Better Video Content for Your Community

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Spreading word of mouth about your assisted living community is an entire job by itself, especially when you consider all of the different forms your messages can take. If you’ve done some research into what kind of content performs best, you may have come across research on video content and how it seems to outperform all other kinds of content. But before diving into producing your own videos, it’s important to consider the overall quality of the content you'll be putting out. Let’s look at why video is important for community and how lower quality video might be hurting your marketing efforts.

Why is Video Important For Your Community?
Depending on what content you’re putting out, video can act as a few different methods to help your community gain traction and for this reason, can be a powerful tool to meet your marketing goals. From a potential resident’s perspective (and their family’s), video can serve as great introduction content, offering up easily digestible information on your services and how you can help satisfy the needs of seniors looking for assisted living homes. For existing residents, any video content you produce can allow family members to keep up with the activities and services you provide for your seniors.

There are some staggering statistics out there regarding video content and how it plays an important role in the sales cycle. For example, organizations that use video see over 40% web traffic than those that don’t. Additionally, website landing pages with video are more likely to see conversions than pages that just have text and images. So no matter where your prospects are in the cycle, video can help educate or close the deal.

Not All Video Is Created Equally
With video content being an engaging medium to reach audiences with, it seems like everyone should be making and putting out videos, however, there are a few things to consider. The quality of your videos is one of the more important aspects to think about when producing content as lower quality videos put out more frequently are less effective than well-produced videos put out sparingly. This is especially apparent when you look at your content’s metrics (which we’ll dive into in a bit) versus the time and resources you spent putting into making that content. 

With anything that takes time to make, the question is always “What’s the Return On Investment (ROI)?”, that is, what you get back after investing time and resources into a project, in this case, making a video. Community directors can often be disheartened from putting out any video content because they’ll lead efforts to put a video together with little to no results. This could be, in part, due to the overall quality and timeliness of the videos your community publishes.

Do-it-yourself videos definitely have their place and are necessary for documentation and legacy preservation, however, they shouldn’t really be used for advertising purposes. Quick, in-the-moment videos are great for allowing families to keep up with their loved ones, but these videos won’t do well as marketing material, which is why you may see lots of views, with little engagement. Additionally, quick cellphone videos that are used as marketing material regularly are less likely to garner any attention; flooding your viewers with video isn’t the best way to attract them. Putting together high-quality content and looking at the data behind your videos can help your community with its marketing efforts. 

What Video Metrics Are Most Important?
If you’ve put together a video and shared it on all of your channels and soon, you’ll start to see data, but which metrics are most important? All data points that you gather from your videos are important in their own way, but it’s really the culmination of all of them that will help you determine if you’ve put out a successful video or not. Below are some of the key points to look at when diving into your video analytics.

  • Video Views
    While having hundreds or thousands of views on a single video may seem incredible at first, they might not be the best factor to judge your video by. It’s important to consider where you’re looking at your view count because as of late 2018, a view on Facebook consists of “50 percent of the video pixels are in view for two consecutive seconds.” This means that a view is counted if someone takes two seconds or more to scroll to (and potentially past) your video.
  • Video Plays
    This metric is a bit more substantial than views, as it is the number of intentional plays your video gets from people watching, or how many people push the play button to watch your content. Comparing this to the views is a great way to see how many people actually meant to watch your video.
  • Play Length
    This is the longevity of the watch time for any viewers. Depending on where you’re looking at metrics, this may or may not be available to you, but if you can see it, definitely pay attention. This number can offer you insights into where viewers lost attention and kept scrolling.
  • Engagement
    This may be the single most important number when looking through your video analytics. This is the number of times viewers have liked, commented, shared, or otherwise interacted with your video. The reason this is so substantial for you and your community is that the people who frequently interact with your videos are far more likely to turn into leads and clients than someone who had half of the pixels of your video in their feed for two seconds.

There are many, many more metrics and considerations to make when putting out video content but perhaps the most important thing to base video success from views. To improve your video’s stats and ultimately your ROI, shoot for high-quality video content put together by professionals. If you are looking for a do-it-yourself option, HeartLegacy has a professional team that edits all videos you submit to them, which greatly improves the quality. Lastly, remember that once you put a video out, doesn’t mean you’re finished with it. Watch how it performs to see how you can make better content that is more relevant and helpful to your audiences.

 

Senior Living, Workforce Engagement

Increasing Resident Engagement through Lifestyle Activities

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Between our jobs, family, friends, home responsibilities, leisure time, and on-demand entertainment, it’s never been easier to have a few days slip by in the blink of an eye. Our schedules are so packed it can be hard to think about what a weekend with no plans would be like. Often times, this isn’t the case for seniors in assisted living communities. There is a lot of time that residents will have scheduled or use for themselves, but it’s up to the Activity Director to fill those down times with something to do. These activities are sometimes expected to be extensive field trips, expensive guests, or to have something scheduled for most days of the week. While having the time or resources to do everything residents want to see from their Activity Directors (ADs) would be ideal, the fact is, more times than not, this is not the case. In this week’s blog, we’ll be looking at how ADs can save time and provide more engaging, person-centered activates for their residents.

The Needs of the Many

While trying to provide activities and programs for as many people as possible is a noble pursuit, it might not be ideal for all of them, especially if they are vision or hearing impaired. There are activities that apply to lots of people, but just because you can plan these activities, doesn’t mean you should (looking at you 3pm bingo). Planning a full schedule that isn’t appealing to some of your residents could potentially worsen feelings of social isolation or depression. Instead, try to find out how your residents spend their free time and craft relevant activates based on preferences.

Leverage Technology

One of our past blog posts was on how integrating technology into senior living communities could benefit both staff and residents. Specifically, the TSOLife program can act as a time-saving measure for Activity Directors. All of your residents’ stories, preferences, and resident profiles are housed on the TSOLife platform and with searchable content, planning personal activities around the seniors in your community flows just a little bit smoother. Additionally, our service works with technology that your staff and seniors already know how to use like smartphones and tablets.

Provide the resources

Sometimes, the job of an AD isn’t to plan events or outings, but rather to provide seniors with the resources to plan their own activities. It’s important to help your residents be as autonomous as possible, letting them plan and carry out activities on their own. Working with local libraries to bring in new books every month is a great way to stir up some excitement as well as offering up opportunities for residents to take activity planning into their own hands. Aside from books, also think about a common area with computers, puzzles, or movies as resources to stimulate independent action.

Involve the Community

Getting the community involved is a two-pronged plan that could help you schedule different kinds of activities. Having your residents volunteer their time is both refreshing and meaningful. Helping with light activities like gardening and knitting for other organizations could help seniors feel more connected to a sense of purpose. The second facet of volunteerism is pulling in people to volunteer time in your community. They can help out in a number of ways even if it's just chatting and engaging with your residents. Drawing people into your community may not be the easiest thing, but positioning their volunteered time as a growing and nurturing experience can help. Ask volunteers about their interests to see if there’s potential to build any activities from them. Engaging both seniors and volunteers is a great way to keep people invested in your community.

Activity Directors often have too much to plan and manage with a budget that doesn’t reflect their overall ambition. By personalizing activities through tech, providing opportunities for autonomy, and getting the community involved, ADs might be able to streamline processes a bit more, saving time and money for your community.

How To's and Tips, Senior Living, "Technology"

Tech Integration in Senior Living

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Technology adoption and senior living may not be completely  synonymous at the moment, but we’re facing a shift in assisted living communities that might call for more tech with the ultimate goal of improving quality of life. For this reason, it’s important for us to to consider implementing new technologies into communities to benefit both staff and seniors.

Technological Considerations

There’s no question that technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives, especially as applications shrink in size and become wearable. In the senior living space, technology like this is thriving, although adoption rates may not reflect a proactive state. Among seniors ages 65 and up, roughly four in ten are smart phone users and almost seven in ten are daily internet users. As we see an increase in the use of technology throughout elder communities, we have to adjust not only to accommodate changing lifestyles, but also to improve the care that we can offer.

With the accumulation of data, caregivers would have more opportunities to provide effective care for their residents. From wearable tech that can offer up health insights through biometric data, to smart shoes to help guide the visually impaired, the goal of implementing newer devices into senior living communities is to provide better, accurate, and more proactive care.

Existing Tech

Since the technological landscape is in a constant state of motion, adoptability becomes a crucial factor in successful implementation. In a 2017 study conducted by the PEW Research Center, researchers found that among seniors, the majority of them felt a lack in confidence when setting up and using new electronic devices, but that once they’ve established a level of understanding they “engage at high levels with digital devices and content”. So how can we leverage tech that seniors and caregivers already use?

Striking the Balance

The gathering of data and use of new technology is likely to garner concern from some seniors or caregivers. Because of this hesitation, we have to find ways of bringing in newer systems that mesh well with people’s values and lifestyles as they are.  The TSOLife program strikes the balance between personal human connection and newer technologies. Simplicity for seniors and caregivers is another large contributing factor in the programs success rate. Our easy-to-use application helps provide opportunities for more engagement for residents and more efficient processes for caregivers.  This has lead to a high adoption rate among seniors in the communities we've partnered with. 

Implementing newer applications to make lives easier is the ultimate goal. Taking full advantage of the devices community members already use is a great way to ensure a higher adoption rate and better processes. 

How To's and Tips, Senior Living, Workforce Engagement

Why Families Choose a Community

Looking for assisted living community

Looking for assisted living communities to house your loved ones is never an easy decision, especially with all of its moving parts. Considerations could range from how much (or how little) care they’ll need, proximity, activities, and a host of other things to think about. While it’s important to make sure potential residents and their families like your community, it’s also important to make sure that you have the capacity to care for them. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the top things families look for when choosing an assisted living community and how we can help make yours more appealing.

Changing Needs

There are so many different facets of change when it comes to the aging process, it can be difficult to keep up with all of them. From mental and physical changes to nutritional changes, residents in your care, as well as potential residents, need assurance that their needs can be met as they change. To see some of the needs that families could be looking for, check out AARP’s caregiving checklist for insights.

Staff Turnover

This is one of the more important aspects families may want to know about: how often does your community go through staff? If there is a revolving door of caregivers, it could be reflected in the quality and quantity of the care they’re able to provide residents. We’ve mentioned before that the industry average for caregiver turnover is around 42%. Communities that have trouble with staff retention tend to give more generalized care to their residents, which could contribute to lower resident satisfaction as well as caregiver job satisfaction. The TSOLife platform can help lower turnover by providing opportunities to staff to forge meaningful connections with their residents.

Staff-to-Resident Ratio

A community’s staff to resident ratio is directly influenced by staff turnover rates; the more staff you have coming and going, the less caregiver face time residents will get. Each state has its own standards for what the minimum ratios are between caregivers and seniors under their care. In Florida, the minimum staff to resident ratio is 1:20 for CNAs and 1:40 for licensed nurses. By helping to increase staff in assisted living facilities, the TSOLife program can positively impact the ratio of workers to residents. Families and potential residents alike both want to see more quality time spent with caregivers, which we can help ensure through both storytelling and through useful resident profiles.

Staff Training and Personality

Another important aspect sought after by families looking for assisted care is the overall training and personality of the staff, from dining staff all the way up to community directors. Yet another facet to caregiving that ties in with staff retention, having well-trained and satisfied staff comes with time and vertical movement in your community. The longer you can hold onto any given staff member, the more likely they are to make lasting impressions on your residents.

Activity Diversity

Along with a genuinely good place to live, prospects want to see how they’ll be spending their time in your community. Our platform is a great alternative to traditional community activities and helps residents open up about their lives and preferences. By getting to know their residents better, caregivers can offer activites tailored to what seniors under their care actually want. Additionally, residents who participate in our program could potentially alleviate any late-stage depression through the means of life review therapy. Potential residents and families ultimately want to see that it’s not just a place to live, but also a community to be part of.

 

There are so many other aspects to consider when looking for an assisted living community, but what we’ve covered are a few of the heavier topics that people want to see. The TSOLife program can help your community be more effective in the care that it provides, while also drawing in new residents and staff alike.

How Personalized Care Impacts Accurate Care

Personal care in assisted living

The term ‘personalized care’ can often seem like an industry buzzword, but what does it actually look like? At TSOLife, we believe that it goes beyond the outdated resident profile system to encompass multiple facets of each of the resident’s lives. In this post, we’ll look at how personalized care impacts accurate care and how attentiveness to individual needs can affect multiple areas of your community.

Engaging Activities
Since no two residents are the same, you can expect that they’ll have different needs and wants, including what activities they’ll want to participate in. The less personalized your program is, the more general it becomes, which means you may be offering services or activities that your residents don’t particularly care for. About one in five residents in senior living communities have reported feeling depressed or lonely, but by understanding them on a deeper level, you can help set up activities that they’ll enjoy going to. Residents that are able to build genuine relationships through engaging activities are less likely to experience social isolation and loneliness.

Personalization and Proactive Care
Aside from activities, knowing your residents on an individual basis can help you adjust care as their needs change. From physical health needs to personal preferences, understanding a little more about your members will make it easier to offer them the care that they’re looking for. Communities that offer individual care for residents as they come in and as their needs change in the future are more likely to see higher occupant satisfaction. Happier members lead to longer occupancy rates and higher referrals. When residents enjoy the community they live in they will be more likely to recommend it to friends and family. 

Individual Care and Easier Accuracy
Knowing your community members and their life experiences can lessen the workload of caregivers. While getting to know each senior on an individual basis might take a bit more time up front, building a library of resident profiles can make accurate care easier to provide in the future. Our program at TSOLife offers online resident profiles, with searchable information to ensure you have the information you need on each member. With access to both individual profiles and life stories, activity directors can set up activities and events more fluidly, while also keeping each resident in mind.

Personalization, Staff Retention, and More Accurate Care
We’ve gone through how higher staff retention rates benefit all aspects of any senior living community, but keeping your staff around long term can help them care for their members more effectively. By giving staff the tools to build better connections with their seniors, they’re more likely to stay with your community. In turn, staff who have long-standing relationships with residents are better equipped to give accurate care.

From engaging activities to long-term relationships, specific attention to each community member can have a positive impact on how accurate their care is. TSOLife's Legacy Preservation Program is the cornerstone for personalized care and can help your community assess the needs and wants of your residents. 

 

Photo Credit: Pexles 

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Increasing Staff Retention in Senior Living Communities

Senior Living Staff Retention

Some of the goals of any assisted living community are to help residents achieve peace of mind, comfort, and general well-being. Although these intentions are pure, there are a few things that can get in the way of attaining them, one of which is a revolving door of staff members. Staff turnover rates are staggering among assisted living communities, with a national average of 42%. Additionally, the cost of replacing a single staff member can range from $4,000 to $5,000. While lower staff retention rates seem to plague the industry, there are a few different ways you can decrease your staff turnover.


Hiring the Right People
Hiring the right people usually goes without saying for any industry, although it’s become an increasingly important factor in regards to staff retention in senior living communities. Before thinking about how to keep on all new hires, consider bringing on staff members that align with your community, both in personality and in skill. Generally, staff members that have a desire to work in the senior living field, as well as industry experience, tend to lead to higher retention rates. Once hired, be sure to have a well-structured onboarding process and, role-specific training, and available management to field any questions or concerns.

Training and Career Paths
Employee success and satisfaction is one of the many facets at the heart of increasing retention. Senior living management can reduce high turnover by creating a workspace where staff members goals are taken into consideration while providing them with the means to attain them through upward growth in the community. Investing in training and professional development can help foster a caring culture that lets employees know they are a valuable part of the team.

Tech and Genuine Connections
While these two categories may not go together often (think social media and social isolation), there does seem to be a connection between improving technology in senior living communities and staff retention. A study conducted by OnShift indicates that improved technology in the hiring process improves staff stability, satisfaction, and labor cost management.

While this study is concerned with updated tech during the hiring process alone, here at TSOLife, we see the potential to reap these benefits across multiple facets of the assisted living industry. Our program aims to streamline the resident on-boarding process while also creating genuine relationships and personal connections between staff and residents. Team members that are more invested in the lives of their residents tend to stick around longer.

Competitive Wages and Benefits
The wage pressures are very apparent within the health care space: senior living, hospitals, skilled nursing, and home health care. While wages vary widely from community to community, the average caregiver in a senior living space makes $10-$15 per hour with little to no benefits. Higher wages, in addition to performance bonuses, benefits, and paid time off can have a notable impact on staff retention in senior living communities.

When increasing costs upfront, the benefits can be hard to see, however, improving the workspace for your staff will lead to  more permanent benefits. Securing long term employees means less turnover cost, deeper connections between staff and residents, and fostering a community where people want to live.

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Improving Senior Mental Health

Senior mental health and depression

There are many physical changes in health that accompany aging, including mental health. While residents in assisted living communities may seem content, 15–20 percent of adults over the age of 65 have experienced depression at one point or another. The question arises: why are these residents experiencing a decline in mental health and is there anything we can do to stop it?

Why Are Residents Depressed?

Older people deal with a lot; from losing loved ones to potentially losing mobility, there are more than a few things that could get them down. Despite these hardships, depression and anxiety aren’t a natural part of the aging process. These mental illnesses can lead to higher medical costs due to the need for more care, more frequent doctor visits, and medication. Not only can mental illnesses cost more, but they can also worsen other conditions like heart disease and diabetes. It’s not always the case, but often, depressive episodes can be catalyzed by social isolation. Although there are other people living in these communities, making a lasting connection with someone there may not be the easiest thing to accomplish.

The relationship between depression and social isolation is cyclical; isolation can influence depression, and depression can lead to social isolation. This lonely feeling has many facets that could be contributing factors like friends or family that have passed away, a lack of mobility or transportation, or not feeling a sense of community in the assisted living space. How can we help these residents live better lives while also reducing medical costs?

Life Review Therapy

Life Review Therapy refers to the practice of looking back through one’s life to gain a sense of ownership and fulfillment. This kind of therapy is applicable to most adults, although it is best used in older adults 65 years or older. Studies have shown that talking about and reminiscing on positive memories can help to improve mood which can help add perspective to someone's life. Our program here at TSOLife emphasizes this correlation by prompting residents to recall and retell some of their fondest memories. Not only can these reflections boost mental health and positivity, but they can offer up opportunities for staff to make genuine connections with their residents. Better relationships can help alleviate depression and social isolation in seniors while also improving employee retention. 

Other Mood-Boosting Methods

In addition to Life Review Therapy, there are other steps you can help your residents take to improve their mood and mental health. Research shows that exercise, at least three 30-minute sessions per week, can greatly improve mood. These exercise sessions can be broken down into smaller segments, so exercise doesn't have to be continuous to reap the benefits. 

In addition to exercise, a nutritionally rich diet is important. Along with aging comes differing dietary requirements. Generally, aim to provide omega-3, fiber, and calcium rich foods. Drinking enough water may also be something that your residents forget to do, so ensure that there are plenty of places and opportunities for them to drink. 

Lastly, getting enough quality sleep plays a major role in cognition and mental health. Trying to help set a schedule for your residents is an important step to making sure they're getting a good nights sleep. It's also helpful to be aware of any sleeping disorders or issues, like restless leg syndrome, that may prevent REM sleep. 

The benefits of ensuring good mental health of your seniors are countless. From improving your residents lives to developing more meaningful relationships between your staff and seniors, make sure everyone's happy to make sure everyone's healthy. 

 

Photo Credit: Canva


TSOLife Logo-2

TSOLife (The Story Of Life) focuses on preserving legacy and passing down life stories for future generations. We do this by helping senior living communities leverage technology to capture, preserve, and share the life stories of the residents in their care. 

Our vision is that one day, no grandchild will have to wonder who their grandparent was.

Learn More

Company

Company Mission Hits Home for Co-Founder, Stella Parris

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Stella Parris assists TSOLife customer, Abby Hamilton, scan and collect family photos. 

The mission of TSOLife is very near and dear to the hearts of our employees. For many, it's why we were initially attracted to the position. To our customers, it helps distinguish us from the competition and demonstrates our attention to detail. It’s what the company was founded on, and it’s what guides our strategy.

Read on to learn why the company's mission is special to TSOLife's Co-Founder and COO, Stella Parris. 

How did you first get involved with TSOLife?

I first got involved with TSOLife as a student in college when I joined a social entrepreneurship student group. My co-founder, David, joined the club around the same time having already founded the company. TSOLife quickly became a focus within the organization and a project I really believed in.

My first experiences with TSOLife were interviewing WWII veterans in a local retirement community about their life stories. It meant a lot to the person I was speaking with, but it also had a profound impact on me as a listener to be able to better understand a person through the context of their life experiences. From this point on, I was hooked. 

What attracted you to the mission of the company?

I have always enjoyed a great story. I like that the mission is about more than just preserving the stories but creating an environment where people can share them and learn from them. The idea of learning from others’ experiences really resonates with me.

How does your day-to-day contribute to the mission?

A lot of my job is ensuring our customers have a wonderful experience and taking their feedback to better our solutions. I love being on the front lines, seeing how clients enact their storytelling initiatives and identifying what opportunities we have to better fit their needs.

Regarding the impact TSOLife has on its customers, how does this inspire you?

I’m able to start every day by checking to see what new stories came in the day before. It is so rewarding to see our partners truly embody the vision we reach for and make legacy preservation part of their day to day interactions.

The positive reactions we get from the family of someone who has preserved their story with TSOLife is so inspiring, as it really gives a glimpse to the long-term and how much these stories will mean to future generations. It’s really inspiring to see the power we have to bring people together. 

Why do you think it’s important that a company’s vision resonates with employees?

Our vision is our guiding star in all that we do. We are reminded of our vision every day – in our professional lives when we sign on a new client, publish new stories, or discuss long-term strategy, and in our personal lives when we call our parents, tuck our kids into bed, or celebrate a milestone.

We are reminded of our vision every day – in our professional lives when we sign on a new client, publish new stories, or discuss long-term strategy, and in our personal lives when we call our parents, tuck our kids into bed, or celebrate a milestone.

It is key that our employees believe in what we are working toward and a demonstrated passion for the vision is our first check box in recruiting and hiring. We want to work with people who truly care. It’s a core tenant of our company culture.

For our clients, any increase we see in engagement moves us one step closer to that vision. Every new client we work with is one more person whose memories, accomplishments, and contributions are preserved for others to learn from.


TSOLife Logo-2

TSOLife (The Story Of Life) focuses on preserving legacy and passing down life stories for future generations. We do this by helping senior living communities leverage technology to capture, preserve, and share the life stories of the residents in their care. 

Our vision is that one day, no grandchild will have to wonder who their grandparent was.

Learn More

10 Tips for Your Senior Living Organization’s Volunteer Program

Volunteering at Assisted Living

Having an active volunteer network is a huge benefit for senior living communities. But when you’re a smaller organization and don’t have a designated volunteer coordinator, it may seem like a burden to initiate such projects. Even more, when you have the opportunity to host volunteers, getting them involved in impactful projects can be difficult.

We’ve put together 10 tips to help you tackle your volunteer challenges:

1. Recruit family members: 
You might not realize it, but you have a volunteer pool already at your fingertips: family! The residents’ families can be your most dedicated and accessible volunteers. Even for the families who aren’t local, knowing that there’s an activity that they can jump into with their loved one during their next visit might be the highlight of their days.

2. Start a match program.
Similar to Big Brother Big Sister’s matching program, pairing a volunteer with a specific resident can help form strong bonds. A volunteer fills out an application, and your staff can help make matches based on similar interests, career parallels, or personalities. The goal is a supportive friendship and to have fun.

3. Intergenerational programs
Intergenerational interaction benefits both young people and seniors, and reports show that these types of relationships aren’t just nice, but necessary. The value flows both ways: it brings a sense of purpose, strengthens emotional and social intelligence, and makes both seniors and young people happier.

4. Four-legged volunteers 
Pet therapy has become increasingly popular, and it’s not just because animals are so cute. Research shows that just 15-minutes of bonding with an animal sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain, lowering levels of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol and increasing production of the feel-good hormone serotonin. Even more, an animal can help pull a resident out of his or her shell and can be soothing for those with Alzheimer’s. Puppy party!

5. Application on site
Most senior living living communities require a volunteer application. Encourage them to fill it out on-site so that you or your front desk manager can get a first-person perspective on their interactions with residents. Give them a tour of the community and introduce them to residents to increase their excitement and make sure it’s a good fit.

6. Show impact
Seeing the impact of your volunteers’ hours makes it all worth it. Ensure your volunteers understand the influence they have on residents and know that their time and presence is valued.

7. Organize old photos
Get ready for a trip down memory lane. Once the photos come out, so do the anecdotes of family vacations, college days, and military adventures. Residents enjoy sharing favorite life stories, and volunteers get to know the senior on a deeper level.  

8. Listening and talking
On that note, sometimes the best thing a volunteer can do is show interest in the resident and engage in meaningful conversation. In fact, 73% of volunteer time is spent in companionship or visits. A Legacy Preservation Program offers a framework for these conversations and enables the volunteer to feel confident in asking introspective questions.

9. Get crafty
Arts and crafts are a wonderful activity that volunteers of all ages can participate in. Have a themed craft according to the season or occasion. No Van Goghs needed here, just a little creativity and teamwork (which also have positive effects on the brain!).

10. Say thank you
Remember, your volunteers are there because they’re volunteering their time and energy to help you and your residents. Show your appreciation with a birthday card, an annual volunteer appreciation lunch, and ask their ideas for volunteer activities. They’ll feel valued and motivated to keep coming back.


It’s About the Relationship

Honored war veterans. Survivors of the Great Depression. Grandmothers who know how to cook the perfect spaghetti sauce. These people have lived the history we learned about in booksand these are the people your volunteers have the opportunity to build relationships with. Try these tips to make for a smooth sailing volunteer program. Your residents and volunteers will thank you for it.


 

TSOLife Logo

TSOLife (The Story Of Life) focuses on preserving legacy and passing down life stories for future generations. We help senior living communities leverage technology to capture, preserve, and share the life stories of the residents in their care. It fostering purposeful engagement and providing a precious keepsake for the families.

Learn More

How To's and Tips, Senior Living, Workforce Engagement

No One is Looking at Employee Retention Like This

ALC Outside smaller

Employee turnover is plaguing the senior living industry. According to recent surveys, the annual rates of staff turnover in assisted living range from 21% to 135% across states and reach a national average of 42%. This means increased costs and lowered community-wide satisfaction. It can even decrease occupancy.

When faced with this challenge, senior care providers are encouraged to offer competitive wages, proactively recruit, improve training, and provide a comfortable work environment, among other tangible things. Yet, no one is making substantial strides in increasing staff retention.

That’s why we need to look at employee retention through a new lens.


Organizational Commitment

Organizational commitment  is closely linked with staff turnover. Employees that are committed to their jobs are less likely to quit and perform better; it’s even a better predictor of turnover than job satisfaction. So how do senior living providers foster organizational commitment?

Organizational culture.

Culture is not just marketing ploy for companies. The power of its influence shapes how staff perceive their jobs and their commitment. Establishing an organization that values morale, teamwork, and participation in decision making doesn’t happen overnight. If being intentional about your company’s culture isn’t on your radar, Entrepreneur provides an article on building a strong company culture here.

 

Interpersonal Relationships

A common thread among employees in this industry is their fondness of the residents, and this unique relationship with the seniors can actually translate to job commitment. When staff engage with residents through meaningful conversation, a bond is created that directly contributes to retention. The residents become more than patients: they’re extended family. And saying goodbye to family is much more difficult than leaving for transnational purposes.

A study looked at employees who were considering leaving their jobs compared to those who actually quit. On the basis of their ranking of reasons for staying and leaving, the study suggests that “stayers” appeared to assign more importance to the intrinsic or people-oriented rewards of their jobs, such as relationships with residents, feelings about caring for sick people, and relationships with supervisors. Further, their fondness of the residents was a prominent reason for them staying, as exemplified by the typical comment: “they [residents] wrap around your heart”.

However, with all the must-haves in senior living, the stress of meeting regulations and staying compliant, and ensuring residents are happy and healthy, making time for “meaningful interaction” often slips through the cracks. That’s why it is critical that staff integrate these interactions into their daily routines. Simple tools and technology can help promote purposeful conversation.

Because of the therapeutic and cognitive benefits, there is a huge emphasis on storytelling for seniors. However, storytelling also gives context into the resident’ lives, and helps the staff view the residents as more than a task, they’re a grandfather/daughter/successful entrepreneur/world traveler with a rich history behind them.

Strong bonds and residents who feel celebrated mean happier employees. And happier employees stay longer.

 

Looking at Employee Retention in a New Light 

With the projected care staff shortage and the increasing need for services related to the growing elderly population, a focus on staff turnover is critical in meeting the needs of the aging population.

The success of your senior living organization greatly relies on your ability to attract and retain employees who are passionate about carrying out the company’s resident-centered philosophy into their daily routines.

A focus on increasing organizational commitment and employee-resident connection might be the missing link in your staff retention strategy.

 


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TSOLife (The Story Of Life) focuses on preserving legacy and passing down life stories for future generations. We help senior living communities leverage technology to capture, preserve, and share the life stories of the residents in their care. It fostering purposeful engagement and providing a precious keepsake for the families.

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