Family Values, Relationships, and Continuity of Care Affect Value In Senior Care

While assembly line style of care, productivity management, and six sigma standards of efficiency work for inanimate products they are not as good when dealing with a social service like Senior Care. We all need to become more aware of Social and Emotional costs and benefits in choosing a Senior Care setting before we make this expensive choice. Why not get more social and emotional benefit for the same dollar cost that is value.

Life, Social, and Emotional Values  VS Simple Dollar Value
When faced with the difficult and expensive task of finding a Senior Care Setting. -Care-Family-Values

Choosing a Senior Care Setting for a loved one is a Life Changing event for the entire Multi Generational Family.

Facts about this Family Decision.

-Financially Expensive

-Socially Expensive.

-Emotionally Expensive.

-Physically Expensive.


While most people will see that the cost of $3-6K / mo or$36K – 72K / yr is Financially Expensive most will not initially see the Social and Emotional costs to the senior, the grand-kids of the senior and  the adult children who often helping make the choice of a senior care setting for the senior. -Care-Assembly Line -Care-Controlling Staff

Do not be misled by a Title.  Assisted Living Facility often times is a room and meals with no assistance.  While they do offer assistance from the A La Cart Menu their basic services are more accurately Independent Living, a hotel room and a meal plan.  The services are often more like hotel services of laundry and room cleaning instead of Family Style, continuity of care, based personal care.

No matter what any one or a brochure says the services are, you do not know what they AND WHO IS DOING THEM, until you meet the entire care team including the Administrator and Owner.  Do not forget the Administrator and Owner do run the show even if you do not know them.

How the Family sees you, the Adult son or daughter of the senior, do matter in most social settings.  That leads to emotional feelings for all generations who will often want to do more.  All adult children who are faced with helping a senior make this decision will feel some amounts of  guilt that they can’t do more themselves  with any choices they make.  However, all can feel their best, if they follow one simple rule

Meet all of the Direct Care people INCLUDING THE ADMINISTRATOR AND OWNER.

Meeting the entire care team is the only way you can know what services you are getting.  The sales lady can’t describe who is providing the services you are getting.  The tour of the physical plant or building is such a small part of the SERVICES you need and are contracting for.  We believe that many over look the social and emotional costs in favor a quick walk through of the building on a tour.  Without meeting the people who will provide the care on a day to day basis you will not really know what you are getting.


Do not underestimate the value of meeting the administrator and owner.  The management directly affects what the caregiver and medication technicians do day in and day out.

The more hands-on the Administrator and Owner are,  the more likely they are  to value the feelings of the resident,  families and their own staff. -Care-Staff-Thumbs-Up It is much harder for any human including managers and owners  to down size, under staff, do less if they make an agreement themselves in person.  When the sales lady promises service she will have no involvement or responsibility for it is likely her promises will mean much less than a promise from the Administrator and Owner who will work side by side with their staff day in and day out.  Indeed, most business people will tell you to maximize profits for the business the managers and owners should not know you or the staff.  Knowing the staff and families  makes it socially harder to under value them.  Of course, our goal is not to maximize profits for the institutions but to show Seniors and Families how to get the most caring they can for their private pay dollars. -Care-Handshakes-have-ValueHand Shakes Have Social Value- Look for Hand Shakes not Paper Contracts when Choosing Services.

In general, all people work better, are more involved, when they are socially and emotionally appreciated.  That is human nature.  Look for that when choosing a senior care setting and you will get the most care and caring for your private pay dollar.

Of course, their will always be some financial reality of who each owner and administrator chooses for their staff but our experience is that more hand-s on the management, the more personally involved the management is with their own staff and the seniors and families they care for that leads to the best value for the Senior and their private pay dollars.

When choosing Senior Care in all care settings Assisted Living, Home Care, Hospice Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, Memory Care, Hospice Care,Residential Care be sure to meet and shake hands with the entire care team including the top management.  If you don’t meet they you can’t access their degree of commitment and sincerity to care vs a more financial only, A la Cart, Model of Care.

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By Shawn McGivney

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