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Nothing Manages Itself in Senior Care

Part 1 Choose the product that runs itself and is maintenance free: Marketing automation software2018
"Generations Now" Weekly
Nothing Manages Itself in Senior Care
By Lisa LaMagna • Issue #110 • View online
Part 1
Choose the product that runs itself and is maintenance free:
  1. Marketing automation software
  2. 2018 Mini Cooper
  3. My new haircut
  4. In-home caregiver
  5. The intern
  6. My physical therapist
The answer is none of the above. Whenever we buy a solution, we are also buying ownership of some level of maintenance.
Here’s the maintenance on these 6 products:
  1. Hubspot requires new content creation in multiple forms
  2. Car requires 5,000 mile oil changes and expensive tires
  3. Haircut requires hair gel, conditioner, time in morning
  4. Caregiver requires feedback, direction, nurturing
  5. Intern requires training, mission and review
  6. PT requires me to do exercises and follow-up
Smart marketers are now pre-educating potential customers how to use their product.
Today, most care agencies, from nannies to elder care, do not help “buyers” use their “product.” And I feel this is an opportunity for the bold. Help customers learn to use your product or service before they commit to a purchase. Increase their confidence that they *can* use it.
Part 2
For several years I had a home helper, Maria Luisa. When she arrived in the morning, we had coffee together. If I had cooked breakfast, we would share that too.
Maria Luisa and I would talk about life, the weather, the house and neighborhood news. It was a 10 minute stand-up meeting, only sitting, with coffee and eggs.
I learned a lot during our morning coffees. That 10 minute investment shows respect and interest. Then I could leave for the day. When I returned home, everything was clean and organized, and a complete home cooked dinner was waiting for me.
Part 3
My brother is stretched thin. It’s easy to advise, “Marc, you need to sit with the caregiver at the beginning of the day for 10 minutes, have coffee, go through the care plan, talk with her.” But he’s raising 2 children and part-time parenting a 3rd. Commuting 1 hour to work every day. There is no time to sit and have coffee. Coffee is something you grab and drink in the car on the way to the train station.
Part 4
I learned of this “feedback” problem years ago when I first started consulting to care agencies. The chief complaint of caregivers is they have no relationship with the “family caregiver.” If you want to have a great caregiver, like any employee, they require feedback and management skills.
For one client, we wrote an e-book, “Best Caregiver Ever,” about being a good manager to have the best result. For another, we commissioned a long article, “Giving Feedback to Your Caregiver.” These are a good start, but only a start, to “training the customer.”
Part 5
One solution is to hire a geriatric care manager. I hired one to follow-up on dad’s caregiver every day. You can hire a care manager like Amanda Lambert, or one of her colleagues from the Aging Life Care Association. They can create a professional care plan that is more in-depth than you’ll get from an agency, and keep it refreshed and up to date.
Have you hired a care manager? Has your care agency helped you work with the caregivers they send to your home? Or is it, “here they are, good luck!”
Best, Lisa

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Lisa LaMagna

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