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Aging in Place: Educate staff

Aging in Place: Educate staff Q. Why is training and educating staff on the products available to clients who want to age in place “good” business?

A. As a business owner you already teach product knowledge or awareness to most of your employees. You can expand this knowledge to include products that can assist the elderly who are aging in place by conducting in-service training and having access to samples to provide hands-on learning for items that can be used in the home. The educated and compassionate customer service that your employees can provide over a “big box” or large retail store selling same or similar items will immediately give you the advantage for introducing these products. It's important to remember that just because someone is aging, that does not necessarily equate to them being “sick.” Mostly, they—or their loved ones—just want to be safe.

Using this new product knowledge, you can build on the relationships you have with your existing clients. You and your staff will be seen as a resource and an educator. Most people are not aware of what is available for safety or convenience. Once they see how beneficial these products can be they will most likely tell their friends about these items. There are also family members looking for items to assist their aging loved one, often as gifts or to decrease the amount of caregiving that needs to be provided by them or paid to caregivers or support services aides.

 The top aids most people are looking for are items to assist in bathing, dressing, transferring, and organizing medications. Taking some time to train your employees on what is available will also allow them to let your clients and their families know what is available to keep them safe and functional in their home. It's a win-win for everyone.

Kay Koch, OTR/L, ATP, is an independent consultant. Email her


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