In 1998 the then Assisted Living Federation of America estimated that upward of 50% of family caregivers seeking help were too stressed to properly articulate what they really needed. In other words there may be a combination of services available that could take the pressure off the household and the one rendering care is so foggy from a dangerous routine they have allowed to develop, they simply start looking for any means to ease the pain.
This is understandable. Often they may allow a certain service to be put in place, i.e. adult day services, without a focus on adding out-of-home, overnight respite care which can also help manage caregiver stress and provide care along the continuum. Providers must be alert to actual family dynamics associated with current care situations. Why? Because this lets you tailor your message to what they really need.
Far too many providers, especially in the group home arena know they have empty beds. However, selling respite care, or short-term stays – among the most popular services in community based care – requires that we first make it a major part of our business products about which we speak. Secondly we need to know how and when to introduce it which requires a good listening ear first.
What we are actually selling is “relief“. We need to highlight that word. When the family wants to head to Disney World and Granny is too frail to travel for 10 days, she comes to your place. You charge $175.00 per night on average depending upon the score of your final assessment. Your 2-minute video makes this clear as will other advertising/marketing tools. However, all of this must still extend to what you allow to be the emphasis of your conversation.
You sell relief! In the absence of such relief for caregivers – many of whom act like martyrs without realizing the value of consistent breaks – there is a higher likelihood of abuse, neglect, burnout and health problems for the one rendering the care. It is a no-win game!
Lula Person (Pictured below) whom I served from 1995 to 1998 came to my mind. She was 80 years old, retired from state employment. Her dementia was obvious and her physical frailty was right behind it. She actually suffered her fatal heart attack in our adult day care center. However, for the 3 years leading up to her death it was our pleasure to allow her daughter, a public school teacher the opportunity to balance her own personal obligations with the need to care for mom.
If our “relief” services were not in place, which including out-of-home, overnight, respite care, students and others would have suffered and caregiving for her daughter Janet would have been a tiring, burdensome routine that only adds to anger and frustration.
We need respite care! We need respite providers! As a provider be sure you know how to sell it and watch how you will increase the number of families whose lives you change.
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Coming to the Blog in April 2016:
- How to Make Your Critics Look Like Fools – 3 Meaningful Steps
- Marketing On-Line, A Few Myths to Debunk
- Why Are Your Sales Not Up? Is it You?
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