Alexandra Fisher clarifies if it is really possible to sell seniors a lifestyle change before they are forced to make it.

By Susan Saldibar

What is it about human nature that causes us to put off things that could improve our quality of life? I remember losing about 20 pounds a while back. And it took me a couple years to get up the energy and motivation to lose it. Then, once done, all I could think of was “Why did I wait so long to do it?” I looked better, felt better and I could get out of my chair without using my hands (not kidding)!

If you’ve been in senior living for any time at all, you probably have heard some of your residents, especially in independent living, say “Why did I wait so long to do this?”

A challenging conundrum: sell the lifestyle choice, while it’s still a choice.

In the third of a series of taped video sessions, Steve Moran asked Alexandra Fisher — co-founder of Sherpa, a Senior Housing Forum Partner — if it were really possible to sell seniors a lifestyle change before they are forced to make it.

Alex is absolutely convinced that we can; however, not until we do the following:

  • Change our thinking to really believe we can.

  • Hire for skillsets that are more attuned to selling in new ways.

  • Shift our messaging to something more like “We’re not just here to care for you. We’re here to care about you, and help you get a new lease on life.”

By the way, Alex is the first to acknowledge that helping prospects navigate this decision is not easy to do. Given our own human tendencies to avoid change, she is well aware that at age 85 or older, the resistance is even greater.

So our biggest challenge is to help prospects — and their families — get ready. That takes time and a different approach to “selling.” But if the result is, “Why didn’t I do this a long time ago?” it’s well worth it.