It’a All About the Aides

caring-for-our-parents-coverHoward 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.

aidesIf 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.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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