It’s official: several members of the corecubed team, who have been providing the aging care industry with marketing content, branding and design services, SEO and more, are now stepping into the shoes of those to whom our materials are targeted: the sandwich generation. With our combined decades of experience in the aging care market, and with others on our team already firmly rooted in firsthand aging care expertise, we’ve long considered ourselves experts in the field. Yet, the fledgling sandwichers on our team are giving us the opportunity to take a fresh look at the industry from an insider’s perspective, and we can wholeheartedly assure you: we get it. We really get it.
And we’d love to share with you what we find ourselves personally needing from the home care industry now that the tables are turned.
In a Pickle
Receiving the elite distinction of sandwich generation status can start off feeling kind of sour. Life is filled to the brim with family, work, pets, hobbies, medical needs, volunteer commitments, and more, when suddenly (or so it seems) our parents have aged and we’re faced with a new responsibility we’d somehow never expected: the need to parent our parents. And even those of us who thought we were in the know are taken aback at the challenges before us. How can we possibly squeeze out the necessary time to devote to caring for elderly loved ones with so many other responsibilities?
When we first began our search for aging care assistance, here’s what jumped out at us:
- A good website is crucial. We knew this already, but in our own searches, companies with unprofessional sites that didn’t provide easy access to the information we were seeking were immediately eliminated.
- A knowledgeable, friendly receptionist is worth his or her weight in gold. Even those of us who have worked in the industry for years are vulnerable when it comes to our own parents and we have dozens of questions. That first impression matters more than you can imagine.
- Follow up: Get back in touch with us and provide us with helpful educational information that shows you were listening and are supportive. Maybe it’s a flier sent in the mail with a personal note attached, perhaps an email with the contact information for a local support group. Believe us, this makes all the difference in the world.
- Listen, listen, and listen some more. We may ramble. We may cry. We may stammer to say the words we wish we didn’t have to say. Knowing we’re heard and understood speaks volumes.
Hold the Mayo
What we definitely don’t need at this stage:
- A sales pitch. We’re under a lot of pressure as it is. If engaging the services of an aging care provider feels anything like buying a used car, we’d rather walk.
- Condescension. Speaking down to our aging loved ones, or to us, including using those terms of endearment like “honey” or “sweetie” is so unsettling.
- Taking charge. We already feel like we’ve lost control. Allowing our older loved ones to have as many choices as possible in how things will be done can go a long way towards accepting the somewhat frightening changes to come.
- Limited service area. If your agency office is in a metro area, remember that there are potential clients living in nearby rural towns. We were stunned to realize that rural areas just 15 minutes away from a significant metropolitan area were unserviced by so many area agencies.
All That and a Bag of Chips
As is true in any difficult situation, there’s always a silver lining. What we’re learning through journeying through our new roles as sandwichers is already being applied to our work for our clients, providing a depth of insight that can only be achieved through experience.
For a home care marketing partner who truly understands what your target audience needs and wants, call on the aging care experts at corecubed. Fill out our online contact form, or call us any time at 800.370.6580. And just ask for Lunchmeat.