Posted by Matt Register

Alane Roberts, with Assisted Living Locators, talks about the process of finding the right assisted living fit for your loved one.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.

Matt Register: Hey guys. Welcome to the show, Texas Business Radio. This is episode 119 if you can believe it. We got a jam packed show for you today. We have covered quite a bit of ground. We’re talking construction. We’re also talking about some medical issues that are going on.

In the mean time guys, get your calls in. 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line. 24 hours, that means call in now, call in later, call in at 3:00 in the morning. I’m not sure I really care when you call in. We’re gonna get the experts on here to get those questions answered. We also monitor hashtag TBR on Twitter, or go to the website and get your question in that way. Either way works.

I’m your host, Matt Register. Jay Curry’s the one sitting over there in the co-host chair. We’re gonna kick it off talking about how you take care of your loved one as they get old, and as they need some elder care, as they need additional care in their life. There are people out there that are experts at this that can help you on your journey. What do you think, Jay?

Jay W. Curry: This has been an eye opener. Of course, I have to worry because I’m afraid my kids may be listening. But, it’s an eye opener of what’s out there and what’s available. We should all know this. We should be aware of it, and I think this is going to inform a lot of people about something new out there that they need to know about, how to take care of your parents.

Matt Register: Yeah. No doubt about that. Alane Roberts is the president of Assisted Living Locators out of Houston. Alane, welcome to the show.

Alane Roberts: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Matt Register: So, Assisted Living Locators. What do you do? Who do you do it to?

Alane Roberts: Well, what I do is help families that are dealing with the growing care concerns of an aging loved one, and we help them craft a solution that best meets the needs for their care.

Matt Register: Okay. Now, what that practically means is there are a lot of flavors of assisted living out there.

Alane Roberts: That is true. That’s true.

Matt Register: There are a lot of flavors of assistance that somebody may need, right?

Alane Roberts: That people need. That is correct. There’s a lot of different properties that do a lot of different things. So, we might have independent living, assisted living, memory care which covers all kinds of issues that have to deal with cognitive decline, or residential care homes. They deal with different levels of acuity at different price points.

So, what we do when we work with a family is we start with three main criteria. What are the care needs of your loved one? What’s going on with mom or dad? What budget is available to care for them? And, what part of town would you like for them to be in? Are you gonna see them every day or every weekend?

We start with those three main points and work out from there, and help them find a place that can help them take care of their parent.

Matt Register: So, in the universe of care facilities, everything from … and you’re gonna correct me on this. We were talking right before the show. It’s not nursing home, but like severe … a lot of assistance they need, right?
Alane Roberts: Assisted living, which has various licensures for different levels of care. So, there’s independent living, and assisted living, and memory care, depending on what’s going on with your loved one, and how much care they need.

Matt Register: Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but we have a generational issue going on.

Alane Roberts: We do.

Matt Register: We have a lot of baby boomers that are starting to need additional care.

Alane Roberts: This is true.

Matt Register: How has this affected not only your business, but the actual elder care business? Not only in a growth market in Houston. We have more people moving in here, right?

Alane Roberts: Correct.

Matt Register: But we also have an aging population.

Alane Roberts: We do.

Matt Register: How has that affected this environment?

Alane Roberts: There’s simply, in a number of ways, a lot more facilities, period. So, there’s a lot more people that are seeing that, what we call a silver tsunami, the aging baby boomer-

Matt Register: Okay.

Alane Roberts: … and coming into the market place in a variety of ways. One of those in my space is building more buildings to help take care of aging people. Another thing that it’s done, is for those people that have been in business a long time, it’s kind of made them up their game and be a little sharper at what they do because there’s a lot more competition in the marketplace now.

Matt Register: Sure.

Alane Roberts: Just a sheer number of people that are going to need care, has garnered a lot of attention of people.

Matt Register: Now, are you seeing that these places are specializing more? Or are they just more numbers of general care type facilities?

Alane Roberts: There’s more of all of it, but the most specialized thing that I think has come up the most frequently would be memory care only facilities.

Matt Register: Now, we’re talking not only dementia, but Alzheimer’s, and that type is memory care. Is that accurate?

Alane Roberts: We call memory care anything in the cognitive decline space. So, that could be Alzheimer’s, dementia, progressed Parkinson’s also manifests itself, sometimes brain injury or people that have had a stroke.

Matt Register: Okay.

Alane Roberts: The way that their care needs are progressing finds them appropriate for a memory care community. And that’s what we do, is listen to what’s going on with your loved one, what kind of care is going on, what is needed. And then we direct them toward appropriate communities.

Matt Register: Well, one of the things from our discussion right before the show started that I found interesting is, there’s a lot of facilities out there, and you’re tracking all these guys. Somebody that is looking to put their parent or one of their relatives into a facility like this, they’re not. So you know the ones that are having issues and the ones that aren’t haven’t issues, is that right?

Alane Roberts: That’s correct. Part of our job is to be very connected to the community and know who they are, what do they specialize in, and what’s going on over there? So, we’ll hear about it if there is a problem in a community, or people are exiting that community for whatever reason, or if there are new communities that are being built that address a new issue.

There are some memory care communities that have a special unit that handles high acuity non memory care. So, our job is to be present in the community, know who’s in charge, and just show up and be there frequently so that we have a feel for what’s going on in that community. And, that helps us make a good match between family and care community.

Jay W. Curry: So Alane, one of the things I think about is, people don’t know maybe … If they have a doctor and they say there’s Alzheimer’s, that’s pretty cut and dry.

Alane Roberts: Okay.

Jay W. Curry: But if they don’t know and they’re looking that they’re gonna have to get some help with some assisted living, do you advise them, help them figure out which one is best? Do you require them to have doctor’s approval? How do you decide which one they fit into unless the doctor tells you? Does that make sense? It’s a-

Alane Roberts: Well the doctor will often make a recommendation that your mom can no longer live alone, and she’ll need to either go into a community or have some sort of care in her home.

Jay W. Curry: So, is that the first step? Is that usually?

Alane Roberts: Sometimes that’s what happens. Sometimes there’s an incident where mom has ended up in the hospital.

Jay W. Curry: Right.

Alane Roberts: And she is not going to recover-

Jay W. Curry: Had a stroke, or …

Alane Roberts: … to the same level. But what happens is, the main thing that we do when we talk to a family is listen. So, what brought you to this point? What brought mom to the hospital? Why did you call me? What’s going on?

And so, we have an in depth interview process that we do to see what’s going on. What are the family dynamics? What is happening? Because, the better job we do about telling them what to look for when they go out and tour a community, and prepare them and set the expectation for what transition looks like … It’s not an easy thing to do. So, if we prepare them for being comfortable talking to that executive director because mom could have a bad day and how are we gonna manage that …

So, not only do we just direct them toward appropriate communities, but we council them and prepare them for what transition looks like for their family.

Jay W. Curry: That’s true.

Matt Register: Well, because transition isn’t necessarily smooth.

Alane Roberts: Not necessarily.

Matt Register: There may be resistance from the … This isn’t-

Alane Roberts: Very often there is, yes.

Matt Register: … an easy thing to get done. Folks like you are there to help ease that transition because the cost of messing this up as a family member, as a loved one actually making the decisions-

Alane Roberts: Yes.

Matt Register: … is big, right?

Alane Roberts: It could be disastrous, yes.

Matt Register: So, how do they keep … Besides, I guess just coming up with, and being honest with, the advisor, right? On how to-

Alane Roberts: Right.

Matt Register: … is the easiest way to avoid doing something wrong on this, right?

Alane Roberts: Well, we kind of know that it’s hard for families to see things as difficult as they really are sometimes. So, there’s kind of a built in knowledge of, things might be a little worse than they’ll actually say.

Matt Register: Sure.

Alane Roberts: So, communities and elder co-advisors alike are prepared for what to listen for when they’re talking to us.

Jay W. Curry: Yeah.

Alane Roberts: So, we direct them toward what works best for them.

Matt Register: Well I tell you what, the most interesting thing about this though is that the actual facilities themselves are the ones paying you.

Alane Roberts: Right.

Matt Register: So, it doesn’t actually cost the patient any additional money.

Alane Roberts: Right. We’re a value add, both to the community and to the family. Communities spend a lot of time wading through people that aren’t appropriate for them, so they really appreciate someone that’s gonna come in and do all of the discovery on this particular case, help them frame their property with the other people that might be touring that day.

Matt Register: Fascinating. Alane Roberts, Elder Care Advisor and president of Assisted Living Locators in Houston. Thank you very much for joining us.

Alane Roberts: Thanks for having me.

Matt Register: The website is We’re gonna have that linked right from, if you’re driving and can’t take notes. We’re at a hard break. We gotta go pay a couple of our own bills. We’ll be back right on the other side of the break with a whole lot more Texas Business Radio.

Thanks for listening. We’ll be back right after this. Thank you, Alane, for joining us.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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