Independent living. Assisted living. Memory care. With so many senior living options, the process of choosing the right one for you or your loved one can be overwhelming. 

In our upcoming webinar, we will be speaking with Alan Hoffman, CSA, of Oasis Senior Advisors who will help us explore the key features and differences between the various living options and levels of care.

We will also learn more about Arbor's unique Bridges Neighborhood, meant to ease the transition between Assisted Living and comprehensive Dementia Care.

Click the video to watch the preview now, and don't forget to register for the full webinar by visiting!

Video Transcript 

- Hello, everyone. And welcome into Senior Living Life. My name is Melissa. If you are joining us and watching via video or listening in on our new podcast, we thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to be with us as we take a sneak peek into our upcoming webinar called the different types of senior living explained. Joining me today is Alan Hoffman. He is the owner operator and certified senior advisor with Oasis senior advisors. Alan, how are you doing today?

- I'm doing great, thanks Melissa.

- Excellent, well thank you for hopping on and joining us for some what I think are pretty good tips that I think could help people now, if they are, for whatever reason unable to join us during this webinar although we certainly hope you do because the bright spot of these webinars is you get to talk to Alan at the end and he will be there to answer all of your questions. So a few quick hitters here today for you, Alan. When I hear the word senior living or senior living community, before I even started working with Arbor, I wasn't quite sure what that meant. And I know that for some people out there it brings to mind a nursing home or they think of a facility that is anything but an actual home. How do you define senior living or a senior living community?

- Yeah Melissa, the nursing home is a very powerful vision in people's heads and it's generally negative and I hear that pretty much all the time including sometimes social workers and doctors will even tell somebody you need 24 hour care or you need skilled nursing. I think you and I probably both know that most people don't need skilled nursing. So anyway, it's a powerful thing to overcome and that's one of the things I try to work with people but in my view, independent living could be, you know a recreational vehicle. It could be a mobile home, but when I define it for the clients that I work with, it's independent living it's assisted living, assisted living with memory and then standalone memory communities as well as a skilled nursing, which is nursing home.

- Yeah, so when we hear those different categories, as you said, assisted living independent living, memory care, help us break down what each of those means.

- So I would say that independent living is generally just an apartment, generally a full kitchen. Most often the clients that I work with are not looking for services and how I define services is they don't want three meals a day. They don't want care services, maybe minimal activities. They might still be driving, but most communities still might have offered some transportation. So I say an apartment with minimal services or no services at all. Then assisted living clearly is an apartment with services. So in the state of Illinois, where I'm from you get three meals a day, whether you want it or not caregiver's on site 24/7, more structured activities. For example, right up the street from me is Arbor Terrace of Naperville. They have a bridges program. So bridges has activities for the bridges individuals. They have separate grouping of activities for assisted living, and then they also have activities for their locked secure dementia unit. And so that would be kind of the difference with the different communities. Memory care is generally a community where the entire staff is trained on memory care and manage generally all behaviors or more advanced behaviors. And so they also will provide medication management, 24/7 caregivers onsite, et cetera, et cetera. And then skilled nursing of course is gonna be the most advanced levels of care. You know, the way I describe it and what I share with people is if you've got a significant bedsore if you're on IV therapy, a feeding tube, a trake those are the reasons that you need to go to skilled nursing. But again, most seniors or family of seniors that I work with are well within the scope of a traditional assisted living or memory care community.

- Yeah, and the care is just so much more varied now as maybe opposed to 10 years ago, definitely 20 years ago and very targeted to individual needs. So when you hear, if you you've visited an Arbor Community as you have there in Naperville and you hear the term aging in place or we allow our residents to age in place, what does that mean to you?

- Yeah, I looked at it from two ways. There's the ability for a community to care for a person through end of life. And often communities will say you can have hospice come in. You can have pallets of care coming in. So the physical care that's needed through end of life. And then the second part of the equation especially here in the state of Illinois is as long as you have financial assets to pay through end of life, you can age in place. But many of the clients that we work with don't have unlimited funds. Or the family may believe they're gonna spend into Medicaid. So, I also look at it from that perspective. Are there communities that will transition you into Medicaid? I know each state is different, but here in the state of Illinois, generally it's private pay only. And then there are the Medicaid options.

- So let's dive a little bit deeper into what you offer seniors or their families in terms of what they're looking for and helping them identify the right lifestyle for them.

- So, Oasis senior advisors is a franchise probably over 80 franchisees throughout the United States. My wife and I opened this business six years ago. And the reason that we got into it was primarily because of the software program that Oasis provides us. So we have a detailed profile on every community in our database. And then when I get a client we build a profile on the client, including activities of daily living, the geography, their financial situation. And then we use that client profile to match with communities in the database. So when a client tells me, Alan we just wanna be in Naperville or we wanna be in Wheaton or Downers Grove or whatever. I can put that geography in. I can pull up a few communities. And that is another difference about us versus some of the online services that you can get involved with. We really narrow the search based on the needs geography and financial, and then we'll schedule tours and we tour with people so that we can help them ask the right questions. And that's one of the greatest benefits I think to being in Oasis franchisee owner and being of service to people is we know a lot about community so we can help people ask questions because ultimately my goal in helping people is to help them be confident as possible in making the right decision for them.

- I absolutely love that service because as you and I have talked with each other, when it comes down to this decision, usually it's because of an emergency. So when people contact you I assume that that's the large majority of individuals who need the help because something happened. And I know that we always tell people don't wait. What are some of the top tips you were giving your clients?

- Yeah, and you just said, the number one is, you know I don't think that anyone ever looks at this in a joyful manner saying, Hey, I'm ready to go. As a matter of fact, I'd say the contrary especially since COVID is, people are doing this reluctantly because they have to, they may realize they need help but it's not necessarily a joyful event in the beginning. So I do tell people as painful as it might be, plan ahead. If you're a senior it's always easier when you're more independent and you're able to make your own decisions. If you're a senior and then you go into the hospital and it becomes a crisis at times, I'll ask people do you want your kids making the decision for you or would you rather you make the decision? I think all of us would rather make our own decisions. If you're the siblings of loved ones who need care I would say the same thing is if you wait until your loved one has a crisis, the stress level goes up. The communication generally between hospitals and the rehab world are really not good. That seems to be something that's a real problem nowadays too, is I get calls from families who say I'm calling and I can't get any information back. So again, if you look ahead of time and if you get to a point where you know what, Alan, we're not moving or we don't need to move but we've got two places that we like you are way ahead that if that crisis happens and then you've got your loved one in a rehab situation and then you get a call and they say, you know what, you're gonna discharge in two days. You're way ahead of the game. You're gonna manage the stress. You're gonna feel more confident about making a decision.

- Yeah, excellent.

- I think the last thing I would say in reference to that too is you're spending a lot of money, four to six or $7,000 a month. And I sort of make a statement, a demand and I'm asking the clients hold me accountable. If you're going to spend that kind of money, you better be sure about your decision and I'm gonna help you 'cause I don't write those kinds of big checks every month. So a lot of money is being spent and you should expect to find satisfaction.

- And having somebody like you, your wife, or or the other franchisees throughout the country in their corner is incredible. So what a great service and a great opportunity for our viewers to be able to chat with you. Excellent information. Your webinar is scheduled for May 26th at 4:00 PM Eastern time. And our viewers will have a chance to chat with you then. Now, Alan, if they just can't wait how can they contact you now?

- Yeah, so in the Naperville Illinois surrounding area if you Google Oasis Senior Advisors Naperville, you'd probably go right to our website. My phone number, and you can text me. That's probably a better way to catch me. Text me at 360-1041. Again, 360-1041. If you're in another state in the United States if you just Google Oasis Senior Advisors, you'll get to our corporate website. You can put in your zip code or your city. You can find out if there's a certified senior advisor in your area to help you. For people who are even outside of my area. I still take calls because even if you live in another state that doesn't have an Oasis advisor, I can probably give you some recommendations to move forward with some level of confidence. We have helped people place outside of our state, so it can be done.

- Excellent. The different types of senior living explained. Alan, we look forward to seeing you for your webinar on May 26.

- I'm excited, thanks Melissa.

- Thank you. Now to catch this webinar, you can head over to to register. And while you are there, feel free to check out the rest of our content. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We thank you for watching Senior Living Live or listening to Senior Living Live on our new podcast. Have a great day, everybody.

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