BRIEFING: Online Reviews for Senior Living Best PracticesTheres no hiding in todays digital world. According to Caring.com research, 14 percent of familycaregivers are caring for a loved one currently living in an assisted living facility, and about 50 percenthave searched online for a senior living facility or for in-home care. Consumer testimonials in ratingsand reviews are valuable to their decision-making process.The balance of power between properties and their residents has dramatically changed in the wake ofrapid technological developments. With the convergence of search, social, and mobile, yourresidents—current and prospective—can share their experiences and opinions with the world in amatter of seconds. This fundamental shift in consumer behavior must be matched by a fundamentalshift in marketing strategy.When it comes to senior living options, baby boomers are interested in finding information on theirown, in addition to being referred by a physician or social worker or reading ads or listings in printmedia. Indeed, half of the caregivers surveyed in a 2011 study by Caring.com searched online beforechoosing a LTC community or in-home care.Sites being used: Google Places. Ask them to type in the name of the community at http://places.google.com. They will select the community listing and then click on the button that says ―Write a Review.‖ Caring.com.Search for the community. Scroll down and Click on where it says ―Write a review.‖ Yellowpages.com. Search for the community. Click on ―Write a Review‖ or ―Be the first to review‖ to share opinion. Yellowbook.com. Search for the community. Click on ―Be the first to review or write a review‖ link. OurParents.com. Search for the community. Go to the User Review section and select on the number of stars you will rate the community with. Click on ―Add Your User Review.‖ Yahoo. Go to Local.Yahoo.com. Search for the community. Click on ―Write a Review.‖ Yelp.com. Search for the community. If there is no listing, click on ―Add a business.‖ Complete the review and type in opinion.
The types of positive reviews we should encourage people to submit: Personalized touches – such as a chef who learns and makes residents favorite childhood recipes, or a community that displays photos of residents from their youth Amenities and decor that feel like home – whether because the facility "doesnt look institutional" and is "warm and inviting," has the smell of popping popcorn from an old- fashioned popper filling the air every afternoon, or showcases original art and book collections in common areas Genuine, exceptional care and attention, as if coming from extended family – including staff who go "out of their way to get [my moms] hair done, help her with makeup, and even paint her nails," treat residents with compassion, dignity, and patience; and make residents families feel welcome and informed Varied and stimulating activities, as well as proximity to nearby attractions and public transportation – whether offering a wide range of enjoyable in-house activities and events; responding to residents requests for driving trips or Monopoly; or providing easy access to nearby shopping, museums, libraries, restaurants, volunteer opportunities, and more Cleanliness – a common compliment shared in positive reviews, a trait that provides comfort to family members and builds trust that the community is well managedSources: Caring.com, Long Term Living Magazine, LeadingAgeWhat to do if you receive a negative review:Contact STAMS Public Relations and Marketing Personnel at 314-726-0111 immediately so that aresponse can be crafted.