It’s pretty hard to justify that you are making the best decision for mum when the Daily Mail is screaming ‘abuse in care homes’ every week. We all know that public perceptions of the care industry are at a low ebb. But we don’t think it should be. Over the years, we have seen numerous examples of residents and families benefiting from living in a care home environment. Companionship, activities, regular meals and medication are just a few of the benefits clients feel when they take that leap into the next stage of their life. That doesn’t often get reported in the press though.
So how do we address this? Social care needs a complete face lift as far as perceptions are concerned. We need to be more aware of what people want and be much more transparent.
In this digital age, information and transparency is everything. Done right, it holds the key to the door to self-funding clients.
As a starting point, families need information that is available when they want to access it, not when somebody happens to answer the phone. Think about the busy lives of the people looking for care – they are emotional, stressed and totally confused and they need easily comparable, clear information. This must include information about prices, availability, your staff and what makes you different from the 10 other care providers in your area.
So, what are our top tips on how to stand out and attract self-funding clients?
- Update your website. Give consumers the information they need, don’t hide it away.
- Answer the phone! And make sure the person answering the phone is able to help.
- Post or email an enquiry form to prospective clients, asking questions that will save you and the client a lot of time if their replies don’t fit with what you offer.
- Talk about your staff – people want to know about people more than place.
- Be kind – This is a very stressful time and most clients have no idea what they are doing.
Hear more tips from Debbie Harris, MD of Autumna at The Care Show on the 17th & 18th October, where she will share her decade-long experience working with self-funding families and helping them access the right care for their loved ones.