Most people tend to think about “product” in terms of bricks and mortar; consequently, they neglect to include services and levels of care in a yearly product review. Services are indeed products provided by your senior living organization.
In the case of existing services, management has historic reference points for measuring success; such data will reveal whether the demand for a particular program has waxed, waned or remains static. One should always concentrate attention on services that have the greatest impact on resident satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Residents are our promotors who either entice friends and acquaintances to “the good life” in a community that makes them proud or discourage them by voicing concerns.
Review of Services or Programs
Culinary services, including menus, food quality and staffing, are the cornerstone of resident satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and the desires of our marketplace change at a rapid pace. A healthy yearly review may prevent your culinary offering from lagging far behind competitors. A gradual update that meets current trends and demand is a far better plan than a costly emergency fix.
A yearly review of life enrichment and wellness programs may yield positive benefits for the residents and the community as well. Prospects imagine themselves in our communities in order to evaluate whether they would be happy with that lifestyle. Remaining on the cutting edge of activities, excursions, exercise programs and alternative programming can attract a younger age group. Zumba and pickle ball are more likely to attract the 75+ resident rather than the 85+ resident.
Levels of Care and Specialty Services
The yearly review provides an opportunity to consider the levels of care and specialty areas that you currently offer. As longevity has increased, has the need for memory support grown within your resident population? Do you need to increase or expand your memory support areas? Have you considered offering catered living in independent living where residents may receive limited in-home care in the apartments or cottages?
Lastly, if you are lucky enough to have a teeming wait list, what are you doing to retain and honor those prospects who remain loyal to your community while waiting for an available home? Is your system or program working? Should you consider a VIP list or a CCaH (Continuing Care at Home) program?
A VIP Program allows prospects on your list to utilize limited services at the community while awaiting move-in. Allowing VIP members to join residents in wellness classes, lifelong learning sessions, computer training or on excursions can create new relationships among VIP members, staff and current residents. This interaction can cement a feeling of commitment to your community.
Continuing Care at Home (CCaH)
A CCaH program can provide a runway for a prospect’s eventual move to your community while garnering some revenue for services rendered. Services vary among the CCaH programs around the nation. Access can be limited to dining, swimming, wellness classes and yearly assessments or expanded to include the on-site clinic, prescription-duplication checks, and weekly blood pressure checks. CCaH members typically receive the same priority access to levels of care as any resident residing on the campus.
Anytime is a good time to review, analyze and refine your programming, but establishing a formal yearly review can prevent your organization from inadvertently sliding into a status quo that leads to a noncompetitive position.
Stay tuned, as next week as we delve into pricing structures.
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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.