You Cannot Be an Island in the Business of Care


An independent spirit is not always a bad thing.  After all in some situations self-reliance can mean the difference between success and failure or life and death.  However, we all know that is not the case in most relationships from friendships to parental attachments to marriage.  Someone else has to be considered.

The same is true in the business of care.  Having worked with so many providers, I have witnessed the ingredients early on that can only add up to failure due to an owner in a care driven business having that “island mentality”.


Some might think, how could that be?  After all if you operate a group home and are under contract with a community mental health agency, that agency oversees the care of those they place there, have authority over the plan of care or Individualized Plan of Service, can make adjustments in per diems paid based upon their interpretation of the resident’s needs and are seen as a credible source of complaint by regulators.  So how damaging do you think it would be for an operator with an “island” mentality to not consider the actual dynamics of such a relationship.  Surely in this instance the independent spirit will lead to failure.

What about those who rely upon private dollars? A similar scenario exists.  At that point the care provider is answerable to residents, resident families, guardians, case managers and, of course, humanity for how we treat residents and how responsibly we manage the business.  Adult day and home care providers face similar principles of governance.

The minute our independence takes too far of a turn in the wrong direction, those upon whom we should look as partners in our quest to be our best as a care provider can become our enemies.  The results of such a grossly immature thinking pattern can be disastrous on multiple levels.

The delivery of responsible, reliable and accountable care is always a team sport.  Being answerable to regulators, coordinators of public dollars, client representatives and others must not be seen as a negative.  We must view them all as partners in our obligation to perform with as much expertise as possible.  In the process we gain from exposure to others with more experience and our personal and business growth is manifest.

On the other hand if we marry the routine of shortcuts, decide every responsibility of the business is ours and ours alone and conduct ourselves with that island mentality, failure will come.  It is not a question of if, but when.

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