The phrase “culture change” is very common in the senior living industry and is now part of the vocabulary of many older adults and their families. Does your community participate in culture change efforts, and if so, is it displayed in your marketing materials? Welcome packets and brochures should highlight the efforts your team has put into improving the lives of your residents. Although family members may be aware of culture change, they may not fully understand its implications or how it sets your community apart from the rest. There are a few things your sales and marketing team can do to ensure your community is receiving deserved recognition.
Words matter, and they can make all the difference. Take a look at your marketing materials to ensure they are all using appropriate language including community versus facility, residents versus patients, neighborhoods versus units, adult day services versus adult day care, and suite versus room. Prospective residents and their family members will instantly pick up on your language differences and more often than not will comment on how much more welcoming you sound. Ensure your sales and marketing team are using appropriate language when touring prospective residents and family members, too.
Within culture change there are many definitions and available programs, including some specific to the organization itself. Additionally, there are programs specifically for the level of care provided, which can add to the confusion for prospective residents and family members. When putting together welcome packets and brochures, make sure to include a paragraph or even a full page describing the program you offer and how it is beneficial. Oftentimes prospective residents and their family members have toured dozens of communities and return home with a stack of marketing materials, so make sure yours stands out.
The best way to market culture change is to LIVE it. Provide training to your team, and even resident family members, on culture change and proper language use. Utilize phrases like “care partner” instead of “caregiver,” and ensure all residents are being treated with respect and dignity. Make sure prospective families as well as current residents and families have access to the life enrichment calendar to take advantage of everything your community offers. Additionally, include the weekly or monthly menu to showcase the wide variety of meals your residents can choose from.
Moving into a retirement community can be an extremely difficult time for many older adults and it is our job to ensure the transition is seamless. Provide choices, use appropriate language, offer multiple learning opportunities, and most importantly, treat each and every resident with the respect they deserve. We have so much to learn from them.
Interested in learning more about marketing culture change? Contact Bloom today!