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Content Spark: Boomers & Seniors in the Spotlight

August is “Boomers Making a Difference” Month, celebrating Baby Boomers who have made a significant contribution to their communities by helping others improve their lives. August 21st is National Senior Citizen Day (officially proclaimed as such by Ronald Reagan in 1988) to celebrate and honor the lives and contributions of older adults. Either observance gives your senior care organization the opportunity to spotlight specific Boomers or seniors in your area who are making a positive difference and are worthy of some public recognition.Seniors in Spotlight

Content Tips for Any Senior Care Company

  • Pick one or both events, and identify associated individuals to highlight. Outreach to them ASAP to get their agreement on participation. Interview them, and feature their responses as a Q&A article, or woven into a blog post, or shared in social media with photos.
  • How does your organization recognize, celebrate or thank seniors? Take this opportunity to highlight those ways, whether through your blog, newsletter, or social media profiles.
  • Consider creating a list of the best senior citizen discounts in your area as a way to celebrate National Senior Citizens Day.
      Content Tips for Senior Living Communities
    • Consider hosting a National Senior Citizens Day event, activity, or party at your community with your residents as the guests of honor.
        Content Tips for Home Care Agencies
      • Is your agency caring for a senior who has a unique and/or compelling story related to their contributions to society? How about seniors in your community who are inspiring and worthy of note? Consider a blog post featuring these individuals, such as Griswold Home Care did in this post on their blog.
          Caring Resources to Support this Spark
        • Lasting Legacy Project — ideas for documenting the talented, amazing seniors and/or Boomers you choose to highlight
        • Recognizing Exceptional Caregivers — Going Above & Beyond for Seniors — these stories highlights professional caregivers (some Boomers, some seniors) who are excellent examples of individuals who deserve the spotlight
            Additional Resources to Support this Spark
          • Senior Corps — interview them about their organization and why observances like National Senior Citizens Day are important to celebrate

            Content Spark: Support for Grief in Senior Care

            August 30th is National Grief Awareness Day, a day established by Grief Magazine founder, Angie Cartwright to “recognize and honor the oldest journey known to mankind” and to educate society about “the clichés and myths of grieving.” Whether helping families prepare for and cope with their loved ones’ end of life, or supporting your staff when a beloved resident or client dies, grief and loss are very much a part of the work we do in senior care. Take this observance in August as an opportunity to bring these themes to the forefront and provide valuable information to help everyone involved.Grief Candle

            Content Tips for Any Senior Care Company

            • The founder of National Grief Awareness Day says that she has found that “healing can only take place when grief is not shamed, rushed, or tabooed…When we lose someone, we are told to move on and to get over our sadness, because grief is commonly perceived as something that needs to be fixed. As a result, the bereaved feel misunderstood, and they end up grieving in silence.” You can use this quote — from a Change.org petition she’s started — as a starting point for blog posts, for social media memes, or as a thematic starting point for any other content you create for this observance.
            • The founder of National Grief Awareness Day also states that the first step in supporting those grieving “is for people to become more aware of what grief stricken people are going through.” Look at the expert resources (some below) on what the stages of grief are, and pass on that knowledge to those you serve and their family members. If you have real stories you can share, that’s a way to draw others in — they can learn from the experiences of others while also realizing they are not alone in the feelings they’re having.
            • Consider a Q&A article with a grief expert. What do they think are the biggest misconceptions about grieving, and what do they recommend for those you serve — as well as for your staff?
            • The founder of National Grief Awareness Day says, “It’s an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness about the painful impact that the death of a loved one has in the life of a human being.” You can discuss that theme, provide real stories (where individuals are willing to share their stories), and include grief support resources that readers can turn to for further help with any feelings of grief or loss that they’re feeling.
            • For organizations that offer hospice or end-of-life services: Demonstrate your expertise in this area, by explaining your philosophies and approaches to supporting those dying and their loved ones. Tip: Avoid being too ‘salesy’ or focused on lead generation and getting new clients. Instead, focus on being understanding, knowledgeable, and helpful.
                Content Tips for Senior Living Communities
              • Does your community host any grief support groups? What are your protocols or practices for addressing grief among residents and staff when a beloved resident dies? For instance, do you host memorial events for deceased residents, or have tributes, such as the memory garden that Azura Memory Care of Eau Claire, WI created for remembering residents who’ve died? Are those you serve aware of your offering in this regard? Take this opportunity to talk about your services and support for those who pass away at your community, and for those left grieving by the loss.
                  Content Tips for Home Care Agencies
                • Does your home care agency partner or collaborate with a hospice provider? Talk about that collaboration and how it benefits those dying and those grieving.
                • Is there anything else that your organization does to support those who are grieving? For instance, is there a client for whom you were hired as an elder companion after the loss of a spouse, friend, or loved one? That story could be a starting point for discussing the impact of grief and how your agency can provide support.
                    Caring Resources to Support this Spark
                      Additional Resources to Support this Spark
                    • GriefNet.org — a volunteer-based nonprofit that connects individuals to support groups and hosts an online community for those grieving
                    • Grief Recovery Institute — this is another expert organization, founded in the mid 1980s, and offering training, workshops, and more
                    • Being Mortal – a highly acclaimed book by surgeon Atul Gawande that shows that “the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life — all the way to the very end”

                      Content Spark: Safe Driving for Seniors

                      In a new report examining the number of people age 65 and older who were killed in car accidents and that age group’s share of the population by state, Caring.com has released a ranking of the most and least dangerous states for senior drivers. While senior driving content typically focuses on the threat older drivers pose to other drivers on the road, this report also looked at the threat to older adults behind the wheel. This is another way to help family caregivers have the important conversation with their elder loved ones about giving up the keys and finding safer ways to get around — and it’s an opportunity for senior care organizations to highlight the ways they can help too.

                      Content Tips for Any Senior Care Company

                      • Compile a Q&A article: interview a representative at your state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) agency about older drivers and their safety in your state (and/or what needs to be done to make the state more safe for older drivers)
                          Content Tips for Senior Living Communities
                        • How does your senior living community help take older drivers off the road? This is a great opportunity to remind families you serve about the transportation services you offer for residents.
                        • Do you have a story of any resident whose family was concerned about driving, and for whom that concern was alleviated by their loved one moving into your community? Would they be willing to be quoted or mentioned? If so: real stories of ‘folks like me’ can be very compelling for prospective residents and their family members and you should include such stories in your content as often as you can (with opt-in if you use real names, or anonymously if it’s preferred that real identity not be used).
                            Content Tips for Home Care Agencies
                          • Does your home care agency help take older drivers off the road by having your professional caregivers do the driving for them? This is a great opportunity to remind families you serve about the transportation services you offer for clients. Include any real-life stories from existing or former clients, with their permission, or anonymously if they’d prefer to not use their real identity in such articles.
                          • Does your agency talk to older adult clients about driving concerns? If so, what have you found to be most effective for convincing them to reduce driving or give up the keys entirely? Share that expertise in your content this month.
                              Caring Resources to Support this Spark
                            • Caring for a Parent support group — a place adult children can discuss concerns about their parent’s driving and get tips from others who’ve similarly faced this challenge
                                Additional Resources to Support this Spark