Plan for November: The holidays are here! Are you ready?

If you haven’t started thinking about Christmas and Hanukkah yet, now is the time. Thanksgiving will be here in a blink and you don’t want to get caught unprepared for your business’ holiday needs. So get in a festive mood and make sure you’re ready to not only celebrate, but share the season with your referral sources, health care partners, clients and staff.

  • Holiday Cards are a time-tested way to get into the spirit of the season, capture the attention of your referral sources and health care partners, and send a subtle reminder of the value of home care. Cards are personalized to your agency and are appropriate for all faiths. Find them at
  • Stand out from the holiday noise by sending a card that can be used all year long. Holiday calendar cards are personalized to your agency and include a one-page 2014 calendar. Find them at
  • Spread holiday cheer with a high-value, low-cost giveaway for clients, referral sources, senior centers, and employees. Personalized CDs with beautiful instrumental versions of many holiday classics will enliven any environment and make sure your agency stays top of mind year after year. Find them at

Speaking of holidays, New Year’s Day is only weeks away, which of course means the end of 2013. If you haven’t already, it’s definitely time to make sure your agency is putting the new year to work for you. Don’t miss out on the incredible opportunity to put your agency’s name and contact information in the hands of referral sources, prospects and clients all year long.

  • Personalized home care and hospice wall calendars are an excellent way to promote your agency while educating referral sources and patients. Distribute them to everyone and ensure that your agency maintains community awareness throughout the year. Find them at
  • Call on local senior centers and referral sources this month and make sure to leave behind a lasting and helpful reminder of who you are and what you do. Personalized magnetic calendars will find homes on refrigerators and file cabinets all year long, jogging their memory about your agency every time they glance at the date. Find them at
  • Arm your employees with notebook planners or weekly planners personalized to your agency that will not only accentuate their professional appearance, but will keep them organized. Planners feature plenty of room for notes and scheduling, and also list important health care observances. These also are useful tools for referral sources. Find them at and
  • Attend local senior-focused health fairs and distribute personalized pocket planners to prospects. Clients also will find these helpful for keeping track of their appointments – and remembering your agency name if they need home care services again in 2014. Find them at

December is an important month in health care because it’s the time of year when we highlight one of the world’s most serious diseases: AIDS.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.1 million Americans ages 13 and older were living with HIV in 2009, including 207,600 who had undiagnosed infections. About 50,000 people are newly infected with the virus that causes AIDS each year. In fact, someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV once every 9.5 minutes. Additionally, about 30,000 people were diagnosed with AIDS in 2011. This is in addition to the estimated 487,692 people already living with an AIDS diagnosis in 2010. The disease remains deadly in spite of recent medical advances – 15,529 people with an AIDS diagnosis died in 2010 in this country. About 636,048 people with an AIDS diagnosis in the United States have died since the disease was discovered.

This International AIDS Awareness Month, make a commitment to increase community awareness of AIDS and HIV and the ways your agency can help. Be sure to also take part in World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

  • Call on local clinics specializing in AIDS and HIV. Offer to host a free chronic disease management course that their clients will find helpful. Find the class at
  • Hospice agencies should be sure to leave behind personalized hospice specialty care flyers about HIV for use by agency personnel. Find them at
  • Call on HIV specialists in your community and discuss the benefits of hospice care for end-stage AIDS patients. Leave behind a personalized Guidelines for Hospice Admission flip chart, a physician tool that describes the common end-stage indicators for common illnesses, including HIV disease. Find them at
  • Provide HIV specialists with agency-personalized pain and symptom logs for them to distribute to their patients (and your prospects). The logs provide an easy way for patients to track their pain and other symptoms and communicate this information to their physician. Find them at