Searching for Senior Care: Two Industry Experts Share Their Insights




Meet Carol Bradley Bursack of Minding Our Elders.

With nearly two decades of eldercare experience to ground her, Carol has spent over a dozen years supporting caregivers and elders through her book, newspaper column, and articles.

We asked Carol if you had to give someone a senior care search step-by-step in 30 seconds (elevator speech-style), what would you say? Here’s her response.

I would say first take the tour. While doing so, watch how the staff treats each other. Is there respect from the top down as well as the bottom up?

Watch the staff interact with the residents. Again, is there respect? Do staff members look residents in the eyes? Get down to their level? This is all part of respect.

Are there creative activities for varied interests? Do they have choices for meals? Do most of the people seem happy or at least content most of the time? (Be realistic. Allow for sickness, special needs, bad days for some but feel for the general mood).

Stop by when you are not scheduled and just look around. Also, ask for references and listen to your gut. Again, be realistic, but if your gut says something is off, then try another place.

We also asked Carol what she believes most people misunderstand about the search process. Here’s her perspective:

Many people start out with a negative mindset and carry old ideas with them that are set in stone. They expect to find fault so they do. This is as bad as glossing over the good things. Try to be open-minded. Consider options for life and really try to see if this is a good fit. Is the negative feeling you have one that you brought in or is it warranted?


Meet Anne Tumlinson, founder of

Anne has spent the last two decades working on improving how America cares for its frailest, most vulnerable older adults.

Here’s Anne’s advice on the senior care search:

Take your time, get professional help from an unbiased source if possible, and remember that it’s not going to solve all your issues. You will [often] have additional costs beyond assisted living and you’ll still have to do caregiving. But it can be a great solution for isolation and safety.

Stay tuned for more tips and insights at Open Conversations
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Content for Open Conversations was developed in partnership with Caregiving Advice.


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