Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Online Senior Housing Locator

On July 21, 2008, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) introduced a new "online navigational tool to help older adults search for senior housing, no matter where they live." The resource was described in n4a's Press Release, entitled "National Association of Area Agencies on Aging rolls out nationwide senior housing resource during annual meeting in Nashville."

Powered by SNAPforSeniors®, the Senior Housing Locator makes objective, nationwide information available 24-hours a day, seven days a week through the convenience of the Internet.

Consumers and professionals alike will now have access to the n4a Senior Housing Locator through a link on

The tool allows users to search a database of more than 60,000 senior housing listings, including all licensed senior housing in the nation.

Member Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American Aging Programs will be invited to add a link to the tool or use a version co-branded for their own website.* * *
The Press Release explained how the Senior Housing Locator is similar to the existing Real Estate Multi-Listing Service maintained by Realtors®, but is targeted towards the specific needs of senior citizens as residents, and Aging Agencies as facilitators searching for appropriate facilities.

It is a free service "developed by SNAPforSeniors, representing another example of cooperative relationships among the aging network and private sector organizations." It is devoid of advertising, however, which suggests a more trustworthy service.

The Senior Housing Locator is similar to the real estate industry’s Multiple Listing Service, and functions much like a traditional search engine.

Users can search a database of assisted living communities, nursing homes, residential care facilities, continuing care retirement communities and a growing list of independent living communities, all at the click of a mouse.

Many listings provide information about care services, lifestyle amenities, payment options and more, with some including photo galleries and virtual tours. * * *

Eve Stern, RN, MS, president of SNAPforSeniors, [said] * * * “[T]he fact that all licensed communities are included eliminates the bias that referral services and advertising-based listing services exhibit.”
The varieties of licenced housing available to senior citizens in the various states make searching confusing, and the new search resource attempts to sort out the facility types:
There are 247 different senior housing license types in the United States. According to SNAPforSeniors, the inconsistency from state-to-state is a common source of confusion when it comes to finding housing in another area.

To help remedy this, the n4a Senior Housing Locator provides definitions for all 247 license types. Medicare certified facility listings also include a link directly to that facility’s quality report on Nursing Home Compare.* * *
About a week later, the new senior housing online search resource was promoted in a Press Release entitled "Society of Certified Senior Advisors introduces comprehensive online resource to clients in need of senior housing" (07/29/08) issued by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors®, of Denver, CO, the world’s largest membership organization educating and certifying professionals who serve seniors.

Its immediate involvement is an example of the "co-branding" offered and sought by
Through the Alliance Network Program, SNAPforSeniors licenses and private-labels its database and search tools to the websites of leading trusted sources, including the Alzheimer's Association and the Case Management Society of America. * * *
For more information about SNAPforSeniors, read its "Frequently Asked Questions" online. It is listed in Google's online "Senior Living Directories and Helps" that offers additional online resources.