Rental Facilities Compared to Continuing Care Buy-ins, TV Interview

Discover key differences between rental facilities versus Continuing Care Retirement Communities.  Do you have enough financial resources if you need to be in a higher level of care for an extended period of time? Always consider your future health care needs today. Who will provide your care and at what cost? Do you want 100% responsibility for your future health care costs or do you want to share the risk with a Continuing Care Retirement Community? Author, Diane Masson, shares her insights from her new book, “Your Senior Housing Options.”  Enjoy my TV interview below and for weekly tips join at: Www.Tips2Seniors.com

Your Senior Housing Options,” has a simplistic title, but what’s inside this new book can save a you months of research time.  Hear Diane Masson’s interview of how her mother and in-law’s faced the pivotal decision to plan ahead or wait until a crisis.  Learn the pitfalls from transitioning from your home to senior housing.  Understand what questions to ask, insider tips and dirty secrets revealed. For weekly tips join at: Www.Tips2Seniors.com 

Diane Masson has worked in senior housing for 17 years and is the regional marketing director for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern CA (Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet).  Her first book “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” is being utilized by senior housing professionals across the country.  Both her first book and second book, “Your Senior Housing Options,” have a 5-star rating on Amazon.com.

Moving a Lifetime of Memories (Part 1)

Moving a Lifetime of Memories (Part 1)

MovingEight months ago, I shared the journey of moving my mom 1000 miles to live in a skilled nursing community near me.  Now, here is my journey of walking in a prospective senior resident’s shoes and moving – TODAY!

What’s it like for a senior to move 30, 40 or 50 years worth of memories?  Is it unsettling, heart wrenching, stressful and terrifying for a senior?  My husband and I are moving today after living in a beautiful home for only two years and it feels disruptive, daunting and time consuming.

Who likes moving?  It’s anticipating or dreading that I will have temporarily or permanent lost items for months.  Plus it can take months to settle in, hang pictures on the wall and start to feel like OUR home.

Most people do not like change.  It ‘s easier to just stay where you are and keep the status quo.

Well, since we have to move, I decided to try a new method that we recommend to our clients at a Continuing Care Retirement Community called Freedom Village.  I hired a senior moving company, who will literally take our pictures off the wall, pack all our belongings, move us, unpack everything and put the pictures back up on the walls.  If we recommend this service to clients, why not see what it is really like ourselves?

Maybe it won’t be as daunting and time consuming as when my husband and I used to hire two men and a truck?

It will be a two-day move.  The senior moving company called Helping Hands will take about three hours to pack us up on the first day and the next day they will move all our belongings and unpack us.

Next week, I will share the rest of the story in part two and we will see how easy or painful moving day is and how long it took to settle into our new home.

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.

 

 

Choosing Senior Living Resident Speakers for Events

Choosing Senior Living Resident Speakers for Events

Senior Living EventsDo your residents speak at your senior living community’s events?  Are you afraid of what they might say?  If you don’t let residents speak, then your senior attendees are missing out.  How can seniors really know what it is like to live at a retirement community or assisted living?  The most effective way is for them to hear it from a peer.

Yesterday, I had a fabulous resident speaker at the Oktoberfest event for Freedom Village in Lake Forest, Ca.  Richard spoke from the heart for about four minutes.  His opening line was, “Welcome to my home.”  He explained why he, his wife Barbara and Lily (his Chihuahua) moved to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).

Richard shared some cute stories including when his wife initially tried the food at Freedom Village.  She had declared, “The food is delicious and we are moving here.”  He also said, “I was walking through my apartment the other day and just stopped to tell my wife, how happy that I am living here at Freedom Village.”  He retired from law enforcement and explained why he felt very safe and secure at his retirement community.  He mentioned volunteering at the local hospital and how you can live any kind of life you want.  Sometimes he just enjoys reading a book in his apartment and at other times he has the opportunity to be social at dinner or at events.

I had no clue what Richard would say.  Was it a risk?  Yes!  But it is important to make your best guess selecting a resident to speak at your senior living event.  Richard and his wife are very active at the CCRC and embrace life with vigor and vitality.  Richard’s testimonial was pivotal to some guests deciding to make Freedom Village their future home.  In the past, I have had residents speak too long and had to gently nudge them to end.  What are your experiences?

Do you want more information on how to put on a great event?  Click on this link for a previous blog post I wrote about 8 Keys to Create Compelling Events that Drive Sales in Senior Living.

Please share your success, 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.
Advocating for Mom in Care Conferences

Advocating for Mom in Care Conferences

Skilled Nursing Care ConferencesAn adult child or power of attorney plays a crucial role at a care conference.  You can literally hold the pieces of the puzzle that an assisted living, skilled nursing care or memory care need in order to enhance the lifestyle of the resident.

No one alive knows my mom better than me.  She cannot always advocate on her own behalf, because she has vascular dementia.  If I asked her, “What would you rather have for dinner, prime rib or salmon?”  My mom would say, “Diane you know what I like, you decide.”  Even with her dementia, she knows that I will select her favorite choices from the past.

Recently, at my mom’s care conference in skilled nursing care a puzzle started to come together.  My mom was having episodes of greater confusion.  It might be three days in row and then she would be fine again.  Was my mom’s dementia getting worse or was it something else?  Would she need to start a new drug?

As we were brainstorming possibilities, I remembered how lack of sleep could intensive my mom’s dementia in the past.  We figured out that the bed alarm of some of her recent roommates was affecting her sleep.  When she experienced less sleep, then she would have episodes of greater delusion during the day.

It was an aha moment, so now they are going to focus on roommates who don’t need constant alarms going off.  Hopefully my mom will improve.  As a Boomer child, I have to be willing to accept that my mom’s dementia is getting worse, but maybe my advocacy can continue to help improve her quality of life for now.

Please share your success, 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.
The Most Special Name in Skilled Nursing Care

The Most Special Name in Skilled Nursing Care

The Most Special Name in Skilled Nursing CareWhat is your favorite word in the English language?  It is probably your own name.  When a senior gets to the point of living in assisted living or skilled nursing care – his or her memory is most likely failing.  So the most magical word they can hear is their own name.

Recently I was blown away at the Freedom Village Healthcare Center in California.  My mom has lived there for about 2 months.   When I walked down the hall with my mom, every single staff person spoke to her with a smile.  They either said her first name or her last name “Mrs. Twohy.”  Then they would share some encouraging statement.  It was not just one or two staff.  We literally ran into about 14 staff on our walk and each made my mom feel special.  She smiled back at each one and it was wonderful to see her joy.

After having lunch with my mom and family in the outdoor fountain courtyard, my brother was taking my mom back inside and a staff person pointed at my brother’s hat and said, “Your name is on your hat.”  My brother was so surprised.  It took him a moment to realize that that this person knew his last name – Twohy, because our mom lives there in skilled nursing care.

So the staff not only makes my mom feel special everyday, but reach out to family members as well.  Noticing “Twohy” on my brother’s hat goes above and beyond and created a real “wow” for my family.  It showed me that every employee is committed to calling the residents by name and I was impressed!  Do staff in your skilled nursing care, assisted living, memory care and even independent living know every single resident’s first and last names?  Why not have a contest, so they can get rewarded for learning names today.

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 is required reading at George Mason University as part of the marketing curriculum.  She is currently consulting with 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

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