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Assessing my parents' housing prospects

January 13, 2010
by Amy Foster Trenz
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A personal account of the senior housing search
Over a month ago, I flew across the country to attend the 2009 Advanced Sales & Marketing Summit for Senior Housing, Assisted Living, and Nursing Industries in Naples, Florida. This was my first professional conference in the Senior Housing sector (and, I quickly realized, a must-attend event). I was there to listen to industry experts address new ways of maximizing sales efforts to increase occupancy.
While I sat in the day-and-a-half summit session, my parents were sitting in their beachfront condominium just two miles south of the conference hotel. My parents, who will turn 85 next month, are recent full-time Florida residents after spending the last 20 years splitting their time and lives between the Midwestern town of my youth and Naples.
They’ve both victoriously battled cancerous cells, but in hindsight those occurrences appear to be anomalies. Overall, their health has been remarkably good: healthy eaters, avid exercisers, mental fortitude.
Until recently.
They seldom leave their condominium—either too tired or too worried that they’ll run into someone whose name they’ve forgotten. Food is of little interest, and the time to prepare a meal is even less appealing. The time I spent with them last month opened my eyes to the stark realities of aging.




Thanks to all for the feedback.

Capecodmermaid: You are correct. Communities are not listed in the order of excellence, but Google Maps does incorporate ratings as a part of their listing.

Imcavoy: How could I not check you out! Will follow up with you offline.

Capecodmermaid and Anonymous in Ohio: I am in complete agreement with you search results aren't the best way to a community. But keep in mind that in a typical search, only 20% of online searchers venture to the second page of results. If your community isn't on page one, it may not be found.


I enjoyed your article. I am with the Arbor Company and we are happy G5 clients! I would love to share information with you regarding our assisted living and memory care community, Barrington Terrace in Naples, FL. If you are interested, check us out at


I'm not sure how Google works but I don't think retirement communities are listed in the order of excellence. Not checking into some on the second page as you say may not be the best way to pick a place.

RM Sovich: Yes, I do believe that a well-run organization is consistent. No doubt that excellent communities appear on results page 2+, but those communities that appear in the top listings understand the power of the Internet and the necessity of being found and managing reputation.

Because of my ad budget, I may not be on the first page but it is what is happening inside the building that is more important than the size of the ad. I am in Ohio

"I don't want my parents living in a community that lands on the second page."

By implication you are saying that there is a connection between quality promoting and providing quality service. Interesting. A well run organization is consistent.