February is National Senior Independence Month — a perfect month for home care agencies to celebrate. This is an incredible opportunity to show off who you are and the remarkable things you do to help seniors maintain their independence and remain in their homes while receiving care.
- Spread the word. This is a celebration that is seemingly made for our industry, so write up a press release about National Senior Independence Month and your agency’s efforts to support and prolong independence as the nation grays. Consider having a recognition ceremony or other event that the media may want to cover. Find a client you have helped who is willing to talk with the press about their experience and what you have done for them. Don't forget to have them sign a release form.
- Focus on fall prevention. Falls are a major threat to senior health and independence. In fact, one out of every three adults age 65 and older falls each year, and falls are the leading cause of injury death for older adults. Present a class on fall prevention at an area senior center, independent living facility or church group. TAG Partners offers a ready-made class on fall prevention that a non-clinician can present. Check out this CDC webpage for more educational materials that you can distribute to attendees.
- Partner with noncompetitive organizations that also serve seniors and host a senior independence fair at a local community center. Arrange for entertainment from local school performance groups and find a sponsor to provide refreshments. Set up a large information station near the event entrance to offer free information about your services and programs and have a dedicated ask-a-nurse corner. Be sure to have lots of marketing collateral and promotional items on hand. Other organizations that may want to participate include ILFs or ALFs, senior-focused exercise programs, pharmacies, AARP, VA, VFW, Senior Corps, a medical product vendor, medical alert system company, and eldercare physician referral sources. Make it an annual event.
- Ask your municipal government to declare February as Senior Independence Month in your city. You can base your proposed proclamation on this one. Sign up to speak about the observance during the meeting’s public comment portion or during the reading of the agenda item.
- Did you know one of the best ways to maintain independence and prevent falls is exercise? Contact your local YMCA and offer to bring in healthy treats for participants in its SilverSneakers Fitness Program.
- Recognize your patients with a little surprise this week. It can be a simple flower or a note of thanks for allowing you to be part of their home-based care.