Assisted Living Week: How We Can Show Appreciation – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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In celebration of Assisted Living Week, Jenerations Health Education, Inc. would like to formally thank all the very generous senior living communities who have sponsored our family caregiver and continuing education programs over the years. It’s been quite a privilege for our speakers to be welcomed into these buildings which house thousands of older residents all over the country.

How can we health, legal and financial professionals who participate in senior living-sponsored educational events show our appreciation this week? Here are 5 ideas:

1. Remember you are visiting a residents’ home. Attending an educational event in a senior living community is not the same as attending one in a conference center. The staff are always striving to make sure you have a comfortable experience but their priority always must be resident care. So if it takes a little time for the free coffee to be refilled, try to be patient!

2. Try to leave the restrooms and event space the way you found it. When a senior living community opens up its doors to professionals, an additional burden is placed on housekeeping and dining services staff. That said, if there is a major spill, be sure to alert staff immediately to reduce both visitor and resident fall risk.

3. Take a tour! Many of us need to run out the door after the event to get back to our busy patient and client schedules. But if you have some time try to join the staff for a quick tour. You never know if a client, patient or even your own family member would be a good candidate for their services someday.

4. Send a quick thank you e-mail to the staff member who invited you. You might mention that you appreciated the presentation topic or the delicious omelet station. But better yet mention something positive you observed or experienced that day. Did you watch a certified nursing assistant patiently assist a resident down the hall? Note the nursing assistant’s name and pass on the compliment! Everyone in healthcare hears so many complaints–make their day by sharing something you saw that was positive.

5. Leave a review on social media! Most senior living communities have a Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram page. Mention your positive experience and include a photo of you enjoying their special event (just be cautious about featuring residents in a photo unless you have explicit permission from the resident and/or his/her power of attorney).

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. 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.