5 Questions to Ask Adult Children Seeking Senior Living Services

Movie actress Bette Davis once said that getting old isn’t for sissies. While many of today’s seniors will likely agree with that, so will adult children who care for or are making life decisions for their aging parents.

Aging populations are creating a demand for independent or assisted living communities while also placing heavy responsibilities on kids who must decide how their parents will be cared for and at what level. A number of questions have to be answered and done so in a way that is respectful to both the prospective resident and family.

An inquiring phone call that starts with someone asking for information is a defining moment for your community. The inquiry is an opportunity for the organization to demonstrate its level of compassion and ability to understand a difficult situation for the kids while doing what’s best for the potential resident.

Asking the right questions is the first step. No Ph.D. is needed for this basic form of counseling, just a well-trained sales team that can understand a client’s situation and start with a simple set of questions:

Why are you calling us today?

The call typically originates because an event or the progression of circumstances has placed an adult child in the position of finding care for his or her parents. The adult may be under the stress that comes with making a big decision that will affect a loved one’s life, so getting an understanding of the intent of the call is essential.

What would you like to know?

Sometimes someone has a parent who really is not ready to move, but still needs some assistance. Maybe they need in-home care. As any good sales process teaches, one must understand the situation and then explore any potential implications before offering any solutions.

Have you spoken with your parents about your search?

Determine if the parents are involved in the decision. Moving, especially for the elderly who have been entrenched in a residence for decades, can be overwhelming even if it means “downsizing” into independent living.

Who is helping you with this now?

The adult child may be calling because of a referral service or doctor’s suggestion, or it could be an independent search. Getting an idea of any other players involved in the decision-making process will help better understand the thought process of the caller.

What options are you considering?

Get an understanding of other options the caller may be considering. This may be an opportunity for your sales team to differentiate the levels of care and services to help the adult child make the best possible decision while also establishing trustworthiness.

The first inbound call is really important, and you want someone who can really listen and help set up an appointment to talk face-to-face. Asking up front for a move-in date without getting the full story is a sure way to drive away the caller. This assumes a lot of things you don’t already know yet.

In addition to building trust through answering the questions above, your website should offer additional information such as links to articles that help children with making tough decisions for their parents. This form of indirect counseling helps build credibility for your organization.

Ultimately, at the end of the conversation you want the prospective family to have a good comfort level for taking the next step.

Consider Outsourcing – Learn More About the RealPage Assisted Living Call Center Services.

(Image source: Shutterstock)


Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

author photo two

Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who writes about the multifamily housing and transportation industries. He has contributed numerous articles to Property Management Insider, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the D/FW area. Blackwell is president of Ballpark Impressions, and publishes the Cowcatcher Magazine. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists.

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