Many of our assisted living and continuing care communities have marketing assessments undertaken when communities are readying for the holidays. We’ve seen some senior living communities beautifully decorated while others seem uninspired and are not age appropriate. We thought it may be useful to pass along some tips:
- If you are decorating your community, it may be time to call in the professionals for public space holiday décor. Holiday decorating needs to be done well. What may look wonderful in your own home may fail to capture the ambiance of the community.
- Less is more when it comes to holiday décor.
- Be sure employees’ attire is fresh and appropriate. If your community permits street clothes for holiday celebrations, a dress code still should be in effect. Mom’s caretaker shouldn’t be showing cleavage just because there’s an employee holiday party in the afternoon.
- Keep activity bulletin boards age appropriate. Residents are older adults and community bulletin boards should not resemble a kindergarten class.
- This may be a nice time to change the telephone greeting for the community and have the telephone answered, celebrating the holidays.
- If key employees are on holiday vacations, make sure temporary substitutes are fully trained and not uncomfortable answering questions.
- Holidays have an influx of families and there’s a bundle of emotions visiting their loved ones. If there are complaints, make sure these are quickly taken care of to sooth people’s feelings.
- Have brochures packages ready since visiting families and friends may want a package to take to someone.
- Make sure there is a manager on duty during holiday meals when families are invited to attend. They should be visible and not hide in their office. The chef on duty should be in crisp attire and proud to be serving a holiday meal. They should make appearances in the dining room.
- A senior community is so important to its senior residents and fills a huge gap especially during the holidays; therefore making the holidays extra special is key. Celebrating old traditions while having new ones makes the year’s memories special. Invite visiting families to take pictures for the community’s Facebook page and when they are emailed to you, these will make great photo albums.