How to Avoid Common Pitfalls When Researching Assisted Living Facility in Denver

Author: Stacy's Helping Hand |


Researching care facilities online isn’t as easy as you might expect. Each Assisted Living Facility decides what level of care they will offer. They are all different and offer a wide range of services that differ from facility to facility. Assistance ranges from very little to a very high level of assistance. Also, it’s confusing, because prices vary considerably and how they charge can be different which makes it difficult to compare by price. If you choose to go it alone with a free online resource, avoid these common pitfalls assembled by our team.

Free Online Assisted Living Referral Services

Online sites provide information, but quickly turn into a sales machine for care facilities when you submit your contact information.


  • Online referral businesses tailor their sites to the facilities that pay them for the opportunity to market to potential customers and sell/share your private information that bombard you with marketing emails and countless calls.
  • Since facilities pay these sites for leads, you never get a full view of your best options in Denver.
  • Searches result in several landing pages that are just directories of care facilities. As you continue clicking, they don’t show you how the assisted living facilities look, or how to pay.
  • When you hit a dead end online and make a call, you aren’t likely to get all of the information you needed.
  • Online chat/phone “care operators” don’t have experience and aren’t trained in elder care. They are salespeople.
  • The expectation is that you will visit each facility to learn more. The reality is, they are paid higher commissions for brokering certain deals and push you to those facilities.
  • Knowledge about facilities/communities is not very detailed. Most often they have not toured them or know what care they specifically do and do not offer.

Recommended resource: The New York Times wrote an article about a potential headache of online research: Online Referral Services. A Helping Hand, Paid on Commission which stated it succinctly, “You think you’ve found an ally when you’ve really found a salesperson.” (Also, check out the comments section of the article if you have time.)

Recommended resource: The Questionable Lure Of Free Long-Term Care Placement Services by David Spiegel. He put it this way, “referral services are free to hire whomever they choose, irrespective of training and prior job experience. The primary job requirement — to use industry lingo — may simply be the marketing skill of “putting a head in the bed.”

A Better Free Alternative

The Seniors BlueBook is a good resource that lists almost every assisted living facility in the Denver Metro Area, but it is essentially just a database. They do not receive broker commissions or sell your contact information.


  • You will have to do all of the legwork and research on your own which can be very time consuming.
  • Not enough specific useful information about the care each facility provides and the associated cost.

Pitfalls to both Free Online Referral Services and The Seniors Blue Book:

  • You won’t learn a facility’s reputation for providing a quality level of care.
  • You still have to visit numerous facilities to see if they would be a good option
  • You may not ask the right questions.
  • Starting rates many times do not include care so you are surprised when it is not in your price range.
  • You could be touring with high-pressured facility sales/marketing people who have quotas to fill.

Maybe researching online alone isn’t for you? For more answers, read our blog post Do You Need an Expert in Assisted Living Denver? Or, call and talk to one of our local experts at Stacys Helping Hand, Inc for a free phone consultation at 720-248-7758 .