By Steve Moran

I recently got this email:

Good morning Steve!

I so enjoy your columns! I know your focus is on owners, marketing, etc.

This is a huge problem I see way too often in our industry:

This came to me from an Activity Director:

A new family was told during the tour that their mom who loved the outdoors all her life would get to go outside every day. Then when Mom moves in, the activity department does not have the staff to take Mom, who has memory problems, outside every day, and no other staff will assist.

The family then complains to the activity staff about the problem.

Help!! Marketing needs to stop making false promises to build census!

And then this:

I saw an ad just yesterday promising “restaurant-style dining in our community!” Except, that’s not true! No restaurant assigns you a seat, provides a chef-chosen meal with one alternative. There are no communities I know of where you can bring outside friends, order off a large menu, eat at any hour, etc. Just having tablecloths does not mean restaurant-style dining!

Finally, there are sooo many communities that say, “Move in and do what you love!” where it is not really true. For instance, I know a pianist who was told she could play and practice whenever, just as at home, on the community grand piano. Then when she moved in, the very first day she was told, “You can’t play during meal times, bingo times, or after 6 pm.

That is not living the way she lived at home.

There are too many stories like this. We need to be telling the truth.

I am not sure I have much to add to this. I get that there’s pressure to tell prospects what they want to hear, but it is critical we set proper expectations and tell the truth about what we can do and what we cannot. When we set unrealistic expectations we are setting ourselves up for unhappy residents. And that short-term move-in victory turns into a long-term loss for the organization and for the industry as a whole.

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