Jun 13, 2016

Creating an Effective Annual Report

Most people don't realize that your annual report is very effective communication tool AND a great soft sell donation tool.

Often, annual reports are bogged down by too many details and too much information. So what should you take out and what should you keep in?

Firstly, focus on your accomplishments. It's not just about a description of the activities that happened in your facility but what you accomplished from them. Did you start a new program for your residents? Don't simply describe the program; go into detail about the results of this program and how it impacted your residents. You do good work every day and this needs to be showcased.

Dec 16, 2015

Best Practices for Social Media

Social media like Facebook and Twitter can be a great way to connect with your residents' families and the community at large. So how can you be effective with this tool?

Here are a few best practices.

1. Don't Overcommit

Don't have time for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and more?

Then don't attempt to use all of them. Pick your one main social media tool and if you want to use the others sporadically (like the occasional Youtube video) then go for it.

2. Set Expectations

This ties into the first point. Don't post on Facebook everyday if that's something you can't sustain. Instead, determine how much time you have and post accordingly. Even if you just post once a week, people will come to expect that post every week.

Oct 26, 2015

Family-Centered Care

There’s been a lot of talk about person-centered care and how it should be incorporated into your facility. But what about family-centered care?

The concept of family-centered care is not as easy as it seems. So much energy is often focused on the needs of the resident that the needs of the family can sometimes be left behind. It’s also hard to balance the needs of the resident with that of the family, especially if they differ.

Family-centered care is about making sure that the family feels involved in the life of their loved one. It’s important to recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes and bring different emotional experiences to the table. Some families will want to be heavily involved while others will not.

Sep 8, 2015

Dealing with Negative Publicity

The long-term care industry is one of those industries where bad news gets media attention more than good. Rarely are long-term care homes in the media for all the good things they’ve done.

So what do you do if the negative spotlight is turned on you?

1.Don’t shy away from the situation

Whatever the situation is, when dealing with media, face it head on. Address the situation clearly and concisely in your statements. Don’t try to bluff or pretend the situation hadn’t occurred because it makes you look less than honest or as if you have something to hide.

Sep 8, 2015

Stress in the Workplace

Stress is a sneaky little thing, isn’t it?

All it takes is one thing going wrong and the stress starts to build.

Stress, and the negative mood that comes with it, can also spread, infecting your co-workers.

So how do you deal with it?

Apr 7, 2015

Using Resident Families to Sell Your Facilities

You never get a second chance at a first impression and the biggest chance you get to make one is through a facility tour.

As the first step in future residents and their families joining your community these tours introduce them to your own brand of senior care culture and family. While staff can be great tour guides, why not take it one step further and ask a resident family member to participate in the tour.

They can offer an outside perspective about the quality of care, and share their own experiences on everything from move in to the adjustment process, food, activities, and more.

Mar 16, 2015

Developing Success Stories

1. Keep track of those special moments.

Success stories are important for your facility. They can be used in marketing materials like your website or shared in your annual report. They can be shared with family members and potential residents. Success stories are your way of showcasing the very best of what you have to offer.

In order to develop a collection of success stories, you must first keep track of those special moments. Encourage the staff to share any special moments either verbally or on paper. Ask your residents to share what makes them happy about living at your facility. Document special events, even if it's only jotting down a sentence or two about what occurred. And keep these all in a file on your computer for editing.

2. Develop a narrative

A good success story has a great narrative. First, you have to decide which stories work best. Read them over and determine if you can develop a strong narrative from what you've been given. Pick a story that will tug at the heartstrings and make someone smile.

Mar 9, 2015

Five New Ideas for Staff Recognition

1. Recognition Notes/Cards

Staff recognition doesn't always have to involve having a big event. A simple thank you note when one of your staff has done something above and beyond can go a long way. Try to recognize one of your staff members every week if possible. Jot them a quick note saying they're appreciated.

2. Ask the Residents

Interview the residents and ask why they like the staff. Collect their answers and post on the staff bulletin board. Acknowledgement from those they care for will brighten your staff's day and involve your residents.

Mar 3, 2015

Developing a Fundraising Plan

1. Creating a Goal

A great fundraising plan starts with a good, solid goal. Make sure your goal is realistic. Look at your past fundraising efforts and see where your numbers are at, and then develop a reasonable goal; something you can strive for but isn't completely out of your reach. Building a goal isn't just about figuring out the dollar amount. You need to determine who you are trying to reach. Do you want to increase the number of new donors? Renew your current donors or get bigger gifts from them? It's okay to pick all of the above but be cognizant of the fact that different strategies will be needed for each.

2. Staying within Your Means

Ever heard the adage 'It takes money to make money?' It's completely true. It's important to have a budget for your fundraising plan, even if you are just sending out one direct mail letter.

Figure out what amount you can set aside for fundraising. Doing this before you develop your strategy will help ensure that your plans don't go overbudget! It's important to stay within your means when it comes to staff and volunteer time as well. Figure out how much time your staff has to devote to this and take that into account.

Mar 1, 2015

A World of Promise

In Canada we're fortunate to have an international group of researchers compiling evidence on what divides elderly caregiving around the world, in the hopes that we can learn to improve what unites us, providing the best possible care for our residents.

Headed up by Pat Armstrong, a research professor of sociology at York University, a study group was formed in 2011 to uncover the most promising practices in long-term care from around the world and how conditions of work relate to conditions of care.

Most studies have a specific theory that a researcher will attempt to prove, but this study differs in that it isn’t setting out to prove something specifically. Instead, it is a fact finding mission for good ideas in elder care with researchers seeking practices that treat providers and residents with dignity and respect, understand care as a relationship, take differences and equity into account and promote active, healthy aging.