It’s the ‘holly jolly’ winter holiday season, and with it: several opportunities for your senior care organization to share valuable information and resources with older adults and their adult children. Whether it’s a checklist of things to look for while visiting aging parents’ homes, or gift guides, or helping them find you in January after realizing an elder loved one needs more care than previously thought, there are so many topics for you to cover this month to meet the needs of your current clients and attract new ones.
Content Tips for Any Senior Care Company
- Pick 1-3 holiday related topics for your blog article(s), and find a local angle. Unless you’re a major publisher who’s been covering “Home for the Holidays” for years and already ranks on search engines for this subject, it will be hard for your content to be found. But search engines are where many of your prospective clients will head first to find senior care information — so if you want to rank for holiday-related topics, use local angles for any of your “Home for the Holidays” coverage in December or January. Examples of how to take the general topic and ‘localize’ it: “Visiting Aging Parents in Chicago for the Holidays? 5 Things to Look For in Their Home” or “Our Favorite Gifts for Chicago Seniors” or “What To Do in Chicago for the Holidays — Making the Most of Season with Your Senior Relatives.”
- Contact local journalists and make them aware of your expert(s) and/or tips for adult children visiting elder loved ones in the area this holiday season. If they’re already covering the “Home for the Holidays” topic, they’ll need experts to quote — and that can be a great way to raise awareness about your senior care organization with folks who may not yet know about your services. And if the media outlet wasn’t already aware of the spike in senior care searches in January (post-holiday visits with elder relatives), you can help provide them with content valuable to their readers or viewers. Consider a “Letter to the Editor” for your local newspaper, or sending the story as a tip to your local TV station.
- To build deeper, stronger relationships with your existing clients: rather than focusing on identifying increased senior care needs or finding the best senior care services, you can instead cover topics that will help them optimize the holiday season. It could be helping them have great family visits (at home or in a senior living community), understanding and facing the unique challenges of celebrating the holidays with loved ones living with dementia, or supporting families facing or experiencing grief this season.
- If ‘January has come early’ and you’re already feeling the rush of senior care searches around the holidays — and thus don’t have time to create original content this month: curate a ’round up’ or list of links to your favorite holiday related articles from other knowledgeable organizations, including both local organizations (such as the nearby chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association) or national senior care publishers (like the National Alliance for Caregiving, Caring.com or AARP) with trustworthy, well-vetted tips that will help those you serve and attract new customers to your senior care organization as well.
- Make sure your business profiles — on both social networks and online directories — have the most accurate and compelling information about your organization. Be sure your services are described well (not so rich with industry jargon that a newbie doesn’t understand what you do). Your profiles should have excellent photos and/or videos, as well as reviews — if you don’t already have some on your profiles, get them ASAP to attract and persuade prospective clients. And include the best way to reach your organization — so that when those adult children go online to find help, they also know how to contact you.
Content Tips for Senior Living Communities
- Have a move-in special this month or in January? Make sure your referral partners — and prospects already in your pipeline — know about it! Make it easy to find on your social media profiles, website, and in your e-newsletter too.
- Hosting any holiday events or activities that will be open to the public (such as a tree lighting, caroling, or movie screenings, etc.)? Be sure it gets added to the online event calendars for your area and is sent to the events section of your local newspaper. Here’s an example: Bailey Manor Retirement Community in Clinton, South Carolina hosts a “Festival of Trees” with decorated trees, wreaths, villages and gingerbread houses, which they publicized on their Facebook page and in the local newspaper too.
- While your community’s holiday events do present lots of “photo ops,” make sure that your staff are aware of your photography and social media policies, that your community has all waivers on file (and up to date), and that you respect the dignity and privacy of your residents — this is particularly important for memory care communities.
Content Tips for Home Care Agencies
- Does your agency have any special stories of staff going above and beyond to help seniors aging in place (and possibly alone) this holiday season? For example, Barbra “BJ” Corn of Silver Angels in Monterey, Tennessee provided a 70-year-old mentally challenged client with her first-ever Christmas celebration, including a tree with gifts, home decorations, a special breakfast and dinner, introduction to neighbors in her housing complex, and indescribable joy at a time when she may have otherwise been alone and overlooked. They shared this story on Caring.com, earning Barbra a national award (with cash bonus) and related PR in local media. If your agency has similar heartwarming stories, consider getting their (and as needed adult children’s) permission to share the story on your blog or with local reporters — it’s a great way to recognize the professional caregiver for a job well done, reinforce the value you’re adding for that senior’s life, and demonstrate the high quality in-home care your agency provides to others not yet using your services.
Caring Resources to Support this Spark
- Holidays with Memory Loss: 4 Tips for Sharing Holiday Pleasures
Additional Resources to Support this Spark
- Contact your city’s Parks & Recreation Department and find out what senior-friendly events they have scheduled this time of year. Include that any “Holiday To Do” coverage you do on your blog or social media profiles.
- Contact your local Area Agency on Aging and include their tips in your “Home for the Holidays” coverage this month. Here’s an example of a national campaign from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging: Home for the Holidays — Addressing Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults. See if your local area agency is participating, or has other relevant activities and content.
- If you focus on holidays with seniors who have a certain condition — such as Alzheimer’s or cancer — find local nonprofits or organizations focused on those conditions, and partner with them on content, either by including their tips and events in your blog posts and social posts, or vice versa, joining the conversations on their blogs, websites, and social profiles.
Content Sparks are part of Caring.com’s Content Made Simple program. See all of the December 2016 Content Sparks.
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