their loved one, not a client. That makes the job all the harder. Our goal is to provide support from the first phone call or face to face meeting, to the touring, agreement signing, and move-in.  Soon afterward, we check in with the family and the provider to see how the transition is going.

I don’t think my parent wants to move now. When should I start exploring other options?

Now or soon. Learning about the choices, their differences and their costs early will help you be prepared if health needs arise.


What are your charges?

We receive compensation in two ways. First, and more commonly, the community or adult family home pays us a commission on move-in. The family does not pay. Second: for a number of situations, often involving specific research, the family hires Silver Age at $100 an hour.

What can I expect from my first visit or introduction to Silver Age?

An advisor will greet you and ask about your parent’s needs, often setting up a time in the near future when you two can talk more. That visit is called an intake.

How does the intake work?

The State of Washington has developed questions that capture information including current health, diagnoses, medications as well as the need for help with physical care.

What professional credentials do your associates have?

Do they ever work together to help families? All of our team members have experience in working with families on behalf of their loved ones. In addition,  team members have experience in nursing assistance, caregiver support, mental health, and adult family homeownership.  And yes, team members often collaborate, using their specific skills as needed.


How long does the process take from initial contact to move-in?

The time varies. Silver Age can help a senior move in three days or less, usually following hospitalization. And sometimes we work with the family a year or more before the senior moves in.

After my parent moves into his or her new home, when does your work for us end?

That depends. We make an effort to see that the transition goes smoothly., checking in with the provider and you in the first few weeks and months.  If you are experiencing stress during or after the move-in, we are open to help.

Besides helping me find a new home for my parent, what other services do you offer?

The time varies. Silver Age can help a senior move in three days or less, usually following hospitalization. And sometimes we work with the family a year or more before the senior moves in.

If I have a spouse or other family member who needs care, how can you help?

We often work with spouses, siblings, guardians, or others involved in advocating for a vulnerable adult.

If special needs come up during the transition process, can you refer me to the right professionals?

Yes. We have excellent relationships with elder law attorneys, financial planners, movers/organizers, etc.

Is a TB test required for entry into a senior community?

Many assume that once they’ve found a place that meets their health, financial, and location needs, they can move in immediately. But that’s rarely true. One of the most common hold-ups is a requirement for tuberculosis (TB) testing. The CDC recommends that prior to moving from home to a communal health care setting, all potential residents undergo TB testing, within 30 days of the anticipated change of residence. The most common test is the purified protein derivative or “PPD” test. If you are considering a move to an assisted living consider scheduling TB testing in advance.