By Holly Pitas

Y’all come back now, Y’hear!  Do you remember that last line of the theme song from a 1960’s TV show.  “The Beverly Hillbillies” had Granny to look after the family. With her watchful eye and shotgun in hand, Granny took charge of the household.

On most days, you probably feel a kinship with Granny. As an assisted living professional you are charged with looking out for the better health and welfare of the elderly, and staff  in your facility; albeit,  minus the shot gun. In your fast paced day you often have only a few minutes to convey the depth of caring attention you and your staff provide.

How can you quickly create a good impression with both new tours and maintain positive relationships with your current resident families?

3 Simple Ways to Show Your Hospitality

1. Answer the phone within three rings.

The more times the phone rings, the more the family will think “if it takes them this long to answer the phone, how long does my mom have to wait when she needs something?”

Staffing is tight these days and you do want to put the resident’s needs first, yet, someone has to answer the phone with a positive, professional welcome.

A prompt friendly hello translates into a positive impression for attentiveness.  If you don’t have reception staff available, make sure you have an automated answering system that will kick in during busy times.

When you must rely on an answering machine, use a message something like this: “Thank you for calling. We are currently attending to our residents. Kindly leave your name and number and we will return the call as we complete our resident care duties.”

2. Curb Appeal

Each time you come and go from your building, look at it with fresh eyes and train your staff to do the same.  Don’t look past the eyesores of yard liter, or anything that could translate into lack of attention.

Again, families translate attention to outer details as attention to the care for their loved one.   Do the windows look clean; is the front door area freshly swept or vacuumed?  Do you have a welcome sign or inviting potted plant or flowers?  Does the outdoor presentation of your building create the impression that you provide kind, competent care?  A scheduled daily front door spruce up is a must.

3. Send a Thank You Note.

It’s a pretty good guess that any family member touring assisted living is anticipating an impending family transition and experiencing some level of stress.  People are so used to quick email and phone tag messages that personal attention gets lost.  Show them that you will take the time to attend to personal details by handwriting a little note just for them.  That little note will help to convey the special human touch that you will share with their loved one.

Remember to follow through with some of the details your granny would like.  Often, it’s the littlest thing that makes the biggest impression.

About Holly:

Holly Pitas. Passionate in the belief that families need information and access to all levels of choice regarding assisted living and supportive options, Holly shares her insight as a family caregiver, professional service provider and industry enthusiast.  Learn your Wisconsin options at Assisted Living Provider List, www.