By Joanne Kaldy
People considering a move to a senior living community for a loved one or themselves likely have a lot of questions, anxieties, and concerns right now. This is heightened by stay-at-home guidance that restricts their ability to visit communities and see for themselves what is happening during this pandemic crisis.
Get the Word Out
Caring.com (a Senior Living Foresight partner) knows how hard communities are working to protect residents and staff and ensure their health and safety in response to COVID-19. To best support its in-network partners, Caring.com has added a feature for senior living communities to highlight their COVID-19 response right from the top of their community profile. This can help give prospective and current residents, as well as their family members, some valuable information, peace of mind, and confidence about your community’s ability to ensure safety and protection, even under the most difficult circumstances.
While this partner profile feature does have a character limit, Caring’s partners are finding excellent ways to use it to convey specific information, such as virtual tour offerings or how the community is adhering to recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Caring.com’s Partner Success team is working closely with communities to support them in optimizing this alert and can provide stellar examples that resonate well with senior living searchers online.
“While COVID-19 has affected nearly everyone’s daily lives, seniors are particularly impacted given their increased vulnerability,” said Caring’s CEO Jim Rosenthal in a public message on Caring.com. “We are working closely with our senior living community partners to stay updated on their offerings, including the safeguards in place to help seniors stay safe and avoid contracting COVID-19.”
Caring has published an in-depth report for caregivers, seniors, and the public on what senior living communities are doing to protect their residents from COVID-19. The report examines and details the precautions senior living communities are taking, when seniors may actually be safer in a senior living community, and alternative care options for those who don’t need daily attention and care.
Keep Tours Going
Caring.com is also actively scheduling virtual tours to help prospective residents and their families learn more about a community and its staff. Its online directories continue to host a comprehensive collection of consumer reviews, with highly rated service providers designated as Caring Stars. This feedback remains an important factor for many seniors in their decision-making regarding senior housing.
Pay Attention to Reviews
Caring’s Director of Industry Marketing Denise Graab is one of the industry’s leading experts on senior care reviews. She shared that Caring.com has not suspended its reviews program due to COVID-19. How senior living communities handle health and safety concerns is important to consumers considering a community, and Caring.com is uniquely positioned with senior care experts reading every review submitted to the website, using rigorous review guidelines in deciding which reviews get published, whether they mention COVID-19 or not.
“We’re very strict about the guidelines, and we’re not allowing ‘just anybody’ to post a review based on news coverage,” she said. “We are enabling cognitively-healthy residents and their family members to share their first-hand experiences and opinions within the guidelines. At the same time, any review that is published can be contested for fact-error or any guidelines concern the community believes we may have missed. And our options for publishing a business response likewise remain. Online reputation management has not shut down on Caring.com.”
Caring.com has two valuable and FREE webinars coming up to help you with some of these issues:
- Maybe to Move-In: Best Practices to Optimize Senior Living Tours is set for May 29, and features Senior Living Foresight’s Steve Moran.
- Then on June 18th, Denise will do her annual industry webinar about how to use senior care reviews to build business success, including how to earn their Caring Stars award for service excellence based on consumer reviews.
To learn more about Caring.com, please visit their website.