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Life Enrichment Is Good for Care – and for Your Bottom Line

Better-run retirement communities realize the benefits – both to residents and to the community – of giving more control to residents over choices and programming. This is known as life enrichment.

By setting a goal is to deliver care that is more person-centered, communities across the country have improved care and customer satisfaction, and have done so while making a profit. The message is clear: “Good care is good business.”

Life enrichment solutions are grounded in a person-centered value model and works well in non-profit and for profit provider organizations. But it costs money; so how can a person-centered strategy through life enrichment be justified?

More often than not, this strategy starts with the activities and programming department. Although not a profit center, the activities department is the starting point to address the psychosocial and wellness needs of the residents. Programming staff often don’t know how to defend the importance of their work and expenses they incur in building the experience for their population.

Here are 4 ways life enrichment solutions positively impact the bottom line of the organization:

1. Increases lengths of stays at higher functioning levels: Not only do higher levels of life enrichment programming increase the lengths of stays of residents, but it also helps keep residents at higher functioning levels by delaying decline. The business application means that not only is there less turnover in terms of residents but the population is also less expensive to care for.

2. Drives higher satisfaction: Life enrichment programming is a direct driver of satisfaction for residents, families and staff. By contributing to person-centered experiences, the result is better care and experiences for residents, as they value their engagements of choice, which also leads them to be healthier and happier. It has also been shown that family members view activities and individualized care plans as critical areas of quality.

3. Helps to market the community: Life enrichment solutions are often the best support for admissions and marketing. It differentiates your facilities and helps make your communities more attractive by showing off the life of residents, how their needs are addressed and what the prospective residents will be doing on a daily basis.

4. Enhances the therapy experience: Life enrichment solutions can prove to be a major asset to a rehab team. Not only can the therapy session be extended with support outside of the gym, but it also is a fantastic way to improve the overall experience for short-stay patients.

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