Once in a while, I find myself writing an article that I am pretty well convinced will make most readers mad until they sit with the premise and ultimately go . . . maybe this is actually right. In this case, I am not sure. It might just make you mad, but I do think it is worth thinking about.
The COVID-19 Story We Are Telling Ourselves and the Public
I, like you, have by now seen hundreds, maybe even thousands of photos of residents doing cute or heartstring-pulling things: dancing with staff, sitting in the hallways playing social distancing bingo, doing arts and craft projects that honestly look a lot like what grade school kids do, or having conversations with windows or plexiglass between them and their loved ones.
Each photo or video is designed to say “look at how fine a job we are doing to cope with COVID-19.”
And don’t get me wrong, these are all good things, and certainly better than the alternative of having residents stuck in complete isolation in their apartments.
I would also note, there are lots of stories of family members and residents feeling extra safe living in a senior living community rather than home. And because we have migrated to a mostly need-driven flavor of senior living, the pent-up demand is quite strong. Just a single data point, but Russell Rush the creator of the R3R1 senior living sales system has taken 16 deposits in just over 4 weeks of being back on-site at his occupancy challenged community. (Learn how R3R1 can help you increase your sales HERE.)
You are now thinking: “What’s the beef?”
How Appealing is This to You?
As I keep looking at those images and find myself thinking, “That is fine if I need senior living today. If I can’t keep dad or mom at their home or mine another day.”
But . . .
It is not how I would want to live out my last few years or months. If I could avoid it for a few months I would. And if I avoided it a few months, I might end up never moving in.
A Few That Are Different
There are some that show purposeful living in spite of COVID-19. Adult art and craft projects, residents gardening, residents doing stretching and other physical activities.
And best of all, when I see photos of maskless residents hanging out in close proximity even touching because they have been in isolation long enough that resident-to-resident risk is tiny. These, in fact, may be the most compelling images of all.
It is way too easy to look at things through our own eyes and think “this is great” when the emotions those same things evoke in others is far different than our own.
What do you think?