On today’s episode of A Drink With The Hurricane, Steve discusses dealing with families that are in denial about the amount of care that they need for their loved one.
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So this particular topic came from Suzanne, who’s one of my long term near and dear friends and client of ours since 2015, and she said that she’s come across this situation so many times where they’re in the house, they’re talking to somebody who has dementia, and it’s like advanced dementia, and the patient’s family feels that well, you know, we only wanna get this amount of services.
When the person actually needs this amount of services, so in the specific example that she had said to me, the family is suggesting five hours of care a day, for a stage four dementia patient who really needs help round the clock either live-in or 24/7, at least 56 hours a week. And so how do we get the family to open their eyes and realize what is actually at stake here and what the person needs?
This comes back to something that I have said at so many boot camps and so many events over the years…
“Sell people what they need, not what they want.”
You do this in your sales process. You’re sitting down with the family, you communicate on our experience as the agency which we have taken care of, and in this case, Suzanne has taken care of over a thousand people since they started their business. Clearly, you know what a patient needs more than the patient him or herself. This is their first or second time going through this as a family, you have been in this situation a thousand times.
So as the expert, we have to be willing to walk away from a situation that is unsafe. A dementia patient, who’s as advanced as some of these patients are, if the family’s in denial about the care that they need, you do not sell that patient inadequate services. Because when that person, not if, when that person wanders, when that person ends up missing, when that person ends up in the hospital, you’re gonna be the person that gets blamed for it because they didn’t put in enough care in place. Now, this is all assuming that resources are available.
Another point that Suzanne asked me in her question is, many times she feels that families are pushing to move mom into a memory care place and think that that’s the best way to go. And my response to that is, show them the cost. That’s what you do. So if somebody is saying I only want to get five hours of home care a day, seven days a week, but we’re thinking that we should move mom into a memory care, let them know how much its going to cost.
Depending on where you’re located in the United States, the average memory care unit around the country is $7,500 a month. So $7,500 a month is significant. DOoing basic math, the average hourly rate around the United States right now is $22 an hour. So $22 an hour times $56 an hour, that’s $1232 a week. Now 56 hours of care is eight hours a day, seven days a week. So that gives you basically $1250. $1250 times four weeks in a month, that’s $6,000. That’s $1500 less than the memory care unit.
Now if you were to do a live-in, many states in the country have live-in services, and live-in is gonna cost you in the ballpark of 12 to 16 hours per day as a daily rate for a live-in. So let’s do $22 an hour, or we could just go split the difference, times 14 hours a day, that come up to $310. So that’s like your average live-in rate around the country. So if somebody were to do $310, seven days a week, that’s gonna cost $2170 a week, which in a month’s time is around $10,000.
Here’s where the differentiator comes in. The memory care probably has one faculty member or one staff member, nurse, CNA, whoever, to eight patients, eight residents. So it’s an eight to one ratio, it’s not one to one. Home care is one on one.
For a dementia patient who has memory issues as it is already, who could be combative, could be argumentative, could be afraid of strangers and strange environments, familiarity is the most important thing you can do for that particular patient, what is the best environment for that patient? It’s in her home. That’s what’s in the best interest of the patient.
We’re very close here, when you look at the live-in versus the memory care placement. Again, the key aspect is that it’s one-on-one. That is the point that needs to be made and then we hold on it. Like it’s one of those things where it comes down to price. ‘Cause a lot of times people get very gun-shy or price-leery.
If I go to an auto dealership and I wanna buy a BMW, you’re gonna pay BMW dollars for that car. It is a BMW, they’re not gonna negotiate, they’re not gonna give you a discount, they don’t have to, it’s BMW. If I go to the Best Buy and I wanna buy a Mitsubishi 70 inch television that has a plasma this and Ultra 4k that and everything else. I can’t say to Best Buy, well I’m not gonna pay the $3,000 price, Best Buy is gonna say then this is not the TV for you.
So it’s the same thing, from our perspective. This is what’s needed. And if you’re considering moving into a memory care, realize that the memory care may be great and it may be your answer, but what’s in the best interest of the patient? It’s staying in the place that she knows best, one-on-one care to prevent her from hurting herself, wandering or things that we can’t even begin to imagine, and the cost, it’s apples to apples.
Nine times out of 10, staying at home, bring inadequate care, is the better option than moving into the memory care. And so that’s how I would handle that exact situation. Suzanne, thank you so much for the question.
And for those of you out there, if you’re getting these kinds of challenges, if you wanna scale and grow your business and you’re having a hard time figuring out these kinds of nuances, pick up the phone, give us a call, and let us help you do what you need to do so you can BLOW AWAY THE COMPETITION.