The founders of the site initially started working on a not-for-profit project called 'LIFEfriends' - a volunteer visiting programme for people in aged care that wouldn't normally get to see many visitors. After piloting the programme, and talking to resthome and aged care facility managers, it was clear that there was a real need to expand this nationally. However, to do that was going to require some form of funding.
With previous and recent experiences of helping family move into various retirement and aged care facilities (due to changes in health), it became clear that the retirement villages and aged care facilities varied greatly in environment, activities, workplace culture and management approach. Although there was audit information available on each of the facilities - this primarily covered health systems and processes. There was no where that you could go to compare retirement villages and aged care facilities, or read reviews from residents, friends and family or other people that visited or worked there. One of the sites founders commented how their experience of the care offered within a facility was great, but "It was sometimes very difficult to have simple requests actioned that would help improve the quality of life for our parents (or even other residents)... or when facility promotional material and 'Audits' said that there were weekly van outings, but in reality the residents that we came in contact with hadn't been taken out in a van in the 15 months that we had been visiting there."
Yet, overseas there were review sites specifically for aged care or retirement villages. In the UK, one website alone has over 80,000 comments from residents on their first-hand experiences - many of them sharing how great the care is.
So with the desire to see all residents have regular visitors combined with the need of firsthand testimonials on what retirement and aged care facilities were doing well at, and what good be improved - AGEDADVISOR was developed. A site for us to 'share our experience' - the good, the bad, and what really goes on, so that others can make informed decisions on where they or their loved ones can best plan to spend the next stage of their lives.
With over 1100 reviews on almost 300 facilities - people can now read about the great things that are going on at many of the facilities around New Zealand, and make better informed decisions - thanks to the very people that live, visit or work there.
We understand that some reviewers may want to post 'honest' feedback, but fear retribution for posting comments about the facility that either they, a family member or friend might be staying in. They need to be able to share their experience without any fears.
This is why we allow names to be 'withheld'.
NOTE: For any reviews to be submitted, we still require the users first and last name and at least one form of contact, so we can ensure we only post verifyable comments and reviews. Not all the reviews we receive are posted, for this reason.
No. We appreciate people may want to remain anonymous (for various reasons) while posting a comment. We do require at least a name and a contact number or email address (which we use internally only for verification purposes). We will only show your first name - unless you have requested an anonymous name - then no first name will show. Also, we do not share contact details or email addresses with any facilities, suppliers or advertisers.
Some listings may have more information than others, either because the facility owner / manager has not checked their details and added additional information, or the facility have upgraded their listing to allow additional contact details, their weblink, logo and photos to be displayed.
We have a "3 Stage Moderation Process" in place. When a review is posted the following happens;
• Our Admin receive immediate notice of the review being posted.
• Initial moderation happens at an Admin level (first tier). Standard checks are performed to edit / remove;
- Individuals names - Grammar - Inappropriate language - Gross generalisations etc.
• Comments that are deemed outside of general moderation are then escalated to a Management level (second tier) for moderation.
• Comments flagged by Management as outside of second tier review are then passed to Legal (third tier) for review.
• Facilities & Provider HO's are offered the opportunity to opt-in (for free) to receive an automated email as soon as a review is posted. This can be sent to either the facility, head office, or both.
• They may report a comment that they dispute or believe want moderated. They provide a reason and the comment is automatically removed from online and replaced with a "Sent for moderation" message.
• Depending on the comment either one or both sides will then be contacted for additional information. The 3 tier process is then applied where necessary. The comment will then be either re-posted without editing, or edited. Once moderated, the 'Report this Comment' option is removed from online and any further approaches need to be made directly with Aged Advisor via our Contact Us page.
If someone posts a review that does not meet our comment guidelines or is untrue in nature, then the facility manager, or another user or Aged Advisor may flag the post for moderation, by clicking 'Report this Comment' next to the review. This will remove the comment from displaying on the site, for our Moderation Team to then review.
If the review is found to not meet our guidelines, or the private contact details are invalid, or for any other reasons that Aged Advisor deems necessary, the comment may be;
1. Permanently removed ...or ...
2. Edited ( with any content removed showing [EDITED] ) and then reposted.
The review will then display 'Moderated', and the 'Report this Comment' button disabled. Any additional concern on the posting will then need to be sent through to Aged Advisor via the Contact Us page.
An aged care facility or retirement village can respond to a comment that has been posted about them only if they have upgraded from a free listing to a paid plan. We see this as a valuable tool for facilities to let our readers know that they are taking an active role in listening to what people are saying about them. It gives the facilities an opportunity to thank reviewers for any positive / encouraging comments, or to respond to any changes that have or are being implemented, thanks to peoples feedback.
No. To ensure everyone has an opportunity to comment, find comments on, or compare any Retirement or Aged Care facility in NZ, we endeavor to maintain an updated list of every facility. We want to ensure our site visitors have access to the most comprehensive list available.
We have sponsors and businesses that support the site through advertising. We make sure that all our sponsors are not direct owners or head offices for aged care facilities or retirement villages. We also allow retirement villages and aged care facilities to upgrade their listing from a free listing for a monthly fee, with a portion of profits going to support a LIFEfriends visitation programme into Aged Care facilities.
Note: Unlike some other services, we are fully independent and receive no government or DHB funding, nor we are not affiliated with any Retirement Villages or Aged Care providers.
Facilities that upgrade to a paid monthly plan are able to add additional information to their page. This includes;
• company logo
• facility photos
• contact details
• their website link
• and youtube / video links for Retirement Villages.
Upgraded listings will show the facility logo alongside any reviews and will display ahead of any free listings in the 'default' sort option. Facility Owners / Managers are also able to respond to any comments that are posted, which helps inform other viewers as to any changes that may have been made.
Because these listings will contain more information, they do get more views. Additional information is available by contacting Aged Advisor using the 'Contact Us' page.
If you have posted a review and you notice a mistake then you will need to advise us via the contact us page.
If the facility has since changed the way they do things then we suggest you post a new comment / review and mention your 'update' to say if and what has changed / improved. This way viewers get to hear about the changes / improvements.
Unlikely, especially if it's the truth. We recommend you follow our review policy when posting a comment. We have clear systems for ensuring facilities are kept informed of any comments posted relating to them. They also have the opportunity to flag it for moderation. Should someone feel the need to sue anyone we would point them to a phenomenon called the 'Streisand Effect'.
In the event a comment is posted that the facility disagrees with, or it falls outside of our review policy, the facility owner (or anyone else logged in) may 'Report' the comment for moderation, giving the reason for why they have reported it.