As an owner of private senior care agencies in Atlanta, Georgia, the topic of how agencies can build relationships with clients truly ignites my passion. Before I can get into explaining building relationships with clients, we must look at the word relate. The word relate is defined: to show or make a connection.
Making connections is one way that senior care agencies build relationships with clients.
One of the ways we make connections with ours elderly clients is having parties where we play Bingo with them. The game Bingo truly excites the elderly community it seems to bring joy to them. They laughed and joke, and we have a meal at the end to wrap up the party with them, looking forward to next time. We have found as an agency that playing Bingo makes a wonderful connection with the senior community that can never be broken. In order for agencies to build relationships, we have to create a bonds with our clients that are not easily broken.
One of the complaints that I get from the elderly community is people don't care about them anymore.
For one, they say their family members don't come and see them as much. They feel like their social lives have become dormant.
Another way we have been able to create a successful bond with our senior population is by going into assisted living and nursing homes and have short chapel services. Most elderly would like to go the Church, but because of their condition they aren’t able or other circumstances may be holding them back. So we take Church to them, I reflect on a times I went to read scriptures and sing songs. Now, I do not say that I am a singer, but singing in front of a group of elderly men and women, I felt like Elvis Presley and Nate King Cole.
They sung along. They led songs. I really had a great time, and so did they. It's these types of interaction that really create bonds and build relationships with our elderly community.
Our seniors are always looking for outlets to bond with individuals who care for them, love them, and will be patient with them. Another way we find that helps us as senior care agencies to build relationships with clients is to understand their plight.
As an agency or an individual you have to put yourself in their shoes. We work and care for some elderly who are visually impaired. So, I sometimes close my eyes for about 15 minutes as if I was blind and begin to feel my way through a large room, so that I would understand for at least a moment and not forget how difficult it is when you do not have your sight. That's just one example of the way we relate as a caring community. It's important to do all we can to ensure we understand how seniors are feeling.
One of the best ways to build a connection and a relationship is to listen.
At times we are so quick to just do our job instead of listening. Don't allow the job duties to come before the relationship and the key point of simply listening. I believe that I am love by senior because I listen to them. I have explained to groups who desire to become senior care agencies, and I have told them that in order to build relationship with clients you must listen.
I identify myself as is I was the son of the people that my agency cares for. I tell my caregivers this. It's my model when we care for them: Treat them as mothers and fathers.
You and I both know that as a child, it's our responsibility to listen to our parents and elders. This strategy of listening has allowed me to grow my senior care agencies by leaps and bounds. Yes, it may take a few hours out of your day to listen, but it's been proven to grow your business because of the relationships you build.
Another way we as agencies build relationships with clients is to train caregivers to be compassionate, to have sympathy.
We train our certified nursing assistants to do whatever the client would do if they were healthy enough to do it. This has helped us through the years to build lasting relationships with clients family members that in some cases has cause us to to receive referrals because of the connections we made with them.