“Is there a Hippie Retirement Community?”

“Is there a Hippie Retirement Community?”

Hippie Retirement Communities?

Hippie Retirement Communities?

A younger senior woman with long hair and beads asked me this question at a presentation last week.  I asked what a hippie retirement community would look like for her.  She said, “Less walls and more indoor and outdoor living.  Where you felt outdoors, even when you were indoors.”

This made me think about our outdoor dining venues, so I showed her the “Fountain Café at The Village.”  It is an outdoor dining venue, where the chef barbeques for the residents.  Entrée choices might be barbequed salmon, ribs or an amazing burger.  Soft music emits from rock speakers that reside in the surrounding garden.  Residents can come and sit in the outdoor café at any time to read a book or spend time with visiting family.  Beyond the Fountain Café area is the popular putting green.

She loved the outdoor area.  I said, “Is this what you are talking about?”  She said, “Yes!”  Then I explained how the health club with state-of-the-art exercise equipment adjoined the outdoor swimming pool.  It has an indoor/outdoor feeling too.

The younger senior loved it and agreed, but said she was not ready for an apartment with walls.  Anyone know of a hippie retirement community, maybe something with tents?  Are we ready for Boomer hippies?

Can you share what is happening in your city and state, so we can all understand senior housing from a national perspective?  It’s as easy as making a comment below.  Thanks in advance for joining the conversation and sharing this blog with other professionals in the senior living world.

Diane Twohy Masson is currently writing a new book for seniors on how to select senior housing options.  Her first book, “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” is available at Amazon.com with a five star rating.  Masson continues to set 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.  Her mom’s struggle with dementia is inspiring Diane to pen a third book to support adult children.

 

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2014 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
12 Strategies To Move Someone Who Says, “No!”

12 Strategies To Move Someone Who Says, “No!”

12 Strategies to Move Someone Who Says, "No!"There was an overwhelming response of ideas and tactics through Linked In of “How To Move Someone Saying, “No!” (Part 1).

Many people felt that you should never force a senior parent to move.  Once the conversation specified parents with dementia, then everyone was onboard with possible solutions.  Let me sum up the best strategies and “schemes” on how to move someone who is at risk and seems chained to their current home.

  1. Move your parent directly from a hospital crisis to a senior living community.
  2. Be ready to transition your parent to an assisted living community when the rehabilitation is over.
  3. Say, “As soon as you are better, I will move you back to your home.”
  4. The primary care physician can convince mom or dad that it is time to move and list the reasons why.  (This generation is programed to abide by the doctor’s recommendations.)
  5. Bring a contractor by your parent’s home and say, “We need to work on the house and the plumbing will be shut down for two weeks.  You are only going to move temporarily while the house gets worked on…”
  6. Sample stays of two to seven nights – to test-drive a retirement community.
  7. Show them where you want them to move and compare with an awful place they dislike.
  8. Send them to an adult day program for several weeks before moving them in full time.
  9. Sometimes you just need to push them to the next step when your parent’s health dictates it.
  10. The safety of your parent means switching the child/parent roles.  You the Boomer child becomes the parent and makes the decision.
  11. Cajoling: Asking for the GIFT of peace-of-mind from worrying about them.
  12. Cultivating a move can take months.  Include as many lunches and residents activities as possible at a prospective senior living community.

FYI – If a retirement community knows that you are struggling they will triple their efforts to help you and support your parent(s) integration into their community.

Remember that 95% of cognitive seniors who move all say, “I wish that I had moved sooner.”  Once they start thriving they won’t want to move back to their isolated home.  Patience and empathy are two necessary ingredients that must be present for your parent’s transition.

Any more ideas?

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.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
3 Simple Holiday Impressions to Increase or Maintain Occupancy

3 Simple Holiday Impressions to Increase or Maintain Occupancy

First Impressions in Senior LivingBoomers flock from all areas of the country to visit their senior parents during the holidays.  Many will come to your senior living community…are you ready?  One of two things will happen after the visit: they will either decide to support their parents moving into your community or they will move them out of your retirement community.  First impressions for Boomer children are critical to your occupancy.

Here are 3 simple tips to either increase occupancy or maintain occupancy over the holidays:

  1. Have the receptionist stand to greet all visitors with a welcoming smile.  If the receptionist is engaged on the phone, a warm smile and eye contact will acknowledge the guest.   When a Boomer says they are visiting his or her mom, inquire who the parent is and give a positive comment about your resident.  Ask if you can give the Boomer easy directions to the resident’s apartment or have someone escort them if it hard to find.  Make them feel 100% important.
  2. Be ready to have someone give a “wow” tour at all times.  A staff person or resident should be on call.  Don’t make someone wait 15 minutes as you call around the community sounding desperate on the phone.  It makes the guest feel guilty and makes them wonder what kind of care you would give his or her parent.
  3. Ensure that a huge stack of brochures is available at the front desk.  It’s very tacky to say that you are out of brochures and the marketing department will be here the next day…the sale is lost.

Finally, if you have a fireplace in your lobby, it is a huge asset this time of year.  It creates the warm ambiance of home.  What are your other tips?

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.  Most recently Masson was recruited to consult for 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.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
Moving My Mom 1000 Miles From Assisted Living to Skilled Nursing Care (Part 3)

Moving My Mom 1000 Miles From Assisted Living to Skilled Nursing Care (Part 3)

Diane and her Mother

Diane and her Mother

Up to now, it has been a tough six-week transition for my mother.  Right after we moved my mom to skilled nursing care, she was announcing to those who would listen that she was kidnapped.  Really?? Oh my!!  This was actually the clearest thing she was saying and the rest was random scattered memories mixed with 75 – 95 percent delusions.  It was very tough for me to see.  But I never gave up on her clarity coming back.

Tomorrow, on Monday, it will be six weeks since I moved my mom from Seattle to California.  You may have missed my previous blog posts on the preparations for moving my mom because she was diagnosed with breast cancer (Part 1) and the trauma and joy of moving day itself (Part 2).

It has been a tough road as a boomer daughter with a ton of paperwork, but it has a happy ending.  My mom lives at a wonderful community that I represent in Lake Forest, CA.

Who was the worst marketer for about three weeks?  Yup, my mom!!  She was announcing daily that she had not been fed breakfast.  My mom was so convincing that two different department heads (who don’t work in the health care center), believed her when they walked by and tried to get her more food.  I appreciate both of them always watching out for all our residents, including my mom.

It turned out that my mom’s thyroid was out of whack.  Now, my mother is back to her happy dementia self.  Today, it was a joy to witness her having 70 percent clarity of mind.  She said, “l love it here.”  “The food is great!”  “We get to have lunch outside and I like it.” “Remember years ago, I lived here?”  (She went to college at UCLA and it has happy memories for her.)  She saw my computer and asked if there were pictures to see on it.  (This was huge remembering a computer could have photos.)  My mom knew today that she lived in California!

We browsed through the Sunday paper together (I was pointing out good highlights).  She loved sitting outside talking, feeling the breeze, seeing the birds and watching the fountain in the courtyard.

So the proof is in the pudding!  Someone with severe vascular dementia can put a new home in his or hers long-term memory.  It has taken six weeks for my mom to be comfortable with her new routine.  I just want to continue to enjoy her clarity moments and I am always grateful that she can call me by name and still knows who I am.  Today, she shared smiles and laughter with me.  God is good!

Please share your success, failures or comment 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 for sale at Amazon.com.  Masson’s book will be required reading at George Mason University in the Fall as part of the marketing curriculum.  She is currently consulting with Seniors For Living and two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. Connection and partnership opportunities: Email: diane@marketing2seniors.net