Having a relationship . . . a partnership with one or more home care companies can provide you with some tremendous benefits.

This is part 6 of a series of 9 partnerships every assisted living community should have that was first presented at the Marcus Evans Long Term Care Summit In Florida. See the side bar for the complete list of partnerships in the series.

Having a relationship . . . a partnership with one or more home care companies can provide you with some tremendous benefits.

Before partnering with home care companies you need to understand that the long-term dependency home care creates and fosters will ultimately reduce their clients longevity. By their very nature, these companies do not encourage independence or proper socialization, and do not have the health care partnerships to meet their clients needs.

The Competition

In fact home care companies are actually your biggest single competitor. Customers who were previously on home care will move into your assisted living community later and sicker, so they’re not going to live with you as long. Because of this, they will actually decrease your average length of stay.

9 Partnerships
1 – Therapy / Home Health
2 – Physician Group
3 – Skilled Nursing Facilities
4 – Pharmacy
5 – Home Care Companies
6 – A Real Estate Company
7 – DME & Ambulance Companies
8 – Hospice
9 – A Coach

Our experience is that home care workers will try to endear themselves to the family and resident, to ensure their continued employment. They do this by making the resident dependent on their care and saying bad things about your and other assisted living communities. At all costs, you do not want home care providers in your assisted living community unless it is for a short period of time and, preferably, at the very end of life.

Rather than use a home care agency, we utilize a point system for determining levels of care and we adjust points and staffing so that our residents get all the help they need from our caregivers.

When It Makes Sense

Yet we do partner with home care companies to motivate them to send us their clients who are ready for assisted living as soon as is appropriate. To do that, we offer incentives so they give us those referrals.

Like A Place for Mom, you need to offer a financial incentive for their referrals. From their perspective, referring a resident to you means losing a client and they will not do that without being compensated by a referral fee.

I will caution you here that incentives can only be paid to any entity when it involves private pay funds. You cannot provide incentives as a referral fee when the government will be paying the funds through Medicaid, Medicare or VA Aide and Attendance.


Once you have a partnership with a home care company, you might want to consider educating their staff. The way we do this is to offer a weekly lunch program where the caregiver brings their client, who is on home care, into the community for lunch and to play Bingo, or to participate in a another activity.

For example, if the resident group was going out to lunch somewhere, you would have your bus pick up the client and caregiver so they could participate in the event. You may also invite them into your facility beauty shop or to use or participate in other amenities.

The idea is to get that client into your community on a regular basis so they become more comfortable and interested in living there before they run out of money or become incapacitated by the overuse of home care.

Scott Middleton