Each adult child needs to study the pros and cons of assisted living versus homecare for their particular parent’s needs. A recent article shared how a homecare worker left her client at the park for several hours a day (while she was supposed to be taking care of the senior), so she could spend alone time with her boyfriend at the senior’s home. The daughter of the senior had to take time off from work to confirm this neglect and abuse. Now the senior’s daughter is stuck and has to take time off from work to find a good solution for her mom.
This brings up the question: What quality of life does a senior with care needs have on a daily basis? Do they have fun, exercise and have social connections with numerous individuals? Or do they just get the basics of food, water, medication management, bathing and shelter?
Assisted living communities are regulated by the state they reside in. Every worker typically only has one responsibility such as: caregiver, nurse, food server, cook, medication technician, activities (fun and socialization), a driver (takes them to scheduled medical appointments and outings), housekeeping, maintenance, receptionist or administration (executive director, director of health services, business manager and marketer).
A single homecare worker working in a senior’s home – literally has to do it all: cooking, serving food, dishes, shopping, cleaning, bathing, medication management, incontinence care, maintenance, driving to doctor appointments and answering the telephone. Do they have much time or energy for fun activities, socialization or outings in the park with the senior?
Assisted living communities often think about competitor assisted livings and forget their biggest competition…someone staying in one’s own home with healthcare.
There can be risks to hiring a single caregiver to take care of a loved one living in their own home:
1) What if the caregiver (an adult child is relying on to care for their mom or dad while they are at work) does not show up? Does that adult child have to stay home from work and risk their job?
2) Can a senior rely on having the same caregiver on a regular basis in their home? Who shows up when that one caregiver is sick, on vacation or left the agency that employs them? Does the senior have a stranger caring for their personal needs, like changing a brief or receiving a bath?
3) One caregiver interacting with a seniors needs, does not create the social connections that a human being typically needs to thrive. (Think about how many people we meet each day at the grocery store, at drive up windows, co-workers and walking down the street.)
4) If one caregiver has to do all the multitude of care needs for a senior, how much fun and socialization time do they spend with the senior?
Share this message with adult children tours today – then watch the deposits roll in – create urgency for assisted living – it’s a better quality of life. Have a real conversation with prospects, remembering that you are the expert. Show passion for finding the best quality and safest solution for their parent’s care needs. Create high value for each service of your assisted living community, then when you get to the price, it will be less than 24-hour care in someone’s home. Stop focusing on real estate and focus on the emotional solution that will bring peace of mind to the family. Each person needs to research the best option for their parent. For me, I don’t worry – my mom lives in an assisted living in Seattle. Every time I randomly show up, she is thriving in her safe environment.