The holiday season arrives with a special treat for senior living sales counselors – increased phone inquiries and drop-in visits from adult children. As you can observe from the following chart shared by Senior Living News, the increase occurs directly after Thanksgiving with an even greater surge in calls directly after Christmas, spanning into the new year.
THE HOLIDAY SURPRISE
If you have worked in senior living, you probably realize what is stimulating this uptick. Even though families are now connected by email, phone, FaceTime, Skype and other non-face-to-face means, an adult child’s personal visit home to their parents often brings surprising revelations about mom and dad’s personal health and their ability to function on a day-to-day basis.Among the many situations that an adult child may observe are:
Cognitive difficulties that have increased the responsibilities of the higher functioning spouse. If both parents are having difficulties, the need may now be acute;
Mom and/or dad not eating properly. This could be due to memory loss and the inability to follow sequential instructions, or mobility issues that impede cooking.Depression can also lead to a decrease in appetite;
Prescription bottles stored in a messy fashion. Upon closer observation, the adult child suspects mom and/or dad may not be following a regular medication schedule;
Mom and/or dad are dressing inappropriately for the weather;
The house is a mess. Clutter is everywhere, creating a potential for trips and falls. The overall cleanliness of the house is inadequate;
The home has many stairs with mom and/or dad experiencing difficulty navigating the stairs and/or generally around the house;
A car trip with mom or dad at the wheel that provides the wrong kind of thrill ride. The adult child worries about their driving but also worries about isolation if they don’t drive.
These “aha” moments motivate adult children to seek an immediate solution to the observed problem… BUT… is the call or visit to your community that it stimulates truly a good lead for you? The blogs during December will explore the after-holiday calls and how to handle them.
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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.