Do you trust the average company?

Trust and transparency are two of the hottest topics in senior living right now. Why now? Why not ten years ago? Or twenty? Don’t we always want customers to trust us? The truth is, senior living companies (and many others in various industries) never really had to answer to the consumer. The digital age has introduced a whole new era of interacting with others that have used a service–and want to tell you about it.

What does this mean? Does it really mean that companies wanted to pull the wool over our eyes and just can’t get away with it as easy now? Maybe some, but not certainly all. There are many well-meaning companies out there that really do the right thing. You can see it on the state surveys that are public knowledge. Oregon has a website dedicated to sharing this information.

What steps are being taken? Its great that its coming up now, but transparency really should be an every day thing–from the beginning. Here are ways that you can keep all companies you interact with honest:

  1. Do your homework on regulation citations. Find your state’s government agency such as Seniors and People with Disabilities department or licensing agency that regulates senior living. Ask them for state surveys or records of complaint and whether the complaints were substantiated or not. When all else fails, as the communities that you visit–they’re required to let you see a copy.
  2. Read Reviews. This may seem obvious for restaurants or a hair salon, but its becoming more popular and trusted for senior living companies.
  3. Write reviews. Is someone doing something right? Write about it! Everyone likes to write a negative review when emotions are strong and they want to “stick it to” the company. But, what about those that do something right? Don’t they deserve credit too? Some providers have reviews and links to write them directly on their website.
  4. Look for pricing online. Does the company you’re looking into share their real pricing info freely or do they hide it? Do you have to get the “sales pitch” before you can be”privy” to that information? Whether its true or not, most humans can’t help but feel like something is being hidden when you can’t get a straight answer.

What makes you trust a company over another? Post in the comments or email me. I’d love to hear and keep the dialogue going. Thanks!

About the Author: Amira T. Fahoum is the Director of Marketing and Director of Operations, Northwest Region for Compass Senior Living located in Eugene, Oregon. Her path to senior living started when she simply decided to be open to possibilities in life. Possibilities are what led her to eight years of learning the senior living industry in roles ranging from Administrative Assistant to Director of Sales and Marketing to unofficial IT coordinator. Possibilities also led her into the world of education technology for almost three years. Now, on her journey with Compass, she has found true reward in working with the people that care for others. She lives in Eugene with her husband, Michael, where they enjoy golf, travel, and volunteering.

Human connection ~ at the core of everything that matters in the world

I  believe that trusting relationships are the most basic of human needs and the strongest foundation for caring for one another. Despite that belief, it’s easy to get caught up in a one-woman hamster wheel of working, consuming media, and just being busy with the many tasks on my to-do list.

I teach our care teams about the power of human connection through eye contact, touch, and conversation. I teach them that each person has a unique worth from birth through the end of life, as fully capable human beings.  I teach our leaders about the power of creating a culture of caring in a person-centered workplace in their responsibility to care for their care teams and families while becoming well-known to one another.    Yet, I acknowledge that I sometimes take human connection for granted; I forget its value and forget to nurture it.

This 15 minute Ted talk by Elizabeth Lesser “Say your truth, and seek them in others”  touched me, and I found new ways to strengthen authentic relationships in my life.    Lesser challenges us to “Be like a new kind of first responder… the one to take the first courageous step toward the other.”

Elizabeth Lesser starts her talk with the lessons she learned from being a midwife. “Everyone in this room is a former baby with a distinctive birthright,” she says, and we are all possessed of a “unique spark.

In this busy holiday season, I invite you to take 15 minutes to reflect on the relationships in your life.  Authentic, genuinely caring relationships are at the core of everything that matters in the world.  What greater gift can we give to another than the gift of ourselves?

11062337_10206528118188840_645394201235573404_nAbout the Author: Jean Garboden is the Director of Education and Innovation at Compass Senior Living, located in Eugene Oregon. Jean is an Elder Advocate and Eden Alternative Educator with over 30 years’ experience in not-for-profit and for-profit health care organizations. She is honored to lead the mission and values culture development for Compass Senior Living. Jean lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she enjoys the weather and volunteers with the Nevadans for the Common Good, advocating for caregivers and elders in southern Nevada