Pete Halberstadt owns West Advertising and among his clients are Assisted Living Homes and Car Dealerships. Everybody wants a new car but what about advertising care, and the image of a home when people are mostly in crisis and have exhausted the option of staying in their own home.
In the last AHWGO salon Pete talked about his experience with advertising for something nobody really wants but many really need. The basic principles are the same and measurements of success are as important for car dealerships as for Assisted Living Homes. Length of stay, level of occupancy, growth rates are some of the measurements of success. Influencers are family, close others, staff, geriatric care managers, discharge nurses and increasingly internet referral services. The design of websites arecrucial in the decision making.
How can we not bristle at the fact that Assisted Living is a business like any other? With some exceptions many facilities or “communities” have a template approach and how they portray themselves differ only slightly. Pete talked with great respect about one of the exceptions, AgeSong, a Bay Area company with a humanistic approach that strives to treat people as who they are despite their frailties and decline in function.
The nomenclature of aging makes change however difficult:
“We are a non-profit, faith-based organization that celebrates and respects the dignity and inherent worth of each person. “ A tag line like this makes one wonder why this company has to emphasize that they are aware of the dignity and worth of each person.
The images and colors assigned to aging are sticky:
The colors – beige, yellowish, brownish are preferred.
The people, happy, good looking older adults which are most likely not residents but come from stock photography.
Assessing the quality of a senior home is very difficult and nobody should do it without spending some time in the most care intensive part – Skilled Nursing.