thank you
A few ideas for client appreciation
by Julie Cook Downing

Home health and personal care agencies provide an important service to seniors and their families. For family caregivers, the decision to hire a professional caregiver can be a tough one. It’s never easy to admit you need help.

But, as you know, hiring professional caregivers and purchasing medical equipment for loved ones is one of the best decisions family caregivers can make. When the family caregiver realizes that support is needed and required and that care will happen successfully, their life will positively change in many categories. 

As a consultant working with health care agencies and medical equipment businesses on behalf of family caregivers, I understand how difficult it is to run your senior care business. Some challenges business owners face include:

•    A lack of qualified applicants
•    Caregivers unable to meet family demands may be “fired”
•    An employee’s schedule change due to illness or childcare issues can result in poor patient care
•    The patient may need to go to the hospital and/or rehab and the professional caregiver is no longer required
•    Family caregivers may make contact when it’s not needed
•    Family caregivers can take too long to make medical equipment purchasing decisions, or choose the wrong equipment, resulting in patient injury

Although the family caregiver receives relief from some of their duties when they hire your agency, mand family caregivers also need to feel appreciation and understanding for their role in patient care. The patient typically is often unable to express the love and appreciation needed.

There are several tangible ways to demonstrate your support for the family caregivers, such as: 

1. Consider discounting or delaying your billing services during the holidays. This can be a great boon to clients at a time when money is tight. Of course, for business owners on a tight margin this may be a difficult thing to offer. A delayed billing cycle can help your agency maintain margins, while providing financial relief.

2. During any check-in or follow up with the family, express appreciation for their dedication to your business & their family member. At this time, be sure to ask if there are further services needed and how you can serve them better. A handwritten thank you card also goes a long way and can be sent after a patient is discharged.

3. Consider a physical gift, such as the Caregiver’s Comfort Planner. Inspiration, planning and organizing are needed by family Caregivers to succeed in their many responsibilities. This planner provides an entire year of support from your business. The calendars include each month on a two-page spread, allowing caregivers to track personal activities and the patient’s appointments or medications. A large notes feature allows family members to jot questions for the doctor or home health nurse. Find more features and information at 

Showing your clients appreciation for the work they do can make a difference in your reviews, referrals and more. If your clients feel cared for, they will take care of your staff in return.

Julie Cook Downing is the founder of Caregivers’ Comfort Creations, which provides tools and resources for family caregivers. Downing realized the need for resources when she cared for both parents as they aged.