Howard Gleckman, author of Caring for Our Parents recently made an important point on his blog recently: When shopping for assisted living, it’s all about the aides. “Forget about the wood paneling, and fresh flowers in the lobby,” he says, “watch the interaction between staff and residents.”
He’s right. The biggest indicator of satisfaction with a senior care community is having the right relationships between staff, co-workers, and residents. Yet administrators often ask me about interior design decisions–is it better to have carpet or hardwood floors in the community dining room? Honestly, from a dining success standpoint, it doesn’t matter. What matters is teaching and supporting your dining staff to foster socialization and build relationships with residents during mealtimes.
If you are debating whether to spend resources on a new chandelier that will impress visitors or training and staff development, invest in your direct care staff. They are the people who work hands-on with your customers and the key to organizational, clinical and financial success.