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A Passion for Caring

I wrote this about my passion to work with the elderly. It includes ideas about how to revolutionize assisted living facilities.

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A Passion for Caring

  1. 1. Proposal for Covenant Care Presented January 1, 2009 by Jo-Ann L. Cameron A Passion For Caring TM
  2. 2. A PASSION FOR CARING © Copyright 2009 Jo-Ann Cameron
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION The Wall Street Journal recently listed two industries as ones to watch for the foreseeable future: computer software and extended care facilities. Investors have taken note. Unfortunately, so have health regulators. As more and more opportunists leap into this expanding market, one thing seems certain: scrutiny by consumer groups and government regulatory bodies will only become more intense. A feature article in the August issue of Consumer Reports begins, "A long stay in a nursing home can consign a resident's family to financial hardship, even poverty. But choose the wrong nursing home, and you may also consign your loved one to physical and emotional hardship, including premature dependency and incontinence, even premature death." Common problems include patients being all but abandoned with predictable results: bed sores, withdrawal, loss of appetite, declining health, etc. What consumer groups, the media, regulators and Wall Street are looking for is an attractive alternative, a firm that can deliver excellent care at an attractive price, i.e., the Home Depot of the 90s. That firm can be Covenant Care.
  4. 4. SITUATION The failing health of a loved one is a stressful and traumatic event for a caring spouse, parent, son or daughter. To leave a wife, husband, father, mother, or child in a cold, unfriendly place with no friends and fearful expectations seems almost inhuman, even cruel. It doesn't have to be that way. There can be an easier, better choice. When Life Ends, Or When It Truly Begins? As the U.S. and worldwide business climate has evolved over the past few decades into becoming too many chasing too few, establishing a clear-cut market position has come to be a crucial ingredient for success. Take the hospitality industry, for instance. For basic necessities -- a room, a bed, a bathroom -- Motel 6 has filled a niche. At the other end of the spectrum is the Ritz-Carlton where every whim, every creature comfort is catered to. Covenant Care has the same opportunity. It can offer the basics -- merely a place to live out the end of one's life, however humble -- or it can be something more, something special. The place where life begins.
  5. 5. BACKGROUND Two personal convalescent care experiences are burned forever into my consciousness. The first took place many years ago when I spent a month as a nurse during my SVN (Student Vocational Nurse) training at a facility in Whittier. A patient was patiently trying to play solitaire with a deck of cards so old and worn that many of the cards had literally lost their faces. When I bought her four new decks with my own money, she was so overwhelmed that she wept. Recently, my daughter and I decided to adopt a patient at a nearby convalescent facility. This woman suffered from very poor eyesight, yet, amazingly, no one had offered to read her mail. Stacks of letters on her dresser remained unread! She was elated when I offered to read them to her. What she has given back to my daughter in terms of attention, stories and love has been that of the most proud, caring grandparent. When a staff doesn't care enough to replace a deck of cards, read a letter, change a diaper or perform other necessary services, it's time for a change. The bottom line is that America needs a new vision for the elderly. Unlike Europeans and Asians who still show respect for their parents, we've abandoned those who raised us. With today's high divorce rate, traditional families and values are teetering on extinction. The wisdom of previous generations with their social mores have been ignored for too long. The buck stops here. My intention is to revolutionize the convalescent care industry in two steps. First, by assembling a team of caring professionals to demonstrate for America and the industry how a convalescent facility can and should be run and make a profit, too. And second, by speaking publicly whenever and wherever I can about convalescent care reform.
  6. 6. OBJECTIVES • To help Covenant Care become the premier extended care organization in the United States. • To have Covenant Care rank consistently in the top ten percent of the most profitable organizations within the industry. • To offer Covenant Care patients and their family members an alternative to the "park 'em here" mentality. In short, to make Covenant Care the convalescent industry trend setter by showing integrity, loyalty and respect for wisdom and life experience.
  7. 7. STRATEGIES • To provide marketing materials that address issues of the utmost concern in a realistic and caring manner. • To be up-front about costs including what Medicare will cover, what insurance will cover, what services are not provided, and other medical billing questions. • To provide around-the-clock professional staffing. • To provide comprehensive services within state-of-the-art facilities. • To adhere to strict quality control procedures including both internal and external review procedures. • To prominently post inspection reports where staff, patients and visitors can review them. • To hire, train and systematically evaluate a multidisciplinary team of management and administration staff on qualitative as well as quantitative issues. • To provide on-going education to administration, staff, patients and family. • To provide the widest possible menu of social and personal fulfillment activities for patients and families. • To encourage volunteer programs. • To foster humor and laughter among staff, patients and visitors as a reducer of stress. • To provide counseling for staff, patients and family members.
  8. 8. • To recognize individual needs: clothing, privacy, safety, grooming, warmth, food, pets, music, hobbies, furniture, photos of loved ones and other personal belongings. • To provide patients a caring ear. • To list and provide "extras" such as TV's, phones and diapers as included services. • To continually monitor outcomes through feedback from the community, patients and families, physicians and nurses. • To invite governmental, consumer, and private review.
  9. 9. TACTICS Theme: A Passion For Caring Internal Execution: Staff: 1. Survey and assess current needs, create standards, and provide on-going training. 2. Initiate incentive program which recognizes individuals with bonuses, trips, awards, for good attitude and service above and beyond the call. Recognition provided in a newsletter and via lapel pin or uniform badge. Patients: 1. Provide recognition in a newsletter, bulletin board and monthly social events for staff, patients and visitors. 2. Provide for individual patient fulfillment via a comprehensive menu of services including both internal and external activities, such as: Classes • Managing finances • Braille Institute • Physical fitness for seniors • Western and swing dancing • Tap • Yoga • Water aerobics • Calligraphy • Painting/art • Music
  10. 10. Support Programs • Another passage • Parkinson's • Caregiver • Adult children of aging parents • Legal assistance • Transportation/shuttle van • Library • Medicare assistance Travel Opportunities • Museums • Race track • Popular senior attractions • Theaters Entertainment • Movies • Local singers and other entertainers. • Participatory talent shows • Casino nights External Execution: Consumers: Visits encouraged. Volunteers: Media/community recognition provided for participants in volunteer program. Media: Advertising, public relations and other marketing materials portray real people: staff, administrators, patients, family members.
  11. 11. PROPOSAL SUMMARY I would like to offer my services to Covenant Care, either as A): a full-time administrator, or B): as an independent contractor, specifically as follows: A. Goal: Increase the census overall among all Covenant Care facilities. Position: Director of Marketing and Development Responsibilities: Oversee development of marketing materials, implementation of patient programs and training of directors and staffs. Compensation: $5500 per month, plus expenses, on a six month test unit contract. B. Goal: Increase the census for a single Covenant Care test facility. Position: Director of Administration Responsibilities: Responsible for overseeing all day-to-day facility management tasks including hiring and training a multi-disciplinary team, development of patient and volunteer programs, etc. Compensation: $88,000 salary per year, plus expenses, plus 1-2% bonus based on gross sales.

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