Using Social Networking to Research Assisted Living Staff

Social Networking

Social networking used to be a term used only by college kids.  But the explosion in popularity of sites like MySpace, Facebook, Flickr and Linkedin have made these tools common destinations for many adults.

The concept is simple – social networking lets you post a profile of yourself, pictures and lists of interests and hobbies.  Friends and business acquaintances “connect” to you, creating social network.

While most people use these sites for fun or networking, you can learn quite a bit about people from their social networking profile.

Now let’s be clear, you’re likely not going to find a criminal background or anything of that nature.  But you will learn a bit about the professionalism, social life and social circles maintained by the people ultimately responsible for the well-being of your love one.  You’ll also be able to validate the work experience communicated to you by the executive team at assisted living communities you may be considering.

Let’s look at how to use the two most popular sites.


Linkedin is a social networking tool designed for business professionals.  It enables users to build social networks with people based on common jobs, schools, companies and special interest groups.  Like many companies during the interview process, you can use Linkedin to validate the resume and experience of a community’s executive staff.  Since you’ll likely be asking executive staff about their work experience anyway, Linkedin can help you validate that experience.


Facebook was a created by college kids who wanted to create social networks based on activities, hobbies, music and other things.  As such, Facebook is predominately used for social purposes.  Recently, Facebook has been embraced as a business tool as well.  Two Facebook features relevant to this discussion are “wall posts” and pictures.  Facebook enables users to post public messages on their friends’ profile pages, which can give you a good glimpse into their personality and circle of friends.  Facebook also enables users to post photos and identify their friends in those photos.  A quick skim of a user’s pictures often uncovers similar things to that of wall posts.

For those who already have social networking accounts, give it a try.  And if you are in the process of evaluating an assisted living community, spend some time on Linkedin or Facebook.  They are free to use and can give you tremendous peace of mind – whatever you find.

  • Lou

    This is an excellent suggestion for people trying to obtain the best care for their loved one. It takes what many people would consider a difficult task and makes it very simple. The sites that you recommended are easy to access and easy to use. Good article.

  • Katie

    Great article Ryan and so true as I know from experience. My husband and I use to be admins on a large social networking site, and then he and a friend of his opened one of their own, which is great fun. Another good point is it is also an excellent place for elders to go and make friends on social networking sites. I have several friends that are age 65 to 89 on social networking sites and these wonderful people are part of my life and they come from so many places around the world.

    The site we own is called Umgani and it means friendship in Africa. One of the members there is very elderly and is from Canada and writes wonderful posts and blogs. Social networking sites are really excellent ideas for elders as well.


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  • erikaroe (Erika Roe)

    RT @InsideElderCare Using Social Networking to Research Assisted Living Staff — Inside Elder Care

  • mike_gamble (Mike Gamble)

    RT @erikaroe: RT @InsideElderCare Use Social Networking to research caregiver staff or potential private duty help

  • SandwichINK (Kaye Swain)

    RT @mike_gamble @erikaroe @InsideElderCare Use Social Networking 2 rsrch caregiver helpers! Gr8 idea! :)

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