volunteer sits with elderly woman

One of the complaints we hear most frequently from those we interview is how their home care provider doesn’t make the effort to make them feel special and appreciated. Clients may ask their caregivers to trim their hair, give them a massage, paint their nails etc. but the caregiver might not have the time or feel comfortable doing so.

So how can you help those you care for, without forcing your caregivers to do things they may not feel comfortable doing? By tapping into the local community and recruiting volunteers! This is more than the networking you do to grow your business. Building a volunteer base requires strong relationships with friends, your community, and perhaps even your church. These 4 networking tips can help build your pool of volunteers, allowing you to provide special services to your clients at little cost to you.

  1.  Reach Out to Local Businesses –Try reaching out to local businesses like hair saloons or barbers that you or your employees have a good relationship with. Ask if one of their hairstylists or an assistant in training would be interested in taking an hour every week to cut the hair of local seniors.
  2. Adopt a Grandparent Program– What better way to get volunteers than asking high school students who are looking to vamp up their college applications? Matching a teen with an elderly client enables a strong friendship between the two, and can lower depression in the elderly. The girls could paint the nails of elderly women, while the boys could help a man shave. They could also read to them, or have a conversation, even play a game.
  3. Train Caregivers on Simple Tasks – Take a couple hours to teach your caregivers how to give simple massages. When a patient is cooped up in bed all day, sometimes a hand massage can liven their spirits and get some endorphins going. It also improves circulation and overall health for those you’re caring for.
  4. Ask Friends for Help – If you know someone who owns a bakery, see if they’d be interested in letting you take any leftover pastries from the day to your clients. Or if you have a friend who owns a snow removal company, inquire if they could include the roads of your elderly patients in their route.

If the elderly feel tired and sick, chances are they won’t be able to take care of their appearance, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to look put together, or that they don’t notice how they look. The ultimate goal should not only be meeting your clients physical needs, but emotional as well. Help them feel happy and appreciated. By taking the initiative to serve your clients you can make a big difference in how they feel about themselves and your company.

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