Entrepreneurs Who Are Also Family Caregivers Series – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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This article is the third in a series about successful entrepreneurs who are crushing it in their businesses but also managing the challenge of caring for a loved one.

Bob Phibbs has been known as The Retail Doctor (www.retaildoc.com [retaildoc.com]) since 1994 when he started his company.  He helps retail companies like Tommy Bahama, Hunter Douglas and Vera Bradley create extraordinary customer experiences.  He’s also a professional speaker and the author of The Retail Doctor’s Guide To Growing Your Business.  While creating and growing this incredible business, Bob has also been taking care of his partner of thirty years, John, who has a degenerative disorder.

Bob emphasizes how important his friendships have been to his ability to develop a successful business while taking good care of John.  While many caregivers appreciate their friends, Bob’s perspective is unique.  He says, ““Just make sure you’re not updating them daily or you never get a break.” 

While sometimes you want to vent to friends about your caregiving struggles, you may get more relief by letting a friend distract you with a funny story or going bowling, or watching a baseball game.  What can caregivers who are running businesses learn from Bob’s perspective?

  1. Business owners tend to be focused on growing their companies and little else.  Especially when a business owner is caregiving, there is often little time left for friends.  Make time—they can be truly invaluable to keeping you afloat during the tough times.
  2. Know that different friends can offer different types of help.  Some friends are great listeners.  Others may be better at making you laugh.
  3. If you do find yourself venting constantly to friends about the stress of business ownership and caregiving, consider a support group or psychotherapist.

Join us next week for the fourth article in this series about entrepreneurship and caregiving!

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Three Reasons You Aren’t Building Momentum With Your Senior Living Marketing Events – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Savvy senior living sales and marketing teams have long counted on events to help build their pipeline. Inquiry events build and further relationships with prospective residents and their family members. Continuing education and other networking events allow you to do the same with professional referral sources. But if you are struggling to build momentum with your senior living marketing events, maybe you are making one of these three mistakes:

  1. You aren’t planning far enough ahead. Even you are able to secure a quality speaker with minimal notice, you want to advertise at least a month ahead of time. Unless you already have a following of “regulars” who are on the lookout for your event information, it’s likely to be a tiny audience if your lead time is short.
  2. You assume prospective guests only need to hear about your event once. You know how fast-paced the world is. Don’t assume that one mailer will get the attention of your perfect audience. You want your ideal attendee to get sick of hearing about your event! Do e-blasts. Drop off flyers where your prospective guests congregate. Advertise in newsletters, newspapers as well as on social media. Ask non-competing industry partners to share with their networks. Make sure your guest speaker is engaged in this process as well.
  3. You aren’t ready when they show up. If the room in which your event is to be held is still being set up, your guests notice. They also notice if there isn’t someone from your community on hand to greet them when they arrive. If food is to be served after your speaker presents that’s fine– but at minimum beverage service (coffee, iced tea, water, etc.) should be available when guests arrive. A good rule of thumb is to have your room and refreshments ready at least 30 minutes before start time. And make sure you (or somebody) from your community is able to say hello to those early birds.

If you plan ahead, market the heck out of your event and are bright-eyed and organized when your senior living event guests arrive, you will be on your way to building your senior living event momentum!

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Cruising Through Caregiving Meditations: Have You Checked Them Out? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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We have a new initiative on our Jenerations Health Youtube page!  If you’ve read Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, you know it utilizes boating and nautical imagery to help you reduce your caregiver stress.  Our new videos offer you brief views of beautiful water and the sounds of the sea.  These short clips allow you to take a quick respite from caregiving at either work or home.

Check out our first two Cruising Through Caregiving Meditations here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pvMVN17abs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKYncS-oVzg

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Understanding Millennial Staff & Patients In Healthcare – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Unfortunately, stereotyping based on age is not unusual in healthcare.  This is a problem because it’s essential that we treat patients, caregivers and colleagues of different generations with respect.  But do you know how to most effectively treat persons of different generations with respect?  If you are a Gen-Xer, Baby Boomer or Traditionalist, check out this short video on how to better understand your Millennial patients, caregivers and colleagues in the healthcare workplace:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMMZ62S7Kc4

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

One Simple Habit That Takes Your Professional Senior Living Marketing Event To The Next Level – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Most senior living communities host events so professional referral sources will visit.  This allows your community to be top of mind if that case manager, social worker, physical therapist, attorney or financial planner ever needs to refer a client or patient.

Successful senior living sales professionals know what it takes to make the professional marketing event a success.  Choose a great speaker.  Select an interesting topic.  Provide continuing education credits.  Many sales and marketing professionals even go the extra mile by providing a fabulous meal to accompany the presentation.  But where do many senior living sales professionals fall short?  They leave the room once the speaker is introduced.

Senior living sales professionals spend their marketing budget, time and energy building up this event to better connect with referral sources.  Why on earth would they leave once the real return on investment is about to begin?

Many times the senior living salesperson has a tour with a family scheduled during the event time.  Maybe the salesperson wants to catch up on paperwork in his or her office.  Or perhaps the operations staff has once again pulled them in to dealing with non-sales related tasks.

Do yourself a favor.  Make a commitment to staying for the entire professional educational event.  When the professional referral sources comment and ask questions during the educational event, that is when you learn about their problems.  And how you might be able to help solve them.

Every sales training instructs salespeople to ask about “challenges”, “problems”, and “what keeps you up at night?”  But since everyone is so busy these days, are you always able to go deep with case managers, attorneys, social workers, and financial planners who may send clients and patients your way?  Sitting in on a professional education event is the most efficient way to hear what “keeps them up at night.”

For example, during a recent continuing education presentation I provided at a senior living community, a physical therapist lamented about how taxing it was when families just don’t understand their loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.  This was a great opportunity for the salesperson to provide information to that therapist about the community’s upcoming family educational events or the support groups offered in their building.  Sadly the salesperson was not in the room to hear these concerns.  Sure, these flyers were sitting out on a table.  But it’s not the same as the salesperson approaching that physical therapist, acknowledging her concerns and offering possible solutions personally.

Stay for the professional educational events in your community.  It’s time well spent.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.