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.

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.

 

5 Tips To Help You Live Happily Ever After At Home For The Rest Of Your Life – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Nobody’s first choice is to live in a nursing home. Most people prefer not to move in with adult children or other loved ones either. Even if an older adult is open to the idea of a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) or assisted living, they are very expensive options. Aging in place is often considered the most cost-effective option for those who are healthy. Though many older adults will eventually reside in senior living residences, most would prefer to live at home for as long as possible. Here are 5 tips to help you do just that:

  1. Choose your home for aging in place carefully. Living near reputable healthcare institutions and providers you trust is crucial. Having a social support system nearby is also vital. Finally, having a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor is a huge help. Many older adults opt to move into a rancher or a condo with an elevator so navigating stairs will never be an issue. While this is a great strategy, some older persons want to remain in their “forever home” indefinitely. Remaining in the multi-story home in which you raised your family is a viable option if there is a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor. If an older person becomes less ambulatory, these features make the difference between being able to age in place or not. Ideally, the older person living in a multi-story home will also have the laundry machine on the first floor as well.
  2. Understand normal aging and prepare for it. In order to age in place successfully, it helps to understand the normal aging process. All of our senses and organs become a bit less efficient. Even when no disease or abnormal conditions are present, all of us experience these changes. For example, all older adults are more at risk for falls because of diminished reaction time which happens to everyone. Older adults desiring to age in place should be mindful of anything that would exacerbate fall risk in the private home: throw rugs, dim lighting, clutter, etc.
  3. Join or start a Village. Villages are grass-roots community based organizations that help support members who wish to age in place. To find out if there is one in your community or how to start one, check out www.vtvnetwork.org.
  4. Embrace technology. Life Alert systems are quite effective in detecting falls, especially the ones that are waterproof and can be worn in the bath or shower. Wearable technologies like Jawbone Up, Fitbit and Lively Safety Watch can allow family members to track some of the older person’s health habits. For example, the family member and older person aging in place can both wear the Jawbone Up or Fitbit, link their accounts and see data like how many steps the other person has taken or the quality of the other person’s sleep. Not only does this increase information that family has about an older loved one’s lifestyle but it may encourage the older person to be less sedentary and embrace better sleep habits. The Lively Safety Watch includes sensors that can be attached to the refrigerator and other objects in the home (e.g. a bathroom door) to determine how often the older person has been eating or when she uses the restroom.
  5. Look into home care options now. You may not need help with chores or taking a shower right today but someday you might.  Get to know the home care options in your community early—before you need home care services.

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.

Are You Generationally Sensitive To The Senior Living Buyer? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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The generation in which we are raised impacts how we see the world, communicate and make purchasing decisions. For a very long time, senior living marketing and sales staff have focused their efforts on impressing our oldest generations: the Traditionalists and Baby Boomers.

As a senior living marketing or salesperson, are you aware that more Millennials are caregiving than ever before?  AARP reports that about 25% of all caregivers are currently of the Millennial generation.  What have you done to gain better insight into the minds of these younger adult child shoppers of senior living? The features and benefits that appeal to Baby Boomers and their parents may be perceived very differently by Generation X and Millennials.

What values are common for Generation X and Millennials? What is most important to them?  What are their expectations? With the changing senior living landscape, understanding how to shift strategies when working with buyers of different age groups is essential.   How are you keeping current?  Jenerations can help you better understand senior living shoppers of different generations; please click here for more information: https://jenerationshealth.com/keynotes/

 

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.

Eighty Never Looked So Good: 5 Ways George Takei Continues To Inspire – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Today, on George Takei’s 80th birthday, here are 5 ways the man best known for Star Trek and LGBT activism shows us that age is just a number:

1. Takei keeps intellectually active.  Not only does he still work but he recently taped his Broadway show Allegiance, bringing it to movie theaters, breaking a film screening record:  http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-george-takei-screening-breaks-records-20170106-story.html

2. He defies age stereotypes.  With over 10 million followers on Facebook, 2 million on Twitter and 1 million on Instagram, Takei demonstrates that social media is most certainly not only for the young.

3. The Howard Stern Show announcer believes in moderation.  Takei enjoys wine, meat and even the occasional Taco Bell meal.

4. The former Heroes star is physically active.  100 pushups and 50 sit-ups daily isn’t bad for a person of any age!  Plus, he talks openly about how he and husband Brad Altman are still intimate even as they get older (which most older adults can be if they want).

5. He’s got a positive outlook.  While Takei admits he has “bad feet” and some aches and pains, he is grateful for a healthy body.

So if you ever think you (or a colleague or family member) is just “too old,” consider George Takei.  Are you judging yourself, a coworker or a family member on only chronological age?  Activities, interests, work and habits say much more about people of all generations than the dates on their birth certificates.

 

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.