The Assisted Living Locators Difference

The Assisted Living Locators Difference

In Recent News

Recently our largest competitor, A Place For Mom, has been the subject of a critical article in the Washington Post,, and a Senate probe, I want to take the chance to highlight the differences between their business model and that of a local placement agent, in other words, ALL-Nashville’s business model.

How We Started

First, a little background: almost four years ago my Mom’s passing inspired me to start Assisted Living Locators-Nashville to help seniors and their families find the senior community which best fit their needs and preferences. Two years ago, I added an experienced social worker, Nancy Blankinship, to the ALL-Nashville team. Recently, I returned to the practice of law, so Nancy is now running ALL-Nashville’s day-to-day operations. Nancy and I have both lived lives of service: Nancy as a social worker, me as an Air Force officer. We were each individually drawn to Assisted Living Locators because its service, our service, is very hands-on and personal. We meet with our clients personally and accompany them as they tour the communities we’ve concluded will best fit their needs.

How We're Different - The Personal Touch

The most obvious difference between our service and what A Place for Mom provides is in personal interaction. We begin our relationship with our clients with a personal conversation with Nancy, the one who will be walking them through the entire process, not with someone they’ll never meet. Nancy will discuss several factors with the client and/or family including location, price, care required, and personal preferences. Based upon that conversation, Nancy will determine a few communities she believes are a good fit and will schedule tours. We never provide our client's contact information to communities until after a tour, so neither you nor your loved one will be overwhelmed with phone calls from community marketers. Nancy then accompanies the senior and/or family on the tours, highlighting the positives, and potential negatives, of the various communities and reminding clients of the issues they wanted to discuss during the tours. She is there to “hold their hand” during the tour if that’s what they need. She can do that because she is actually standing there beside them throughout the entire process. This is a service only a local placement agent can provide. The Washington Post article says A Place for Mom “strongly encourages” people to tour assisted living communities. We don’t just encourage; we personally accompany seniors and families on the tours we schedule for them.

The Knowledge Gained by Our Personal Presence is Key 

The Washington Post article criticized A Place for Mom because many of its most highly recommended facilities were cited for neglect or substandard care, many of them repeatedly. The article identified that the recommendations were based upon user reviews, which were often anonymous. In contrast, our recommendations are made from Nancy’s personal knowledge. She is in the communities we recommend every day, interacting with staff, speaking with residents, using her years of experience to assess the state of each community. We personally know the communities we refer to, the people who run them, and the people who live in them. Nancy knows these communities intimately, and that knowledge leads to well-reasoned professional guidance and recommendations.

How We Get Paid

Ours is a no-cost service, free to our clients, and we are very transparent about how we get paid. We have a commission-based revenue model; we receive a commission from the communities only after a successful placement. This does not influence the objectivity of our evaluations. Our commitment to ethical service and personalized care ensures that every family receives fair, unbiased advice. We are not allowed to be paid for government-funded placements, yet we still provide whatever assistance we can to those seniors who have difficulty affording unsubsidized senior living options. Consequently, we regularly refer seniors and families to services and communities for which we will never be paid. No one is turned away without assistance. I have often said if you do the right thing, success will follow. I still believe that, and that is how Nancy and I run Assisted Living Locators – Nashville.

The Bottom Line

We are not in the practice of criticizing our competitors, and we have very strong positive relationships with the other local placement agents in the Nashville market. Many of them I consider friends and I respect and appreciate the service they provide to their clients. It is important, however, to distinguish what they, and what we, provide to our clients from what A Place For Mom provides. We provide hands-on personal service, A Place for Mom does not. This fact allows us to better serve our clients, and to ensure they are placed in the best senior community based upon their individual needs and wants, and upon what those communities provide. Our personal interaction gives us more knowledge, which simply makes our service better.

Contact Us Today For Help.