Mastering Memory Care Marketing
- 33 mins on-demand video
- 6 articles
- 9 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
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- Certificate of Completion
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- How to understand and explain dementia caregiving tips and topics to your prospective families
What dementia is and how to communicate best with people living with dementia
How to provide the best possible tour of your care community
- How to answer those tricky questions that you will be asked about dementia caregiving
- Be open-minded and ready to learn about positive dementia care.
You know your craft. You know how to sell, you know how to market, you know how to networking the heck out of any situation. But presenting a dementia care unit to an already-anxious and hesitant family? Not your favorite thing, nor what you're most confident doing. Here's the good news: it could be. Rachael Wonderlin and Tracy Scott team up to create a class that is designed for marketing/sales directors, along with anyone else in dementia care who wants to learn more about what dementia is, how to communicate with people who have dementia, and most of all, how to explain dementia to nervous prospective families. Rachael has a Master's in Gerontology and is a Dementia Care Consultant with Dementia By Day, LLC. She is working on her second published book with Johns Hopkins University Press about dementia care. Tracy holds an MBA with a concentration in Marketing Management and is also a published author.
- Anyone who works in a dementia care community, especially people who need to present information to residents' families.
The Tour - Set the standard, make the sale.
Preparation is key. Prior to your tour, make sure your dementia community represents all the things that you said it did in your call. First time families are often not prepared for the experience of a dementia community. You must prep them for the experience. These are some points to consider:
• How will the family be welcomed to the community?
-Is there a personalized welcome that will greet the family? (signage)
-Will the family be directed to you or wait for you in reception?
• Is the community ambiance appealing? (Cleanliness and smell)
• Do current residents appear cared for and engaged?
• Has the community staff been prepped to engage with the family as you tour?
• Is there a staged room you can show?
If you have good answers to all the above questions, you are ready to tour! If you can schedule the tour when your dementia community residents will be engaged in a fun activity, do that! You must show the touring family that your community cares for and engages their residents.
Before the actual tour, cement the relationship that you began with the discovery call. Reduce anxiety about the tour by offering refreshments and having them share more about their family member. Be sure to document all that you learn including the necessary demographic information. Unless they are rushed, you should not be. Explain what they are likely to see on the tour. Specifically, the behavior or condition of the other residents that you may encounter. Even with a physician's diagnosis, the most common objection on a tour is that their family member isn't ready for a dementia community. Most family members will invariably say, their loved one has not reached the dementia level of your existing residents.
Points to remember for a successful tour:
· Have a defined tour path.
· Do not sell alone. Encourage your team to help you.
· Answer questions honestly and completely.
· Provide comparison information if you know other communities they will visit.
· Encourage the family to visualize how they would set up the suite for their loved one.
· Have them sample food on the tour or invite them back for a meal.
· Explain the move in process and what you will need from them.
· Explain how you will facilitate a smooth move in process.
If you have cultivated a relationship with the touring family, you will have a sense of whether they think your community is a fit for their loved one. Do not assume. Ask if your community can care for their loved one. If they are early in their search, they may not be willing to commit. Even if this is the case, ask if they could see their loved one living in your community. If they say maybe or yes, give them all the details they need to know to move their loved ones in. If they say no, try to uncover and address their objections.
If they have other communities that they will be visiting before deciding, your community’s chance of being chosen increases if you were able to connect on a personal level with those who toured. Whether your community is average or best in class, how the family perceived you and the other staff they encountered, will influence whether it was a lasting impression that makes the sale.
The Move In – Closing the sale
They chose your community! All is not done. The move in will set the tone for the family’s experience with your community. All hands must be on deck! Need a checklist to make sure it goes smoothly? Here you go:
o Paperwork! The proper paperwork needs to be completed and received prior to the date of move in. Few things are more stressful than not having the proper paperwork completed for a dementia community move in. Plan to have this paperwork in hand 24 -72 hours in advance of the move in.
o Be sure everyone is informed of the pending move in. EVERYONE. Executive Director, memory care coordinator, business office, nursing, activities, dining services, maintenance and reception. There is no harm in over communicating for a pending move in. Be willing to get on every one's nerves to make sure every thing is right.
o Is the suite ready for occupancy? Check and double check.
o Is the resident coming from home or another facility? Facility to facility moves are generally easier. Especially regarding necessary paperwork.
o When and how will the resident arrive?
o Is special equipment required? Who is ordering? When and where delivering?
o Special dietary considerations?
o When will all the admitting and payment paperwork be completed? Sometimes doing the paperwork with the family on the day of move in provides a necessary breather for family and new resident. This can be a highly stressful and emotional time. Encourage your families to stay as positive as possible. Do everything you can to facilitate them being able to remain positive and upbeat.
o Invite the family to stay for a meal with their loved one.
o Prepare the family for the transition in support. Provide contact information for whomever they will be working with regarding the ongoing care of their family member post move in.
o Reiterate that it will take time for their family member, your new resident to acclimate to the community. It could take 2 - 4 weeks for the family member to get into a routine.
o No matter what goes wrong, you must present a calm and welcoming demeanor.
A smooth move in sets a great precedent with the family. They will feel more comfortable with their choice if the move in process goes well. Do everything that you can to ensure that it does. No matter how many move ins you have, never get comfortable. Treat every move in like it is your first. Your families will appreciate it.
Happy families become your best referral sources.