Sometimes, first impressions mean everything. It doesn’t matter where you’re going — a hotel, a restaurant, a new business or an assisted living community. What you see, smell, hear, touch and experience in those first few moments of walking through the doors determines whether you will stay or go, to return or not.
When considering senior living, the location, appearance and general curb appeal of the building is undoubtedly important, but when you enter the building, there are two things you’ll notice right away: the smell (which is a good indicator of the quality of care), and how you are greeted.
The front desk is the hub of any senior living community. The secretary, concierge, receptionist, or similarly titled employee acts as the welcoming committee, a security checkpoint, social contact for residents, package and product delivery liaison, and so much more.
When arriving for a tour of a senior living community, visitors should evaluate the professionalism and personality of the person(s) seated at the front desk. Did he greet you with a smile and say a friendly hello? Did you receive clear instructions on what would happen next? If she was on the phone or busy speaking with a resident, did she courteously acknowledge you and say, “I’ll be right with you,” or were you ignored completely? Also, is the front desk neat and tidy?
Even if the community has a lovely atmosphere and the other staff members are courteous and professional, that first impression sticks. Senior living providers should be well aware of this fact and ensure that anyone who comes through the door leaves happy, even if they don’t ultimately choose the community for themselves or a loved one.