"It Just Feels Right" Magical words from residents and family members

Knowing a resident/family members reason for choosing your senior living community for their loved one can be key to impacting move in’s.

At times when asked, a resident/family member may say these magical words, “It just feels right!” These words are not tied to one specific thing, but to an overall sense and observation this is the right choice. Family members express they can feel the life, or lack of, the moment they walk through the doors.

The relationship starts the moment they walk through your doors.

Can you remember what it felt like to walk into a community that felt ‘lifeless’? Staff disengaged, no eye contact, and residents either bored or tucked away in their apartments. If so, then you also know the difference you felt when you walked into a community that filled you with life. Residents, staff and guests smiling and engaging, drawing you into the energy. It is not easy to explain what exactly brings this positive energy in, but it is definitely a notable feeling.

Residents and family members experience these same feelings. And when asked, ‘why did you chose our community’, they sometimes simply state ‘it just feels right’. This statement is their way of saying the community is firing on all cylinders and connecting at the core level.

How does this happen? How can a community demonstrate life for all who walk through the doors?

How do you create life for guests? Begin by assessing your core culture in action. Are staff engaged? Are residents out and about? Are your community programs happening where others can witness the life? And most importantly, ask current residents/family members why they chose your community. Work off those positives to move your team forward.

Reminder that the people within a community’s’ walls make the magic happen every day! Staff lead the way through their smiles and engagement with residents and guest who alongside are participating in programs, happy and simply hanging out with friends. By creating this harmony, you set guests at ease and help relieve fears replacing them with confidence.

At the end of the day, we are not simply selling real estate, even though the building design and interior finishes are beautiful, we are selling TRUST: Trust we will do our best to provide love and care for loved ones. Trust we are skilled in what we do and trust their loved one will thrive within the community.

Wishing you great success demonstrating life in your communities! Connect with us at RevealSol for more ideas.

Disclaimer: The content found here in Industry Insights is created by RevealSol, LLC and in the opinion of the writer and not all inclusive of senior living operational considerations

Tips to prepare for a Texas Assisted Living Survey

Assisted Living Operators across Texas understand the need to be ready and prepared for inspectors to walk in the doors at any time. It’s no secret going through an inspection can be stressful for the team. This post is intended to help ease that stress by providing a few handy tips to help the team prepare.

Let’s start with, what are inspectors looking for when they enter a community?

What are inspectors looking for when they enter a community?

According to the Texas Health & Human Services website they are looking for the following:

During an inspection, the inspectors assess the facility’s:

➤ compliance with residents’ rights requirements;

➤ compliance with residents’ quality of life requirements;

➤ compliance with residents’ quality of care requirements;

➤ accuracy of residents’ comprehensive assessments;

➤ adequacy of plans of care based on comprehensive assessments;

➤ effectiveness of the physical environment to empower residents, accommodate their needs, and maintain their safety. 

Inspectors are trained to see that resident dignity and quality of life is being maintained. In addition, they must ensure an environment is safe.

Top 10 deficiencies

Texas Health & Human Services last published in July of 2018 it’s Top 10 Deficiencies, sharing data from 2017. To say the least, this data is dated and much has changed within the department since.

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (TDADS) sunsetted and Texas Assisted Living regulation fell onto Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Nonetheless, the data is out there with the majority of the list Life Safety related. Below is a quick recap and link for your convenience.

https://apps.hhs.texas.gov/business/CBT/deficiences/alf-2017/TOP_TEN_ALF_0713201811.html

New Access Route to Texas Licensing Standards for Assisted Living Facilities

If you are having difficulty finding the Texas Licensing Standards for Assisted Living Facilities, they have moved to the Texas Secretary of State website under a new Title of the Texas Administrative Code. Here is a direct link, or you can find a ‘printer friendly’ version provided by Texas Assisted Living Association on their website at this link.

Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Title 26 Health & Human Services, Part 1 Texas Health & Human Services Commission, Chapter 553, Licensing Standards for Assisted Living Facilities (effective 5/6/2019)

➤ THSC, Title 4, Chapter 253: Employee Misconduct Registry;

➤ THSC, Title 4, Chapter 247: ALFs; and

➤ THSC, Title 4, Chapter 250: Nurse Aide Registry and Criminal History Checks of Employees and Applicants for Employment in Certain Facilities of Employees and Applicants for Employment in Certain Facilities Serving the Elderly Persons with Disabilities.

Policies and Documents Handy

Many inspectors will request a tour upon arriving. The tour can help set a positive tone for the inspection and is an opportunity for the community to shine by demonstrating residents are happy, safe and well cared for! In addition, the tour can check of a few items on an inspectors list such as required postings upon entrance, posted menus and activity calendars, food establishment permit (if applicable), life safety checklist items, and more. Frequently tour your community with the eyes of an inspector and ensure these items are kept current.

So what policies/documents should you have handy? In most cases, inspectors will request a few standard items. However these lists can vary from region to region. Below are key documents to have handy should an inspector request them:

Aim to be survey ready everyday!

ANONYMOUS mentor

Please note, this list is NOT all inclusive but a guide based on experience of what main items to have immediately available upon an inspectors request.

  • Current Resident Roster with room numbers
  • Current Staff Roster including titles and hire dates
  • Copy of Current Assisted Living Facility License & Certification for Alzheimer’s Facility, if applicable
  • Tour Packet – including copy of Current Disclosure Statement handed out to prospective residents and/or families
  • Move In Packet – including copy of a Resident Agreement and all required documents a community must provide a resident at time of move in. 553.41(d) & (e)
  • Abuse Neglect & Exploitation Policy 553.102(a-f)
  • Advanced Directives Policy 553.41 (g)(2)
  • Smoking Policy 553.62(c)(3)
  • Accident, Injury, Acute Illness Policies 553.41(k)
  • Resident Comprehensive Assessment and screening forms 553.41(c)
  • Medication Policies 553.41(j)
  • Personnel Policies: 553.41(i)
    • including exclusions for hiring, criminal history checks, misconduct and nurse registry checks, TB testing, vaccination policy, and statement of employee liability for reporting abuse, neglect and exploitation, etc.
  • Manager Designation Letter 553.41(a)(1)(E)
  • Key Leadership training & qualifications (suggest have personnel files handy)
  • Staff Training: 553.41(a)(4) including orientation content schedule and continuing education content schedule
  • Infection Control Policies 553.41(n)
    • including: infection control, biohazard waste, communicable disease reportable and control of policies, vaccination policies (553.41(r)(1-3), universal precautions, and soiled linens
  • Life Safety Items:
    • Emergency Preparedness Disaster & Evacuation Plan
    • Fire Drills 553.62(c)(2)
    • Physical Plant Contracts such as pest control, fire & Sprinkler systems, generator, hood vents, and more. Include proof of routine inspection documents as applicable
  • Posted Menus
  • Activity Calendars
  • Recent survey results
  • Recent reportable incidents with investigation and final details
  • Recent Accidents, Injury Reports with outcomes noted
  • Grievance Log
  • For Certified Alzheimer’s Facility: refer to 553.51 for additional specific training and programing requirements

Depending on the type of survey, inspectors may chose to follow staff on duty, interview residents, staff and/or family members, and review resident and personnel records. Keep current these files ensuring documents are filed and in compliance. Audit departments frequently and train team members about an inspection process.

In summary, aiming to be survey ready everyday can help to ease the stress of an inspection. Be prepared, know what may be requested and conduct frequent Mock Surveys to prepare your team for an inspection.


Below are links to local resources! Stay tuned and sign up with Texas HHSC for Provider Letters. There are frequent updates that come through and new rules that affect a community.

For additional support on preparing a community for an inspection, reach out to us at RevealSol. We are here to help!

RESOURCES

Disclaimer: The content found here in Industry Insights is created by RevealSol, LLC and in the opinion of the writer and not all inclusive of senior living operational considerations

Invest in people and experience greater ROI for your Senior Living Community

It’s no secret senior living communities across the US struggle with staff recruitment and staff retention. Rural and urban markets alike invest large amounts of dollars and resources to attract people to come work in communities. Once recruits apply, interview and get hired, the dollars continue to rise with next big investment, training.

Training is key to a team members success in any organization. The investment of community resources to train newly hired staff adds up quickly impacting the bottom line. Leadership places great effort to recruit, hire and train new team members. Disappointment is understandable when turnover occurs.

Turnover effects are costly! A community can struggle to maintain consistency in programing, cause added strain on existing staff, and pull valuable time and energy from Leadership away from core job functions. All which can impact care and services provided to residents.

Many who work in a senior living community describe the job as a ‘calling’. Staff share stories of the love and compassion they have for the residents they serve. When team members ‘WHY’ (reason for serving) is in alignment with the community mission and culture, great things can happen. But it takes effort to connect with a team members ‘WHY’. It takes an investment in people.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

John C. Maxwell

Below are a few tips for community Leaders on investing in people!

  • Be a Coach – After new hire training, new team members can be nervous and afraid to ask for help. As a leader you may notice things that others don’t. Take action in those coachable moments and lead new team member to success.
  • Time – Invest time NOW in the people you have. The time you put in now to mentor and demonstrate is generously returned when valuable trained team members stay.
  • Connect – New and current staff are people first. They have hopes and dreams, they have goals and they connect with a common goal within the community culture. Take a moment to get to know staff as individuals, understand the ‘WHY’ and connect.

Operating a senior living community is an incredibly complex business with many emotional variables. Because of the many complexities that arise in the day to day operations, Leaders can get caught up in the issue at hand and not see the big picture when it comes to investing in staff. Time to coach, time to mentor and time to connect bond staff at a deeper level to the mission and culture of the community. When staff are engaged and connected, retention rates can improve and communities can regain valuable resources.

For more tips to invest in people, connect with us at RevealSol.com

Disclaimer: The content found here in Industry Insights is created by RevealSol, LLC and in the opinion of the writer and not all inclusive of senior living operational considerations.

Is Senior Living Occupancy All About Sales?

To answer this question let’s first define the term occupancy in a Senior Living Community. Occupancy equals the total number of occupied resident rooms at any given time.

Ok, got it! Now let’s break that down a bit more. What does a total number of occupied resident rooms really tell us? In order to understand the story behind the occupancy number we need to dig deeper. What has happened in a given period of time, say 3 months? Move Ins and Move Outs may have occurred affecting the occupancy number. Pretty straight forward right? Yes, but does it really tell us the full story?

Not to burst anyones bubble, but occupancy involves much more than sales. Although, sales efforts in Senior Living are critical to occupancy growth, so is operations teams managing potential Move Outs!

Every time a move out occurs it affects occupancy growth targets. Challenge teams to dig deeper into the stories behind each move out. One might be surprised in what they find.

Consider reviewing the last 3 months Move Outs and reasons. This may require a step back approach, no judgement, just looking for facts. Here’s some quick questions to get started:

  • What is the reason for the move out?
    • was it related to cost?
    • was it related to a need for increased care needs?
    • was the resident and/or family member unsatisfied?
    • other reasons such as moved out of area, etc.
  • Where did they move too?
    • was it a competitor?
    • was it a higher level of care?
    • was it home and if so did they add services?
    • other such as with family, etc.

For any and/or all of these reasons, drill down by asking why? Then ask why again? Write the reasons down and look for trends or patterns. We’re there warning signs that could be approached proactively in the future.

It is common for teams in communities to get caught up in the day to day challenges overlooking opportunities to save a potential move out from occurring. By taking a step back and digging a bit deeper, one may reveal solutions that address resident needs and put you back on target with occupancy goals.

For more tips on ways to manage and reduce unwanted move outs, connect with the Operations Specialist at RevealSol.

Disclaimer: The content found here in Industry Insights is created by RevealSol, LLC and in the opinion of the writer and not all inclusive of senior living operational considerations.