Technically, when our Elder Care Advisors go about the process of finding residents for our communities, it is a sales process. But calling it sales does not come close to describing what happens. This kind of “sale” is so unlike any other purchase a family can make. It is instead a combination of educating, counseling, evaluating and advising on a very important decision.
First of all, our sales process is exactly that, a process. It is not a simple yes or no because there are so many dynamics at play. Our process revolves around four areas of questioning that our Elder Care Advisors pursue. They are:
- Do we make sense for your loved one?
- Are we talking to the right person for the decision?
- Is it a financial fit?
- What is the timeline?
While I have numbered these, they are not necessarily a numeric flow because each one is equally important in its own way and each can be the ultimate tipping point for or against the move to an Americare community. The goal is to help a family member or members make an informed decision about this life-changing opportunity.
Do we make sense?
The conversation in this part of the process centers around understanding the current situation for a loved one, weighing it against what the loved one needs in terms of care, socialization, monitoring and other day to day dynamics – and then comparing that to what one of our communities offers. Discussions must be about both the present and the future, about what the elderly loved one wants and what the elderly loved one needs. These two items may not be in total alignment. Each individual is different and not everyone fits with an Americare experience. If we are able to get a family thinking and evaluating, then we have done a good job, regardless of whether the loved one is right for Americare, or vice versa.
Are we talking to the right person?
Rarely is the decision to move from a current living situation made by just one person. It is often a family decision and all family members may not be on the same page. We can help a family understand who needs to be a part of the conversation, but there needs to be a final decision maker and our team needs to be talking with that person. At the very least, we get the family talking and can help them understand why this is so important.
Is it a financial fit?
Financial discovery is a complicated process because there are so many potential moving parts. Our advisor will ask the questions that help family members understand the “real” total cost of the current living and care situation for a loved one. That often includes real estate costs, care costs, family costs, basic living expenses and medical expenses. Those current expenses can then be compared to the cost of living in an Americare community. Sometimes Americare is less, sometimes it is more. At times real estate and other large ticket items will be sold and have a significant impact on the finances. Our advisors can also help you find or better understand benefits you might need or already have access to, as well as look at financial assistance programs and availability for your family situation.
What is the timeline?
Quite simply, when do you want things to happen? Many families prepare years in advance with participation of the loved one. Other families wait until a crisis forces a decision and options are not as available. Some fall in between – preparing now, but waiting for a crisis to make the final move. Waiting for a crisis is never the best time to make a life decision. In fact, one of the statements we hear most often is “We should have done this sooner.” Discussing timeline with our Elder Care Advisors can help families understand how improving quality of life and socialization can actually extend life and health by ending isolation, improving exercise and getting a better diet. If we help a family understand this dynamic better, then we have been a success.
Four lines of questions, each playing a part in a decision. That is our “sales” process.
So, if you want to talk to an Elder Care Advisor, understand it is just a conversation at first. And, at the very least you will come away with a better understanding of needs and options, even if you are not ready to decide anything.