It's no surprise that the long term care sector has experienced declining occupancy and census due to COVID-19. The best marketing and sales efforts couldn't compete with a worldwide pandemic. But the tide is turning and if we've learned anything during this time -is that creativity is king, education is powerful and experiences change how people think, feel and act (because we've been missing these!). Dementia education and awareness is critically needed in our communities. Let's talk about how we can bridge dementia staff training with meeting marketing and sales goals by providing a solution to the pent-up demand for impactful dementia education from our local communities.
Marketing your community, agency or organization within your geographic region means building relationships, positioning your business as a quality care provider and high reliability organization. Referrals are gold, but keeping that pipeline full means creatively providing outreach opportunities to connect with families and community partners.
No matter where your organization resides, there is a desperate and urgent need in your community for impactful dementia education. According to the World Health Organization:
- Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.
- Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.
- Dementia has a physical, psychological, social, and economic impact, not only on people with dementia, but also on their carers, families and society at large.
Aging service providers in the era of COVID recovery are hyper- focused on building occupancy and census, while recruiting and training staff remain top priority across the aging spectrum. Is it possible to bridge the need for quality staff training with a focused outreach education initiative that will help reach healthy occupancy levels again?
What would happen if human resources, life engagement, training, business development, sales and marketing leaders all came together to see how effective dementia care staff training can easily be utilized by marketing staff to reach communities?
Now that I've asked lots of questions, I'll tell you the answers to all of the above is YES. Dementia programming is widely available. Life engagement is concerned about improving quality of care, human resources wants a well-trained, efficient and effective staff, business development, marketing and sales leaders want to see programs that will differentiate your organization from others by elevating your status as a leader in your area of care. Being well-respected, providing quality care via well-trained staff, and reaching out with the same training and education you provide in-house to those in your community can be a game- changer in how you are perceived by others.
Effective dementia education should include effective, easy-to-learn tools. It should be delivered in focused content for the learner to easily absorb. If it is experiential it will soar to the top in learner retention. And if it is transformational, it will in fact, change how people think, feel and act. It will change the professional caring for residents or clients, and it will change families caring for their loved ones. It will change how doctors talk to patients. It will change how first responders communicate and how students prepare for their health care careers. It will change people in transformative ways, at all different levels of an organization. And it have a positive impact in all areas of an organization.
It's time for change. It's time for Dementia Live
Pam Brandon is the CEO of AGE-u-cate Training Institute, a global organization that ignites change in aging services by delivering effective and affordable caregiver education and meaningful life enrichment programs, improving the quality of life for older adults. She is the creator of Dementia Live, a powerful sensitivity awareness and empathy training program and experience used by aging services providers across the US, Australia and Canada.