The pandemic has been an especially challenging time for the senior living world. Having to do all the extra things needed to keep communities clean and virus-free, while keeping everyone isolated, takes a ton of time on top of regular duties. And without the ability to welcome visitors, there hasn’t really been any need to keep communities visitor-ready. In a ‘normal’ world, a community has to be ready for last-minute tours constantly. So as the world is starting to get vaccinated, and have better safety protocols in place, the reality of people coming back into buildings is coming. So, how do you get ready for visitors when you haven’t seen them in a year? Keep reading for tips on how to reopen your doors to visitors again.
Reopening Your Doors
As you prepare to reopen your doors to visitors, consider who you are setting the stage for. For prospective residents, remember that making the switch to senior living accommodations is a big one, so it’s important to put an emphasis on making the space inviting. You also want current residents to feel proud of the aesthetic, so they can welcome their friends and family to a place that feels like home. Here are some ways you can accomplish that:
1. Get administration and marketing together to do a walkthrough. Walk through the building, room by room, and make a list of things that need to be changed or added, for example:
- Bookshelves need straightening.
- Accessories are needed for the fireplace in the living room.
- Housekeeping to wipe baseboards and dust window sills.
- Add bouquets to the dining area.
- Sections need to be marked off to keep groups safely distanced from each other.
2. Declutter each room. Get rid of anything that is broken or in bad shape. Sort through areas like bookcases and media storage to dispose of or donate anything not being used or that there are too many of.
3. Deep clean. Everyone has been sanitizing through the pandemic, but make sure everything is CLEAN. Baseboards are wiped, faux plants are dusted, and shelves are wiped. Also, make sure the entire community smells pleasant. This is such a huge first impression. Being that incontinence is a reality in senior living, making sure accidents are cleaned up quickly and thoroughly makes a huge difference.
4. Check on your model apartment. With no tours, these rooms have probably been most neglected. Open the windows to let some fresh air in (even if it’s cold out – 10 minutes will make a difference!). Fluff the bedding, dust all surfaces, and give it a once-over.
5. Get creative with how you display sanitizer. Hand sanitizer and PPE will be necessary for the foreseeable future; however, you can offer them in a more aesthetically pleasing way. Get creative by using a pretty lotion dispenser for sanitizer in the vestibule and storing masks in a decorative basket to maintain a thoughtful and inviting atmosphere.
Learn More About Preparing Your Building for Visitors
We all are adjusting to the challenges of keeping everyone safe and healthy during the pandemic, and more industries are finding ways to reopen their doors to the public. As much as safety is important, a senior living environment should also be aesthetically pleasing. At The Simple Home, we specialize in making senior living communities homey and inviting.
Learn more about how we can help you prepare your building for visitors here!