How Do You Pamper Your New Move-Ins?

How Do You Pamper Your New Move-Ins?

Treating Seniors Like RoyaltyDo you treat them like royalty?  Yesterday at Disney World they introduced the 11th princess, Merida (from Brave), and you know what they did?  All the other princesses came out to meet her and make her feel welcome publicly.

Some of you work in rental communities, where senior residents can give a 30 days notice at the drop of a hat –- if they are not happy.  Those of you with entrance fee Continuing Care Retirement Communities typically have a 90-day 100% refund – if the resident is not satisfied.

Recently, I have seen seniors moving from one senior living community to another, because the resident had poor transportation service, bad hamburgers or care promises not kept.  Seriously??!!??  Why aren’t senior living providers working harder to keep their clients?

Remember the first day of high school?  Walking into the cafeteria for the first time and wondering who to sit with or who would accept you?  Residents can feel the same way, when they move to a new senior housing community.  This fear can easily be off set by arranging dinners with different resident hosts for the first week.

How are you rolling out the red carpet at your retirement community for new residents?

Do you have someone dedicated to greeting new move-ins?  Are other residents reaching out to them and showing them the ropes on how to order in the dining room or the other little nuances of your community?  How are new move-ins integrating with the other residents?  Is there a focus on treating the new residents like royalty?  Do your maintenance, housekeeping and dining service teams all reach out with special services on the first day?  If not, they should be…

What do you do to pamper your new move-ins?

Please 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  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:

Can You Compare Your Senior Living Employees to Disney Employees?

Can You Compare Your Senior Living Employees to Disney Employees?

In the last six weeks, I have been to Disneyland five times.  Am I a little crazy?  I certainly hope so and try on a regular basis to truly enjoy living in paradise.  After a series of interactions last night, I was forced to take an overall look at how I was treated by Disney employees.

The happiest place on earth did not have happy employees last night.  75% of the employees were grumpy, sullen, crabby, tired and worn out looking.  What a surprise, when it seemed that most Disney employees had a sunny personality when I have visited in the past.

There was not one smile on any parking attendant at the parking lot.  I waited 20 minutes to pay and should have been greeted with a smile, but it did not happen.  At the tram, no smiles – only frowns.  Going through the bag check, only weary and sullen expressions.  When I arrived at the park to go through the turnstile, the employee actually yelled at the person in front of me!  No kidding folks, she said, “Can’t you read the signs?  Mickey’s Halloween Party entrance is over there!”  So that meant I was in the wrong line too and changed lines, before I got yelled at too.

After I made it into the park, they were handing out trick or treat bags and I headed to the left, but I was reprimanded to instead head to the right.  Now my husband and I were in and heading down main street and it suddenly hit me that it was not the happiest place on earth tonight.  What happened to the famous Disney experience?  I thought that when each “cast member” comes out “on stage” to their position, they smile and leave all their own personal negativity and family challenges in the break room?

We headed to Space Mountain (transposed into the Galaxy Ghost for Halloween) and the fast passes were already gone for the day.  To make matters worse it had an 80-minute wait, so we went to the Haunted Mansion (transposed into the Nightmare Before Christmas) and it had a 45-minute wait.  Now I was grumpy and I have NEVER felt that way at Disneyland before!  Had all the negative employees affected me?  No one had said to have a wonderful night, enjoy Mickey’s Halloween Party or I am glad you are here – NOTHING!

What happened at your senior living community today?  What percentage of your employees were “Happy” or “Grumpy”?  Everyday I wake up grateful that I can help seniors improve their lives by moving into the Continuing Care Retirement Communities that I represent.  I know they will have a better life than being isolated in their own home.  Winter is coming and so many seniors don’t drive in the dark.  They will be literally trapped in their homes after 5 pm each night.  Plus seniors will live longer with more nutritious meals and the connectivity of other residents is what us humans need to grow and keep our brains sharp.  Okay, I will shut up, because I am preaching to the choir…

Every retirement community has at least one grumpy employee.  The question is what percentage of grumpy employees do you have?  This could be affecting your occupancy.  If your residents and staff don’t look happy, prospective senior residents see that and don’t want to move in.  Residents at my CCRC communities said the number one reason why they moved in was because of the friendly residents and smiling staff.  Do your residents say this too?

The good news to my Disney experience was that we went on Pirates of the Caribbean and then I was back to the happiest place on earth.  We saw the best fireworks of my life and later on only had to wait 20 minutes for the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at  If your curiosity is piqued to inquire on Diane’s availability to speak at a senior housing conference (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email  Diane is currently consulting in Southern California for Freedom Management Company, the proud debt-free owners of Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  For more information:   Twitter: @market2seniors Web: Blog: