The approaching holiday season means the gathering of family from far and wide, many of whom have not seen their older family members for a year or more. Many will come away shocked and surprised that mom or dad or grandma or grandpa have aged significantly. In more serious cases, the younger family members may be concerned at what they perceive as a drastic reduction in the ability of their loved one to live independently. They may even feel that the older person’s safety is at immediate risk.
Therefore, this holiday season is a prime time for you – the Certified Senior Housing Professional in your city – to be of utmost service to both the senior and their family members.
In some scenarios, a family member may have a hunch that the senior is having some difficulty with living independently but be unsure as to what clues to look for to bolster (or explain) their concerns to the senior or other family members.
Most will be confused as to what to do next and what their options concerning senior housing and care may be. Worse, if most or all of the family members live a significant distance away from the older senior, the stress and difficulty in handling the situation mounts further.
At this juncture, both the senior and the family caregivers need you, their local CSHP, to look at the specific situation and offer advice and solutions. But, of course, if they don’t know about you or your service, their problems only mount.
It’s important that you get the word out this holiday season to both your circle of influence and to the general public. Of course, this can be done through traditional advertising and also by focusing your email database and direct mail marketing on this topic.
You should also make sure that you have a couple of blog posts focused on this issue and on highlighting your expertise in the area. Social media posts across all of your online platforms must contain several messages designed to help your followers, fans, and friends know how to handle the situation if it arises in their family.
Here are just a few of the questions likely to be swirling in their mind:
Do they need to move or will home health care be enough?
How do we pay for either help or assisted living?
How do I broach the subject to them?
How do I talk about this to my other family members?
How can we arrange this when all of live out of town?
Am I just being paranoid? What signs of decline should we all be watching for?
Who’s going to arrange and manage everything? The sale of the house? Moving? Estate Sales?
Who can help us understand the financial implications?
What options are there with Medicare?
Do they have to go to a nursing home? What level of care do they need?
Should they or can they move in with any of us? Can any of us give them the proper care?
How do we find a good senior community? Can someone help with this?
Again, these are just a few of the problems that a family member is overwhelmed with when a holiday visit shows signs that an older loved one may need help living alone. Structure your advertising, blog posts, and social media posts to address these issues and remind folks that you can be of service.
Keep in mind that home health care providers and senior communities always note an increase in the number of “cold” first time inquiries they receive from family members during and immediately after the holiday season. Make sure those senior professionals – your colleagues – know that you are available to be of service with many of these issues that lie outside their realm of expertise.