Where we left off:I CHOSE THE LIFEPLAN COMMUNITY I WANT TO LIVE IN, WHICH IS NOT IN CLOSE PHYSICAL PROXIMITY TO MY CHILDREN, BUT I STRUGGLED GREATLY WITH THAT PART OF THE DECISION. After further thought, I realized that I skipped a step required of the typical senior and retiree – what category of residential option to choose – because my familiarity with all of the products naturally led me directly to the selection of a Life Plan Community.
Most adults have not been exposed to the myriad of senior living choices:
- building a smaller, universally-constructed home
- constructing an annex to a child’s home
- purchasing real estate in a condo or 55+ active adult community
- renting in a senior apartment living
- moving to a Life Plan Community
Of course, there remains the ever-present choice of lingering at home where everything is familiar. It is so tempting to just “stay the course,” hoping that hope really is a valid plan. I felt that, too.
What do typical seniors think? Most have shared with me how very difficult it is to face one’s mortality, worst yet, to contemplate living with potential significant decline. On the heels of that dose of reality, they then have to research and figure out which senior living product is the right choice – and there are more options than they ever anticipated. It seems all the possibilities look similar to each other yet have distinct, subtle, but very important differences – variances that are significant to life and health. It is like entering a gargantuan university medical center with too many specialties and precision for easily grasping which product is the right match for your particular needs. Just like choosing your hospital and specialty needed, the choice of senior living is significantly life-impacting. It is all quite overwhelming. This was the part that my career allowed me to skip.
As sales professionals, we witness older adults grapple with choices that serve different purposes and perhaps, different stages of life. My take-away is this reminder: as senior living sales professionals, we are well-versed in senior living residential offerings, but our audience may not be. We must remain patient with them as they navigate their journey of discovery. As Walmart founder Sam Walton once advised his employees regarding customer perception: “You may have heard that question a thousand times, but it is the first time that customer has asked that question of you.” Remember the journey through the maze is new one for your customers. Patiently, take that journey alongside them.
Blog Posting Author: Patty Scotten
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.