It is NOT too early to begin planning how you’ll showcase your community during National Assisted Living Week®, September 11th-17th.
By Pam McDonald
As we just begin enjoying the first warm days of summer, it may seem a little early to be thinking about fall and National Assisted Living Week®, September 11th-17th. However, according to Paul Flowers, President of Circa 46, an advertising agency with a speciality in senior living and a Senior Housing Forum partner, it is NOT too early to begin planning how you’ll showcase your community during this week of nationwide focus on the benefits of assisted living.
Twenty-one years ago, the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) established this weeklong commemoration to acknowledge the significant role assisted living plays in the care of seniors and individuals with disabilities.
While it would be a stretch to assume that this observance will make assisted living top-of-mind among Americans everywhere, the combined focus of many participating senior living providers will have an impact on those who need assisted living now and those who may need it in the future.
This year’s theme is “Keep Connected,” which has multiple meanings. Paul says, “The term ‘Connection’ describes the care relationships among residents, families, staffs, and volunteers, as well as related professionals in the broader community, like geriatric care managers, physicians, estate planners, and the like.
“It also recognizes that the presence of technology is expanding in senior living, both as a means for enhancing communication and for improving the quality of care provided by assisted living communities.”
Senior Tech Time
It is well documented that the senior cohort is the fastest growing segment among internet users – mainly because, as a group, they are still well behind the rest of the world when it comes to internet adoption. Paul says, “This has created a hunger among many seniors to learn how to use the many digital devises at their disposal – laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.”
He suggests offering workshops at your community during National Assisted Living Week to connect with these seniors. He recommends partnering with a local computer or telephone store to demonstrate how to use various devices. He says, “Get the word out early to seniors residing in your area and it’s likely you will see a strong response.”
For those communities that are using It’s Never Too Late (in2l.com) or LifeShare Technologies (lifesharetech.com), Senior Housing Forum partners, Assisted Living Week would be a good time to showcase how your residents benefit from these innovations.
As a variation on the digital device workshop, communities might offer instruction to seniors on how to join the most popular social media networks, like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Or how to navigate entertaining video-sharing websites, like YouTube or Vimeo. Nothing says “Keep Connected” more than social media!
It would also provide an occasion for a session to show seniors how to access the wealth of internet information available on their favorite, most-often-searched for topics: aging, health, and services for seniors.
Publicize Your Events
If you have an eNewsletter, give your subscribers advance notice of the activities you will be offering as part of Assisted Living Week. You can also send direct mail postcard and press releases if that’s in your budget.
And, with permissions in place, videotape the events you conduct. You can then post them on Facebook and your other social media, as well as to to your own community’s website. Not only will this make your website more interesting to visitors, it will enhance its SEO. It could increase your website traffic where seniors and their families will find useful information they’ll want to access time and again.
Don’t Depend on National Assisted Living Week
National Assisted Living Week will get here before you know it and, as Paul notes, it can benefit your community if you are proactive. He says, “To make it work for you, look for opportunities to capture the momentum created by this observance. If you can catch the wave, the week of September 11th will help your marketing efforts be more productive.”
Contact Paul at (469) 227-3271 or visit Circa 46.