After a senior has been diagnosed with a progressive disease such as macular degeneration of the eyes, the onset of blindness, dementia, brain tumor, stroke, cancer, etc. – one of two things can happen:
- The senior gets their affairs in order and prepares for someone to care for them when they no longer can.
- They go into denial.
As a senior’s disease progresses they may come and tour at your community or mine. It is very difficult to know that this senior may be in an unsafe situation in his or her home. I think it affects each of us who are caring professionals in the senior housing industry. Yet, the senior refuses to bring in help to their home or move to retirement or assisted living community. It becomes even harder when the adult children are extremely worried. They may be begging you to talk his or her parent into moving into your senior living community.
I believe the biggest reason this type of senior does nothing is because they are only living in the moment instead of recognizing the potential hazards of their health deteriorating further.
What can we do to unfreeze seniors who may be at risk?
- Ask great questions
- Find out why they decided to tour your community today
- Inquire about what is most important for them
- Help them recognize they have a challenge
- Try to have them vocalize their plan for when they can no longer take care of themselves
- Educate them on potential future outcomes
As a professional senior living expert, who has the best interests of the senior at heart, what have you said or done to help unfreeze a senior?
Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.
Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating. The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum. Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy. Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets. She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states. Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.