Care UK’s triple triumph at the Employee Experience Awards

Care UK is celebrating their commitment to creating innovative working environments for colleagues after securing three accolades at this year’s Employee Experience Awards.

The UK Employee Experience Awards, which were held on Friday 23rd May, recognise and reward the best employers across all sectors to help raise the bar of global employers’ standards.

During the ceremony, Care UK took home the gold award for Best Employee Experience Journey and the silver award for Best Company to Work For – Large Company. Leah Pozo-Queripel, Care UK’s Human Resources Director, was also recognised and received the silver award for Leader of the Year.

A dedicated strategy with four key areas of focus for employee engagement impressed the judges. These included:

Care UK’s continually high results in employee satisfaction. The 2023 internal survey, Over to You, saw 97% of colleagues tell us that they feel proud of the work they do. Although employee satisfaction rates have always been high, this survey saw a further rise in the scores, making them our most significant figures yet.

The number of benefits available to colleagues continues to increase – from a perks programme for discounts, to Wagestream, which allows you to access wages in real-time. Over the last few years, we successfully embedded around 2,300 new colleagues from 26 new homes into the positive and welcoming culture of Care UK.

Care UK’s continued dedication to colleague development programmes, particularly for those in leadership roles, means that we are able to offer our colleagues a clear career path. Since 2020, 50% of home manager and 65% of deputy manager vacancies have been filled through internal promotions. We also offer Care-UK-designed deputy home manager and home manager programmes, and we are supporting more than 600 colleagues on apprenticeship schemes.

Lastly, there has been a renewed focus on colleague communication within the homes and across Care UK. This saw the introduction of the Loop platform in 2023. This social-media-style app means colleagues can connect with one another, share knowledge, and keep up to date with the latest news, development opportunities, perks and benefits.

Leah Pozo-Queripel, Human Resources Director said: “Over the last year, in recognition of the important job our teams do, we have invested in colleague rewards, as well as creating more development programmes and tools for supporting career development and wellbeing. We are dedicated to delivering the best working environment possible so that our colleagues can continue to thrive, and it is an honour for these efforts to be recognised at such a prestigious awards ceremony.”

If you’d like to take on a new challenge and join our amazing colleagues, you can view our current vacancies here -https://www.careuk.com/careers


Candlewood House Care Home invites you to their monthly Dementia Cafe!

Candlewood House Care Home, based in North London hosts a monthly Dementia Café which is open to everyone in the wider community and is particularly suitable for those living with dementia or for those who are supporting loved ones living with dementia.

The Dementia Café is a free event and runs every second Tuesday of each month, 2.30pm-4pm. It offers an opportunity to relax in a friendly, caring environment and discuss concerns with professionals and experts. The aim is for this to be an hour of support where you can share experiences all with complimentary refreshments.

Johan De Beer, Business Development Manager at Candlewood House said I am passionate about our Dementia Cafe at Candlewood House. We are always looking at the best ways in which we can support our community. As a care home that specialises in Dementia Care, it is important we engage with the local community, whether they want to attend the event for some support or want to learn more about life at our home, whether for themselves or a loved one”

As a result of their person-centred approach to dementia care, Candlewood House creates an environment that stimulates cognitive abilities while getting to know its residents. Colour, design, and objects in the retrospective rooms and sensory areas evoke cherished memories. Each resident's interests and passions are embraced by the dedicated well-being teams through daily stimulating activities.

Subin Puthan Veettil, Home Manager at Candlewood House commented “Our Dementia care has a focus on building personal relationships that enable independence and creativity. Our Dementia Café provides insight into how our teams operate daily to ensure we provide expert care to those living with dementia.”

Candlewood House Care Home provides excellent dementia, as well as outstanding nursing and residential care to residents in beautiful surroundings in a home-from-home environment.

The home aims to support residents to live their life in a luxury setting with first-class facilities, whilst being part of TLC Care’s award-winning and welcoming care home.

If you would like to attend the Dementia Café or find out more about Candlewood House Care Home, please contact Johan De Beer, Business Development Manager.

Call 020 3131 3003 or email bdm@candlewoodhouse.co.uk


Celebrating the Goodness of Milk, Lakeland Dairies Launch World Milk Day Resource for Care Homes

To celebrate the Goodness of Milk, dairy experts Lakeland Dairies is delighted to have collaborated with partners National Activities Provider Association - NAPA, to produce an exciting World Milk Day Resource specially for care homes. Inspired by  World Milk Day on Thursday 1st June 2023 , the flexible resource follows the recent launch of a Best Practice Guide for Food Based Activities from these expert organisations.

World Milk Day Resource for Care Homes

The resource is designed to inspire catering and wellbeing teams to do something a little different. With a specialist range of engaging activities including recipes, poetry, a creative writing task, a tasting session, and a reminiscence activity all celebrating the goodness of milk!

Be Inspired

The resource is supported by a Live Stream workshop hosted by NAPA, with guests from Lakeland Dairies and Cawood House, Borough Care.

Watch here to inspire ideas.

Chance to win!

Everybody who downloads the Lakeland Dairies World Milk Day Resource will be automatically entered into a free prize draw for a chance to win a case (6 x 2kg bags) of Lakeland Dairies 100% Dairy Skimmed Milk Powder. Download the resource and enter the draw here

 

Delicious Fortified Recipes

There are two delicious recipes included in the resource. The first is a fortified Banana Causeway creamy drink which has been specially developed to be high in protein. This is due to the inclusion of Lakeland Dairies’ 100% Dairy Skimmed Milk Powder which delivers additional calories and protein. The second is a tasty fortified Rice Pudding recipe, deliciously creamy, milk is truly the star of this dish.

World Milk Day

World Milk Day was established more than 20 years ago by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to recognise the importance of milk as a global food and to celebrate the dairy sector. Each year since, the benefits of milk and dairy products have been actively promoted around the world. Globally, dairy supports the livelihood of one billion people.

 

High-quality milk from the Island of Ireland

For more than 100 years, Lakeland Dairies Co-Operative of farmers has produced high-quality, wholesome, and nutritious milk. With a proud heritage and reputation for excellence in dairy farming, their milk is made from grass-fed cows from their 3200 family farms.

The World Milk Day resource follows the recent launch of a Best Practice Guide for Food Based Activities from NAPA and Lakeland Dairies, “Working Together, Positive Practise Toolkit for Activity Providers and Catering Teams” which can be downloaded for free here.


Direct Seafoods commits to training the next generation of fishmongers with new apprenticeship scheme

Recognised in October with the Marine Stewardship Council Award for Fresh Fish Foodservice Supplier of the Year, Direct Seafoods has turned its attention to offering up support and further skill development for its new and more experienced fishmongers’, with a dedicated apprenticeship scheme.

Developed with Crosby Training, the bespoke fishmonger apprenticeship scheme aims to further enhance the skills and knowledge of wholesale fishmongers to take their career development to the next level - so far taking on several apprentices across three of its UK sites.

Launched in March this year, the course is carried out over 12 months and covers modules in the key areas involved in wholesale fishmonger operations. These include:

  • Food safety
  • Health and safety
  • Picking and packing
  • Knife skills

Each of these modules contribute to the qualification of a Level Two Diploma upon completion of an assessment. With each module tailored to the apprentice’s level of ability, whether that be a beginner, to someone who has some experience already in fishmonger knife skills.

Extra support is also available for candidates to achieve their Level 1 and 2 Maths and English qualifications if they have not already done so.

Neil Poxon, Operational Support Manager at Bidfresh commented: “I’m delighted that Direct Seafoods is utilising this great initiative. It’s something I’m thrilled to be able to offer our current and future employees and am incredibly passionate in seeing it succeed.

“This fresh approach to recruitment will help us not only in achieving our ambitious growth plans but also providing sustainable, progressive careers for those involved in the scheme moving forward, helping us to retain and develop the fantastic talent we have within our business.

“The skills and knowledge gained will help them to develop and progress as well as being directly linked to the operations of our business, allowing them to enhance the current excellent service we offer to customers.”

Lindsay Bennett, who is currently enrolled on the apprenticeship added: “The training we have received so far has been extremely beneficial. Having a trainer go through the course in person rather than online has made it much easier to take things in and has improved my confidence enormously.

“The course is also giving me the opportunity to obtain my Maths and English L1 qualifications which, along with the skills I’m acquiring, will be extremely valuable throughout my career.”

“This scheme has made me excited about the future and I hope that soon it’ll be me teaching the next wave of apprentices!”

There are currently five students, across three Direct Seafoods sites, enrolled on the course, ranging in age, location and gender.


MARKETING: Essential 5

In line with our focus on marketing, we share five key elements of your care home which should be at the forefront of your promotional campaigns in order to boost occupancy rates.

Reviews

Using reviews in a marketing campaign can be a powerful strategy to increase the credibility and trustworthiness of your care home. To ensure you make the most of this, you should identify the most positive and compelling reviews and feature them prominently on your website, social media channels and other marketing platforms. In any industry, people appreciate ‘hearing it from the horse’s mouth’, so using real customer testimonials from residents’ families goes a long way.

Chefs

Good nutrition and hydration are key to remaining healthy as we get older, and care home chefs hold the incredibly important role of ensuring residents receive nutritious and delicious meals three times a day without fail. Along with providing healthy food, the work of a chef provides a range of other benefits such as increased quality of life and enhanced socialisation at meal times. Having an in-home chef should be a firm point in your marketing strategy to ensure potential residents and their families know that wellness and nutrition are of great significance to you. Along with this, if you have chefs who have undergone specific training courses, perhaps to enable them to cater more efficiently to vegan diets, make sure you shout about it.

Outdoor areas

As our outdoor areas feature explains, this can help create a sense of wellbeing and happiness amongst residents and should therefore feature in a prime position within your marketing campaign. Using high-quality photos and videos of the grounds from a range of angles can ensure you capture all of the garden’s features. Including a walkthrough of each area and the emotions/effects it can ignite goes deeper than simply sharing a photo. When doing this, it’s important to showcase not only the beauty of the outdoors, but also the safety and security as these are important considerations for seniors and their families.

In-home activities

Care homes can sometimes be lonely places, especially for residents who don’t have visitors, so in-home activities are a great way to boost self-esteem and reduce isolation. Whether you hire a singing teacher, hold a crafts workshop or introduce dance classes; whatever it may be, you must make a song and dance about it on your website and social channels to capture the attention of potential residents and their families. This shows that you are a home willing to go above and beyond to provoke feelings of happiness amongst those who stay with you.

Additional facilities

More recently, we have seen care homes introduce additional facilities such as on-site salons and cinemas for the use of their residents. As these extra amenities are quite rare, it’s important that they are made known on your website as it could massively help you to appeal to a broader audience. More frequently now, families of senior individuals are reluctant to put their relatives in care as they spend time weighing up the pros and cons of their current lifestyle, but by having additional points of interest, this could increase occupancy rates.


Comfort is key

In an exclusive interview with James Mitton, Managing Director at Mobility Furniture Company, we learn about the extent of the range, how the brand differs to others on the market and the plethora of benefits the products can bring to your care home. 

Please introduce Mobility Furniture Company and what you strive to achieve.

The Mobility Furniture Company supplies mobility furniture to care homes and private residences across the UK.

Our team of fully trained and experienced demonstrators take our furniture into care homes for them to try, along with samples of fabrics and upholsteries. The bespoke service we offer allows customers to enjoy finding that perfect fit for their health needs and the ideal look for their living space.

Customers also appreciate that the vast majority of our goods are manufactured within the UK, so boast British craftmanship… a fact we are immensely proud of.

We aim to make life easier for people with mobility issues and the care home staff who do such a wonderful job themselves. How? By providing furniture that helps people sit down, stand up, get in and out of bed, and find a comfortable resting position.

The brand has a plethora of products, can you tell us about the range and popular choices within care homes?

We have four main sectors of products and all of them are useful in care homes: chairs; beds; homecare chairs; and homecare beds. However, homecare chairs and beds are the most popular categories within the care home sector.

Our homecare chairs have different ways of operating. Two are manually operated and three are electrically operated. People choose depending on the needs of the user and the operator. The Plymouth chair is a favourite within care homes due to its high level of functionality and the fact that it can be used as a porter chair for moving people from one room to another. All have options of wipe clean fabrics and replacement covers as and when required.

Our homecare beds again cover a wide range of user needs. All eight beds in this category have vertical raising and lowering. We are particularly proud of the Bingley Hi-Low Chair/Bed, which gently moves a user from a lying position and swivels them to a seated position for departure from the bed.

How can the range from Mobility Furniture Company fit into a care home and what benefits can it offer?

Style is understandably important within care homes. Our chair ranges come in a wide range of fabrics and upholsteries ensuring that all tastes are accounted for. There are options of matching furniture too, including static/rise and recline settees, fire side chairs and bed settees. When designing a room in a new care home or updating existing areas, we have the whole furniture suite covered.

In terms of benefits beyond aesthetics, our furniture enhances independence of residents by helping people to sit or lie down, get comfortable and stand up again. Many health conditions can be improved by simply elevating our legs, which is exactly what rise and recline chairs and adjustable beds do. We know how important sleep is to physical and mental health, and this is aided by our furniture as there are so many comfortable positions to choose between.

Further benefits are that: chairs can be moved between rooms without having to disturb the user; lap belts/lockable castors are additional useful safety features. Vitally, rise and recline chairs and adjustable beds result in greater support – and improved health – for care home staff too, as they result in less demanding physical work.

How can our readers stock your range?

Contact us on 0800 810 8783 and we’ll be more than delighted to pay you a visit. To see more about our service visit www.mobilityfurniture.co.uk.


Five Minutes With Geoffrey Cox

Geoffrey Cox, Employer of the Year as Managing Director of Southern Healthcare.

I was a Solicitor for 25 years in total and whilst it was a rewarding career, after 20 years, I wanted to do something completely different, something that I thought could be more meaningful and also in which hoped I could make an impact.

On the Millennium New Years eve, I decided I would go into Nursing Homes and set up Southern Healthcare, which has four Devon Nursing Homes. Now, looking back over 23 years, I wouldn’t change a thing as I feel ultimately fulfilled as I reflect on my journey.

In late 2019, I also became the CEO of the Eden Alternative UK. Eden, is a global network, across 22 countries over five continents and is primarily a ‘philosophy of care’ that Southern Healthcare had adopted and it believes that the predominant post-war ‘medicalised model’ of elderly care is not sufficiently broad to meet the needs, aspiration and ambitions of todays’ older generation.

Eden is a ‘culture innovation’ programme and addresses the above challenge by focusing upon wellbeing. It addresses the risks of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom by developing environments of loving companionship, partnership working and thriving spontaneity. It draws on Rogerian person centredness, appreciative leadership and organisational team building.

Within Eden, these aspirations catapult team members to centre stage and believe that with a strong group ethic, effective support for the team and individual staff members’ wellbeing, an organisation can achieve outstanding results.

Southern Healthcare became a member of Eden after seeing the programme in action in 2009 in New Zealand. Every year since, Southern Healthcare has trained more members of the team in the Eden Alternative programme, and as a result the momentum of innovation has built up over those years, including through the pandemic (when the course transferred to being online).

When one of the two founders of Eden UK sadly passed away unexpectedly in 2019, I offered to run Eden in the UK, and after the pandemic, the Eden Alternative is growing again across the globe.

The Eden programme started in New York in 1994, developed by an American geriatrician Dr Bill Thomas, and has been growing ever since, primarily in the elderly care sector, residential care, supported living and care at home. As a young GP, in an outstanding New York Nursing Home, Dr Thomas came to treat a resident for a condition he knew about well, but when she asked for help as she was feeling lonely, he didn’t know what to say. It struck Dr Thomas that many residents seemed to experience loneliness, or feelings or boredom, and that, he felt, had to change. With his wife and the help of others, together they wrote the Eden programme to do that, and it is as relevant today as it was then.

Our experience has been sustained progress upon the Eden principles. We have faced challenges like everyone else and the austerity years were tough. However, we believed the Eden philosophy helped sustain an extraordinary teamwork ethic, and one which I describe regularly as determined, dedicated and selfless. As Southern Healthcare, we have attained many national awards over the years, including Care Home of The Year twice, Care Team of The UK and this year - Employer of The Year at the GB Care Awards. We would not have achieved this without having applied the Eden principles consistently.

Here’s to paving the way for extraordinary teamwork in care!

eden-alternative.co.uk


OUTDOOR SPACES: Essential 5

Creating an appealing outdoor space for everyone in a care home involves considering the needs and interests of all residents, here are five ways you can make your outdoors attractive for all.

Provide Ample Seating

Understanding that some residents may not be steady on their feet is important as this shouldn’t affect their option of being able to enjoy the outdoors. Making sure there is plenty of seating will help put residents’ minds at ease as many may have a sense of anxiety about leaving the home. Alleviating this apprehension can often be done by providing a range of sturdy, comfortable and well-positioned benches, chairs and tables.

Consider Mobility Aids

Ensure that your outdoor area is accessible to all residents, regardless of mobility limitations. This could mean that, if you haven’t already, you might need to install ramps or hand rails and even have a supply of mobility aids, such as wheelchairs or walkers.

Add Sensory Elements

We’ve established that sensory elements at a care home can ignite some really positive emotions which have a knock-on effects to residents’ moods. Incorporating sensory elements to your gardens such as plants, flowers, water features and bird feeders can make the outdoor space more engaging and enjoyable for residents with dementia or other cognitive impairments.

Provide Shade and Sun Protection

It’s essential that you make sure your outdoor area has plenty of shade and sun protection, such as umbrellas or awnings. This is particularly important for residents with sensitive skin or those who are prone to heat exhaustion. Excessive heat can have a severe knock-on effect to the elderly and those who are already unwell, so this factor should be specifically considered as we get into the warmer months.

Involve Residents in Planning

When looking to change, adapt or add to your outdoor area you should get input from the home’s residents. Find out what they would like to see in the outdoor space and involve them in the planning and overall process as much as possible. This can help to ensure that the outdoor space meets the needs and preferences of everyone in the care home.


Efficient hydration

New ultra-hygienic drinking water system gets stamp of approval from leading healthcare facility.

Developed specifically for the healthcare and aged care markets, or anywhere additional peace of mind is required, Zip HydroTap UltraCare is designed to reduce the risk of legionella and other bacteria in drinking water by 99.9%, as verified by rigorous independent testing.*

The Zip HydroTap UltraCare was the ideal solution, as it uses an innovative combination of four protective barriers to provide the ultimate safeguard against waterborne bacteria and viruses. An enhanced version of its market-leading HydroTap, it delivers instant filtered boiling and chilled water and is set to advance the delivery of drinking water in locations where there is high-risk to end users.

The Medical Assessment Unit at Royal United Hospital Bath was one of the first sites in the UK to install the HydroTap UltraCare in March 2022. The MAU Ward was having continuous issues with its old countertop water boiler, used to make tea and coffee for staff and patients. Due to excessive scale damage it was repeatedly out-of-use and the taste of the water it dispensed was increasingly unpleasant.

Kevin Ferguson, Assistant Practitioner on the ward was on the look-out for an alternative drinking water solution that was not only reliable and robust, but also compact, user-friendly and, most of all, suitable for a healthcare environment.

“Not only is the HydroTap more compact and streamlined than the old counter-top urn, but the taste, quality and appearance of the drinking water it dispenses is amazing”, commented Kevin, “It’s an upgrade in every sense, it is simply better in every way! Especially as the hospital suffers from hard water and the general feedback following installation is that water tastes better and we can see both patients and staff drinking more than they previously did. This increase in hydration levels is having a positive impact on the health of everyone.”

Having both instant filtered boiling and chilled drinking water has proved a big time saver for those working on the ward, and Kevin has seen it make a positive impact on the health of patients too.

“Patients in healthcare and aged-care settings are more vulnerable to infections, so knowing that you are using a drinking water system that is providing an extra safeguard brings both staff and patients often much needed peace of mind, especially to those who are immunocompromised.” concludes Kevin

Of UltraCare’s four protective barriers, the first is MicroPurity filtration. The 0.2 micron, carbon-free filter reduces cysts by 99.9%, while also ensuring that existing protective levels of chlorine remain in the water supply.

SteriTouch, a market-leading antimicrobial additive that reduces bacteria by 99.99%, is the second barrier. It is inside key components within the water path, as well as being embedded in the touchpad of the Classic Plus tap.

The third barrier is the inclusion of a Zip MicroPurity UV-C LED module for chilled water dispensing. This disinfects water as it is dispensed, reducing the chance of recontamination and common waterborne bacteria.

The final element is its HydroCare service plan, which ensures the HydroTap UltraCare always performs to the highest levels of hygiene, efficiency and reliability with tailored service plans, a bespoke sanitisation regime and filter replacement.

“We’re proud to be able to bring such an important – and called-for – product to the health and care market, which will transform the way they deliver water,” comments Mark Brindley, Product Manager at Zip Water. “Our aim is to support the duty holder within these sensitive environments to control exposure to legionella, as set out in the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice and guidance on regulations.

“Independent tests have demonstrated that this 4-barrier system does exactly what we set out to achieve; to safeguard vulnerable users against possible bacteria found in water systems. Testament to this, HydroTap UltraCare is already receiving positive feedback from users across the world.”

And, because it is a Zip HydroTap, care homes and other organisations will benefit from environmentally conscious features such as water efficiency – with an air-cooled process which eliminates the need for water in the cooling process and energy efficiency modes.

HydroTap UltraCare is available with a choice of tap designs; Classic Plus, Touch-Free Wave and Classic Accessibility, which is suitable for wheelchair users or those with limited dexterity.

Find out more at specify.zipwater.co.uk/ultracare

* ALS Pty Ltd Testing of the Zip HydroTap UltraCare system efficacy tests


Make a splash

With the help of some industry experts we look at how to establish the perfect marketing strategy to increase your care home occupancy.

Marketing your care home can seem like a daunting task, especially if it’s not an area you are familiar with. The pressing factor is that a successful marketing strategy is what stands between you and the growth of your home, but it must be done in a smart and effective manner.

Someone who knows only too well about the importance of an effective approach is Senior Carer and Marketing Assistant at St. Brelades and The Cumberland Care Homes, Ellie Parker. With experience in testing out which kind of content gains a positive response online, Ellie revealed that it is indeed dogs and singing which people love to see from a care home’s social pages.

Our followers always respond to the interactive videos which feature our residents, including them singing. It evokes emotions amongst the people watching it and I think this is due to the more personal touch – life behind closed doors, if you like.”

Ellie explained that content surrounding general day-to-day activities creates a real buzz on social media too: “Our activities coordinator Freya often picks out a national day and we do an activity based around it. For example, a few weeks back we chose National Liquorice Allsorts Day and encouraged residents to paint pictures of the sweets which went down really well.”

Ellie explained that not only are these topical activities enjoyable for her residents, but it gives them something to talk about with their families and visitors: “One of our occupant’s daughters lives in Canada, she calls us on Skype daily and always mentions if she’s seen her mum on our social media page. She says things like ‘I've seen you painting’ or ‘I saw you went for a stroll along the beach’ etc., so it also offers her peace of mind all those miles away to know that her relative is being well looked after.”

Ellie revealed that based on her experience she has found that their website and social media platforms, such as Facebook and the ever-rising TikTok, have been the most beneficial outlets to showcase their marketing strategy.

“As our residents are of the older generation, their children are often in their 60s and 70s themselves. This is why Facebook works well for us as it’s has been around for a while and it is a platform they are familiar with.”

In any marketing strategy, it’s essential to find out where your customers ‘hang out’ for want of a better phrase. Tom Threadgill speaks on behalf of Marketing for Care Homes and explained how in the case of elderly care, if you take the most likely persona of the individual looking for care, it is often a man or woman in their 50s or 60s looking for a relative, likely their mother or mother-in-law, so you should seek to find the best places to find these people.

“Knowing who is looking for the care you provide is the single most effective thing a company can do to understand their market better and be as relevant to them as possible.” Added Tom.

Tom revealed that his clients will often say something like ‘I know Facebook is important but I’m not sure how and why; I don’t use it personally – does this matter?’  Facebook is great for showing off what you do.  “It’s the place a care home can prove that what they say in their advertising and marketing actually happens in real life.  It is also a great tool to remarket to people, through digital advertising.  We would always recommend a Facebook/social media strategy, but it has to work with the resources the home has.” Tom added.

In a group, or large home, there may be dedicated in-house people to do this, but where there isn’t, it is far better to simplify the output and be consistent. Tom believes that reception teams and event managers are normally the best people to oversee an in-house campaign.

“Most care home marketing focuses on those with an immediate need, but that only represents between 3 and 5% of the market.  So, we can nearly always help companies to improve this part of their content game, simply by understanding the groups of people who will be potential customers and what they need to see, hear and feel.

“For content to be truly useful, we always start with the question ‘what is authentic?’ It’s different for every company, but what we always try to avoid is talk about dignity, compassion and respect.  For us, and anyone looking for care, these are assumed to be a given, they are the bare minimum anyone expects of a care home and yet miles of copy exists talking about it. Talk about what makes your company different, what you do the best, and the difference it makes to people’s lives.”

So, what kind of topics should care homes be writing about in order to market themselves effectively and boost occupancy rates?

Tom sees that there are three categories which you should always try to get people thinking about. “First of all it’s the advisory stuff.  What do people want to know?  How are they feeling?  How can we help?  It may be articles about viewing a care home, funding for care, ways to have a conversation with relatives about care, or something else.” As long as it helps the reader on their journey, the article has done well.  They can be updated, used over long periods of time with minimal updating, and they affect the website’s organic ranking positively over time.

Secondly, Tom revealed that there are the ‘what happens here’ articles: “These act more like updates from within the home.  They might feature a special birthday, or focus on a resident’s interesting or unusual career (there are many, many of these – care home residents have often lived fantastic lives and are keen to share them).  These enable you to show off what makes your home or group special.  They also reassure relatives that their loved ones are in the best place.”

Thirdly, Tom places emphasis on the importance of talking about your care teams.  There is so much amazing work that goes on in care homes, by incredibly compassionate people from all different walks of life.

“The impact of seeing close-knit teams, working together for the good of their residents is extremely powerful for people looking for care.  It gives them reassurance about their loved ones, but also makes them feel good against the often-pessimistic narrative of care stories that appear in the news.”

SMART marketing is an approach that involves setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your marketing campaigns. The goal of SMART marketing is to ensure that your marketing efforts are effective, efficient, and focused on achieving measurable outcomes.

 

 

Marketing for Care Home’s tips for successful promotion with SMART marketing:

Specific goals:

Identify specific marketing goals that are aligned with your business objectives. For example, you may want to increase occupancy rates, generate more leads, improve your local reputation or recruit team members.

Measurable outcomes:

Define measurable outcomes for each marketing goal. For example, you may want to increase occupancy rates by 10%, generate 50 new leads per month, or increase your overall online rating by one star.

Achievable targets:

Achievable targets that are based on your resources and capabilities. For example, you may want to increase your occupancy rates by 50%, but this may not be achievable given your current staffing levels, and marketing budget.

Relevant messaging: Develop relevant messaging that resonates with your target audience. For example, you may want to emphasize the personalized care and attention that your care home provides, or highlight the amenities and services that set you apart from other care homes in the area.

Time-bound campaigns:

Set time-bound campaigns that are designed to achieve your marketing goals within a specific timeframe. For example, you may want to run a digital campaign for six months to generate leads, or offer a promotional discount to new residents who sign up within a certain timeframe.

 

By defining your target audience, building a strong brand, providing exceptional care, and utilising the right channels for your company, you can effectively market your care home and attract the right residents and their families.