How Can Skilled Nursing Communities Describe Lifestyle? (Part 2)

Part 1 described how the lifestyle of long-term care resident was not discussed in the admission process of the skilled nursing facilities I toured.  It was so bad that I could not call them communities, but instead considered them institutional facilities.

These were the 10 worst skilled nursing tour experiences that I encountered recently:

1)   Not one receptionist stood to greet me

2)   No one invited me to sit down

3)   I were not offered a beverage

4)   There was no sales – just admissions needs

5)   They did not talk about the quality of their care

6)   No one mentioned how the residents minds would be engaged

7)   No activity program or menu was offered

8)   Lifestyle for long-term care was not discussed

9)   They used terms like facility and diapers

10)   No one asked about my mom as a human being and what was most important to her – such as what does she enjoy most?

These would be my top 10 recommendations to discuss lifestyle for long-term care residents in the skilled care nursing admissions process.

1)   The receptionist should stand to greet the guest with a warm smile and a friendly greeting.

2)   The admission counselor should offer a beverage and invite the guest to sit down to discuss his or her parent’s needs.

3)   The counselor should have empathy for the guest by listening to their full story and determine if it is long-term or short-term stay.

4)   The quality of the nursing staff should be addressed and how this will benefit the guest’s parent on a long-term or short-term basis.

5)   On the way down the hall to show the available bed in a room (semi-private suite is better terminology), talk about how life can be vibrant at the community and mention some of the residents by name.

6)   Paint the picture of the live music coming in on a weekly basis, how a sitting room can be place where the guest can visit with their parent in the future and how residents are engaged on a daily basis.

7)   Show the activity calendar and share an example which happened today such as — how many residents enjoyed the morning exercise program.

8)   Talk about how they can make their parent’s side of the healthcare suite (nicer word than room) more home-like with personal touches and give examples (so many are two-bed suites).

9)   Find out what the resident can currently enjoy and what they could possibly do in the future through excellent therapy at your community.

10)   After careful listening, give examples of how their parent could be mentally engaged through an activity program, visiting volunteers or caring staff.  Give the guest a copy of the activity calendar and dining menu.

No one ever wants to be admitted to a skilled nursing facility. And no one wants to picture their parent trapped in a wheel chair for the rest of their lives with no brain stimulation.   So an admission person has an opportunity to treat the family with compassion and care.  They can paint the picture of great activities in the long-term lifestyle and bring some hope for the future of the long-term resident and their family.   A better admission process – produces better feelings from the family – and can increase your referrals.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at  For volume discount pricing or to inquire on Diane’s availability to coach and/or train your senior living marketing team (CCRC, independent living, assisted living or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email  For more information: Twitter: @market2seniors Web: Blog: