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How to find quality senior care for your loved one

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Multiple viewers reached out after CBS 6 Problem Solver Melissa Hipolit reported on alleged problems at an assisted living facility. Many of those who contacted the station said they too were having similar issues with their loved one’s care facility.

Hipolit decided to explore ways to help people find quality care.

People like Judy Harrison.

Harrison went on her first date with husband Brad more than 20 years ago.

"This is Brad and myself on our first date in his red convertible," Harrison said showing off photos. "He has a dry wit."

Brad and Judy Harrison

Brad and Judy Harrison

Brad can still make Judy laugh, but eight years ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and started wandering off.

"We were 850 miles away from home when he got struck by a car," Harrison said.

Judy quickly looked around for an assisted living community for Brad, and found one at Brookdale Midlothian.

"Just took the first place that I thought looked OK kinda thing, and that didn’t work out," Harrison said.

Brad and Judy Harrison

Brad and Judy Harrison

Brookdale Midlothian was the subject of a recent CBS 6 investigation after a woman told us her mother fell more than 12 times in the facility in less than 11 weeks. Those falls resulted in five visits to the emergency room.

Harrison said she didn’t know what to do when she removed Brad from Brookdale.

“How does anyone know?” Harrison said.

That’s when a friend recommended Amada Senior Care, a private business that helps seniors and their loved ones find senior living communities. The service is free of charge.

Jay Mann

Jay Mann

“There are people who dedicate their professional efforts to finding what the best qualities are in individual living communities, how long the licensure is, what the costs are, what the availability is, what the reputation is, where they are geographically,” Jay Mann, President of Amada Senior Care, said.

Mann said Amada Senior Care gets paid by the senior living facilities when they place someone, but he said his clients choose a facility themselves from a variety of options.

“Know that if you’re in a position where you need more than 12 hours a day of personal care in your home, that’s about the break- even point for going into an assisted living community versus getting care in the house, but then work with a company like ours or another one that can help you understand what those options are and make decisions based on that,” Mann said.

They’re options that led Harrison to find a new home for Brad where he is happy.

“I’m so grateful,” Harrison said.

Mann said families need to have a plan for aging in place.

He said long term care insurance is a great asset, but can be challenging to navigate.

He recommended visiting seniornavigator.com, which is a non-profit website that provides free aging resources to Virginians.