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

Patient Care vs. Person-Centered Care

Person-centered Care

Although patient centered care and person centered care both have a resident's best interests in mind, they do have some differences that set them apart. In this week's post, we'll be looking at the differences between patient-centered care and person-centered care including what each means, and some of their key distinctions.

Defining Differences

Each of these avenues of care is important in its own right, but it’s important to note their differences. With patient-centered care, an individual’s overall physical health and health needs are at the forefront of any care they receive, but this is really only half of the equation. Person-centered care is based on the accumulated knowledge of people including both their personal and medical histories. We’re seeing a pull in the direction of person-centered care as an opportunity to view the seniors in our care more holistically, applying personal knowledge of each individual to the care they receive.

Longevity of Care

One of the most prominent factors in distinguishing these methods of care is its longevity. Treatment that centers more around a person’s symptoms and diagnoses can be intermittent or be short-term. Seeing people as patients can depersonalize them in order to maximize efficiency: find out what’s wrong, fix it, move on to the next. The reason the senior living space is pushing for more individualized care is to factor the actual person back into caregiving.

Personalized care often takes longer than patient-centered care, yes, but there are merits in establishing a relationship with our seniors. This allows caregivers to tie together someone’s physical health with their mental health, social health, and history: “A major failure of primary care... is the great underestimation of the importance of long-term relationships with patients.” (Starfield, 2011)

Additionally, care specific to each individual offers insights into the overall well-being of someone in your community. Taking into consideration all aspects of a person is crucial; this means their personal history and health as well as a general understanding of who they are. This is especially important as older adults sometimes have to maneuver from one health problem to another. A cumulative view of a senior’s health, rather than a snapshot, is much more effective at offering the attention they need.

Restoring Relationships

Individual, long-term care is commonly praised for its impacts on both seniors and staff. While patient-centered care can offer an environment for relationship building, it’s more likely that a stronger connection would develop between residents and caregivers that offer individual attention: “Patient-centered care also aims to improve clinical practice by building caring relationships that bridge demographic, social, and economic differences between clinicians and patients” (Epstein, 2010).

Not only is building relationships with your residents beneficial for their overall health, connecting staff with them helps to reduce staff turnover. There’s a positive feedback loop between person-centered care and the prosperity of a given community: look at residents holistically to offer better care, build stronger relationships between staff and seniors, have caregivers stay in their communities longer.

There are a lot of buzzwords and trends surfacing in the senior living space, but the reason we have to keep this conversation active is so we can continue to push for higher standards, better care, and happier people; staff, seniors, and families alike. Keeping up with our resident’s health is imperative, but seeing the whole person can help have positive impacts on the care that they receive.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through our blog posts and for your support! Stay tuned for some of our next blog posts on how to implement more person-centered care in your communities. What are your thoughts on patient and person-centered care? Let us know on LinkedinFacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

 

How To's and Tips, Senior Living

Your Community's First Impression

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Much like with people, your community’s first impression is crucial to bringing in new residents as well as helping to retain the seniors already in your care. There are quite a few aspects of your community that contribute to what prospects think of your space from small things like a friendly face upon entering, to what amenities your community can offer. In this week’s blog post, we’ll be looking at what factors of your community affect first impressions.

Snap Judgement
We’ve all heard the statistics that that, on average, people begin to make judgments during first encounters in the first 7 seconds, and your community isn’t much different. Even if you’ve walked into your community hundreds of times, try walking in with a critical eye occasionally. Tours definitely help with this, but after a while of doing something, we can all become a bit jaded, especially with busy schedules.

Take a good look at the face of your community including landscape maintenance, paint, sidewalk and parking lot conditions, and it’s overall cleanliness. The first face new prospects see is also something to consider. Can they give whoever walked through the door undivided attention? No matter who the staff member is, everyone in your community can implement these practices.

Impressionable senses
A first impression isn’t always about what someone sees; the other four senses can give them clues as to how to interpret your community. The benefits of potentially welcoming a new resident into your community outweigh the cost to appeal to their senses, which in some cases is nothing. Touch and auditory stimulation can both be free and can help foster a positive outlook on you and your community. A handshake, a candle, and the sound of busy residents are simple but effective.

As with most of us, whether or not you eat and what you eat can influence your mood. Offering a meal to people touring your community is a great way to show them the quality of your meals, while also appealing to a few different senses at the same time.

Who do they meet?
Who prospects meet is potentially the most important aspect while on a tour. When showing people around your community, who do they meet? Interacting with an AD or ED can have a significant impact on how your community is perceived. This tells them that you’re never too busy to offer the care that they’ll need.

Additionally, introducing potential residents to seniors that are already part of your community can help foster the relationships necessary to secure them as a resident. An easy way to bring people together is through resident profiling. The information in your resident profiles can help you quickly establish a connection, linking seniors together through preferences and life experiences. Since this is where seniors will be spending a lot of their time, it’s important to help them integrate and make meaningful connections with staff and other residents.

Of course, there are a ton of different factors that can make or break an initial reaction to your community, but as a general guideline, ask yourself what would be most important to you if you were moving into your community. Chances are, people looking to move loved ones into a senior living community would be looking for the same things. For more on what potential residents are looking for in your community, you can read more here

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through our blog posts and for your support! What are your thoughts your community's first impressions? How do you put your best foot forward? Let us know on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

Senior Living

Resident Profiles: Updated and Upgraded

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Resident profiles are one of the first pieces of documentation that a community looks at to establish a connection with the seniors in their care and can to help offer up important details about residents may not come across in conversation. However, as useful as these profiles are, there is a discrepancy between offering the best care you can give and upgrading to newer technologies. There are more than a few ways to offer customized care to each resident, but in this post, we’ll be looking at how resident profiles, and specifically how updated resident profiles, can help your community bring in systems to better the care it offers.

Where Resident Profiles Are At

There’s definitely a need for resident profiling and there are a few aspects to these forms that are great. For starters, getting to know residents on an individual basis is a win/win for everyone involved; caregivers feel more connected with their residents and their jobs and the seniors in their care feel more connected to the community. These profiles are also one of the only ways currently to capture the essence of each individual resident with prompts like parental history, childhood, marital history, retirement, travel history, etc. Resident profiles are also useful for collecting information, medical, historical, preferential, or otherwise, for staff to reference when they need to.

While using these profiles is generally a step in the right direction, there are some definite pitfalls in sustaining an antiquated system. The problem with paper forms is that in order to reference them, caregivers have to do some digging to find the form, then skim each page until they’ve found the information they’re looking for. It works, yes, but this isn't the most efficient way to gather and store information on your residents.

In a 2008 study, researchers asked medical practitioners to gather data on patients in two distinct ways: pen and paper, and through digital forms. Of the forms that the researchers got back, "only 3% of those gathered electronically had errors of omission, compared with 35% of those gathered on paper." From small-scale issues like not being able to decipher the handwriting of whoever filled out the form, to bigger issues like profile misplacement or damage, bringing resident profiles into the 21st century is becoming more and more of a necessity. With this in mind, where can resident profiles go from here?

Where Resident Profiles Could Be

At TSOLife, we're proponents of the idea that someone's history is the key to understanding who they are today. Because of this, we believe it’s important to both staff and residents alike to have digital profiles. Storing life stories, history, preferences and more in our online platform has helped us to create updated resident profiles, combining tailored care with convenience. With the ability to search through resident profiles and stories on each of your residents, caregivers can easily track down information.

In one of our previous posts, we’ve discussed how we’re seeing a shift to integrate new technologies into senior living communities. Updating the resident profile is the perfect step to take to introduce newer systems into your communities without overwhelming caregivers. While the TSOLife platform houses resident profiles, it can also help promote personal relationships between staff by providing opportunities to connect over life events and stories. The profiles in the senior living field right now are a great start to diving into personal histories of residents, but we think that we can go beyond a few pages of questions to really tie together the story of someone’s life.

Additionally, better resident profiles can act as a catalyst for improved community functionality on the business end of things. With improved, easy-to-use profiles, staff can provide better care for their seniors based on personal preference and life history. In turn, seniors who feel like they are in good hands tend to lead to more referral-based move ins. Improving your resident profiles can potentially lead to increased staff efficiency and resident referrals. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through our blog posts and for your support! What are your thoughts on updated resident profiles? Do you think the industry as a whole could make use of them? Let us know on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Company, Senior Living

Our Key Takeaways from Argentum

Argentum Photo-1
Photo Credit: Argentum via Flickr

It’s been a week since we got back from the Argentum National Conference, so we’ve had some time to reflect back on our time there. This year was our first year going, but it definitely won't be out last, especially since next year’s conference is in our HQ city of Tampa! With such a massive turnout to these conferences, it’s easy to get swept away in all of the other booths and breakout sessions and presentations, but we were able to learn some things and hope that you had some great takeaways as well. In this weeks post, we’ll break down some of the more important aspects of the conference that we were able to take home with us.

Industry Reframe

As we’ve seen before, the senior living industry is facing a shift in more aspects than one, from personalized care to the way staff retention is viewed. One of the more notable shifts at the Argentum conference was the shared acknowledgment that the industry is moving more toward providing a community for seniors to flourish in rather than nursing home styled organizations. We’re seeing improved ammenities, better technologies, and personalized care taking the senior living space into a new era where elderly people can thrive and create a community of people to share their life experiences with.

 In It Together

In lots of other industries, competition is a very real threat that takes time and energy to combat. During the conference, however, we were ecstatic to see that, while yes there is healthy competition between different companies, everyone is more or less united in support of goals that would help propel the senior living industry forward. From offering more individualized care to improving living conditions, there really was an underlying feeling of support among conference attendees to improve the overall standard of living for our senior citizens.

Differing Technologies

Perhaps one of the more important things we observed at the Argentum conference was the need for technologies that are able to integrate with both new tech and existing tech. Streamlining senior care is vital in all aspects of the senior care industry whether you’re on the administrative side of things or have more of a caregiving role. Efficiency is important for cost reductions, better care, and for overall organization. Bringing new technologies into the senior living space is already important, but improving how these systems interface with each other will be a necessity as we push forward.

Connecting Outside the Booth

We’ve been to other conferences before, however, Argentum was the largest one we’ve had a booth at and while it was exhilarating, there was also more opportunity to get shuffled into the crowd. Having a physical booth is important to secure your space as an exhibitor, but we did notice that there were lots of other connections to be made outside of the booth. Our CEO, David Sawyer, was able to sit down with the Bridge the Gap podcast hosts to chat for a bit on legacy preservation and why it's important to implement into senior living communities.  Keynotes, educational sessions, networking events, and everything else that was going on provided lots of opportunities to connect with people.

Overall, our team had a great time connecting with other senior living entrepreneurs and professionals. We’re looking forward to pushing the industry forward and to next year’s conference here in Tampa. See you all then! 

 

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

Dis one

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 

Company

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.