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How to Boost the Population of Your Senior Care Community

posted Aug 17, 2016, 12:43 PM by Constance Payne

How to Boost the Population of Your Senior Care Community

Boosting the population of your senior care community center takes a combination of event planning and social media marketing in order to reach new residents and keep your current ones happy. In this article you will learn how to utilize social media services so you can concentrate on creating successful events and monthly open houses that will make your center the go to place for seniors.

Utilizing Social Media Services

It’s no secret that social media is the virtual network of choice when looking to distribute your message towards a certain target market. When information is correctly sourced to the public, it spreads like wildfire throughout the online community. “Going viral” is now a term that stands out in the social industry, and such articles and/or videos indirectly improve your company’s net worth. In addition, not only will you improve your credibility by using social media, you will notice an increased public approval rating for your senior community care center.

Managing your social network can be tricky if you do not have a full understanding of how your target market communicates and interacts online. Anyone can fill out an online profile or publish information on the web, but it takes a team of experts to identify the core message of your company, and distribute that information appropriately.

The comprehensive written copy and the timing of distribution are the two most important aspects of delivering your message. Marketing and media companies allow you to concentrate on the keys to success that will keep your seniors happy, directly resulting in your community’s growth. In order to ensure your care center’s overall message is geared towards the 45+ population- you must first identify your key to success.

Events are Your Key to Success

The amount of retirees looking for a community that appeals to them is growing at an exponential rate, are you ready to show them your community is the best choice?

While young adults don’t mind a nice relaxing conversation with their parents, grandchildren are another story. Creating events that inspire the whole family to spend time with their elders will improve the quality of life at your assisted living facility.

Events help to create a unique culture within your senior community. That cultural influence is what makes your care center attractive to new residents. Advertise your monthly events as an open house to entice seniors and their families to check out why your facility would be the best match for them. By hosting an open house regularly, your new attendees will feel more comfortable with your staff, increasing your chances of new residency.

Once you understand what types of activities your residents enjoy, you will have successful events. While everyone measures success in different ways, you should measure yours by how close to the max capacity your facility is every quarter or bi-yearly- however often you prefer to test your success level.

Finding out what works for your company.

Creating an event schedule for the year is not a job for just one person. Talk to your employees and coworkers to help break down the barrier of communication that you have with your residents. What do your people want? What sorts of activities brought them joy when they were younger?

Though there will be physical issues preventing some from participating- that does not mean they will not enjoy a happy and alert atmosphere. Sometimes, ambiance and a little bit of color is enough to keep one emotionally balanced.

       Creating your event.

Before your team starts writing thoughts on the idea board, you must first outline a budget. Create a standard budget for eleven events, one to be held monthly for the entire year. You should then double that standard budget for one annual celebration- resulting in twelve events total. Loosely planning an event each month will help your staff to communicate with residents about what they would like, and it will give them something to look forward to.

The goal is to create an atmosphere for your clients that is cost effective, but does not sacrifice quality. If you fall under budget one month, or a few months, then that savings will help make your annual event unforgettable. Your annual event can be a standard commercial holiday or your own unique gathering for all the family, friends, and community members.

Once you understand your company’s personal budget, as a team, you can make a list of event ideas, and create a separate list of what is needed to make them fun. Do you actually need decorations? Will the menu for the day compliment your activities? Will you have special guests or entertainment of any kind? Get creative. Creativity happens on all types of budgets.

If you find yourself over budget on a particular event, then outsourcing sponsorship opportunities will help bring your dream event to fruition. When looking for sponsors, please note that every sponsor must be relevant to the target market of your community. For example, auto dealership sponsors might be relevant to some, but not all senior care facilities. Local businesses are more likely to sponsor events when your target market meets their priorities.

The ultimate goal of each event is to create a happy, fun, family environment. If you find yourself or your staff emotionally wound during the creation and execution process- you need to sit back and realize that this is a learning process that should be fun for everyone involved. Successful events are not stressful.

You must also come to terms that not all events are perfect the first time you have them. This will be a learning experience for you and your entire staff. A meeting should be held after every event in order to manage the quality of how well your staff works together during these types of special activities. Communication between general staff and management is another important aspect for a company’s growth.

       Event ideas.

Reading. Authors are everywhere. When people enjoy reading, they also enjoy discussing what they read in order to fully understand the information they are taking in. Inviting a guest author to help initiate that dialogue can be more entertaining than you might think.

Dancing. Hiring a dance instructor for the day to provide an eclectic schedule of popular dance styles from back in the day will help keep everyone moving.

Bingo. Everyone loves bingo. You can invest in a cost effective professional looking bingo set by typing in “bingo kit” on the search engine. If your residents really enjoy it, get creative and make up a fun theme to the game or any other way to make it different. For example, a luau theme is very cost effective.

Field Trips. Avoid the “cabin fever effect” by taking your residents somewhere. There are so many free activities out there such as parks, lakes, and outdoor concerts. You can also get group ratings at museums and monuments. Using the Google search engine feature will pull up all sorts of things. is also an excellent tool that provides great discounts to large groups.

Theatre. Hiring an actor, actress, or theatrical troupe for the day is a great way to provide entertainment. Perhaps you can speak to your performer(s) about being more interactive with the audience, allowing them to be a part of the show in some fashion.

Animals. There are wonderful ideas out there that cost absolutely nothing, but bring so much joy to our elders. A nice visit with a service animal is a great way to put a smile on everyone’s face for the day, and there are a lot of people out there that will do it for free because they just like to make people happy.

Social Seminars. Highlighting lifestyle planning by bringing in guest speakers to create a group discussion about social security, estate planning, charitable causes, and technology skills will open a discussion and help generate audience participation.

Family & Health Benefits

Keeping our loved ones physically and mentally active provides the health benefits they need to stay strong and watch their legacies thrive. When our elders are constantly engaged with an activity, task, or mental challenge, they feel a sense of self worth again. The feeling of having something purposeful to do, no matter how minimal that may be, helps to keep the moral and population of your senior care community at maximum capacity.

Finding Serenity in Southeast Volusia County: Feature Article for the NSB Observer September 2014

posted Dec 1, 2015, 3:01 PM by Constance Payne   [ updated Sep 29, 2018, 1:04 PM ]

Finding Serenity in Southeast Volusia County: Feature Article for the NSB Observer September 2014

    Being a productive member of society and creating a healthy daily routine to reach your goals is challenging for a percentage of our population that are genetically predisposed to have addictive personality traits. Understanding the power of your own mind and how to utilize it consciously, intentionally, purposefully, and without regret are virtues that we all strive for- whether we are addicts or not.

    Since the mid-20th century critics have attacked the addiction model, and addicts were seen as the degenerates of society that weren’t "normal people".  A common question from those who do not have addictive personalities is, “How did they lose self control?” To answer that you must first understand what addiction really is.  A common mindset of addiction is that the people who suffer from it understand that they have a choice, but lack willpower. Battling this widespread misconception can only happen one way- education.

    Having an addictive personality is something that 10% of our population is born with. While 40%-50% of college students show signs of alcoholism and substance abuse issues, that percentage of students aren’t actually addicts, they are just going through a faze that mimics the behavior of addiction.  You or someone you know may be exhibiting destructive behaviors for a matter of time, but will eventually stop when the faze has run its course. The 10% of the population who are born addicts cannot stop. Their bodies need their vice or vices of choice; it only takes one drink, one dose, one hit, one time. 

    That one time changes the chemical symphony in their brain, not just for the remainder of the high that they get from using, but that change makes them crave the high and leads to a chemical dependency. It takes quite some time to get the brain to adjust itself back to producing the right amount of natural chemicals needed for normal functionality, and during that time of adjustment daily behaviors and lifestyle changes must be made. You either are an addict, or you are not. You cannot make someone an addict, and it’s definitely not contagious.

    No matter who you are on the social ladder, addiction has affected your life in some kind of way. Whether you are one, were or are married to one, have a parent that is one, cousin, aunt, uncle, friend, child, etc.- everyone in some way has a connection to an addict of some sort. Having an emotionally supportive family and/or friends is key to a successful recovery. If you don’t believe that they can get better, why should they? After all, addicts affect everyone around them; without the love and support from your family and peers, you loose all hope and nothing matters- especially sobriety.

    Serenity Springs Recovery is one of the top treatment centers in the country and is located right here in Edgewater. This facility is known as the “Ivey League of the 12 Step Program” and has been nationally recognized in Psychology Today Magazine, a news and research outlet that covers all aspects of human behavior. Co-founded by Jim Marshall Sr., a former undercover narcotics detective who realized that criminalizing addicts was preventing them from seeking treatment. After years of treating drug addiction as a crime and continuously asking the same question, “Why are you doing this?” and hearing the same answer time and time again, “I don’t want to be like this, I just can’t stop.” he knew that it was time to take a more proactive approach. 

    His personal commitment to a client’s recovery does not end when they leave the Serenity facility, because he genuinely cares about his clients and their families. He enjoys the follow up phone calls of those who have succeeded with their revolutionary program and likes the challenge of taking on people who chronically relapse- watching their success through the recovery process at Serenity. “We are here to save lives and we know everyone’s name,” he says. “We took on a client a while back who had relapsed 18 times, his parents said, "Good luck with that one." but after completing the Serenity Springs program he’s been sober ever since.

    Jim works with his son Jimmy Marshall Jr., who has struggled with his own issues of alcohol dependency. He is a personal trainer who’s studying to be a certified substance abuse counselor. Jimmy understands firsthand the power of addiction and how people who are addicts aren’t bad people even though they may have committed violent crimes and made poor choices while under the influence. He knows that drug and alcohol addiction changes one’s personality drastically, and once that person is operating on a normal level they are a completely different than when they were using. 

    This father/son duo leads an extremely qualified and caring staff of psychologists, addiction counselors, case managers, and recovery advocates. What makes their program so unique? Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, it allows their clients to bring to mind the emotionally unpleasant images and beliefs about themselves that make battling addiction an even greater struggle. Their program allows clients to not only become emotionally free, but to understand themselves spiritually. With daily meditation, emotional reviews, exercise, and making sure that each client follows through with all 12 steps of the program, they have an 80% success rate in recovery. 

    Those of you who have either been in recovery or dealt with someone in recovery may scoff at this number because of your frustration with traditional care. They measure their success by using an aftercare program called MAP Accountability Services, which provides one on one emotional support, guidance, and random toxicology screenings for the client for 15 months after completion of the 30, 60, or 90-day program at Serenity Springs Recovery. MAP also works in depth with the family to help them identity enabling, codependency issues, and provide updates about your loved ones progress. Since the founding of this program in 2012 this facility has only had 3 clients return for treatment, and was the first treatment center to score a 100 with the licensure standards for the State of Florida Department of Children and Families. 

    As a team, they understand that a 30, 60, or 90-day program may not be possible for everyone and have created an Intensive Outpatient Program or IOP, which is located at 310 Julia St. in New Smyrna Beach. They offer day and night programs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays with individualized therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Krissy Chalk is a crucial member of the outpatient care who developed the ‘Transition After Serenity Program’ that provides life skills and job opportunities for the recovered.

    While some cities have put up road blocks in the path of recovery institutions, the city of Edgewater has agreed that effective treatment centers like Serenity Springs Recovery are a help to the community because they are creating responsible members of society who are able to hold down jobs, pay their taxes, etc. The founders and staff members would like to publicly thank the Mayor, City Councilmen and Councilwomen, as well as the City Manager Tracey Barlow.

    Serenity Springs is proud to announce that they are sponsoring the movie “The Anonymous People” at Cinematique Theatre of Daytona, 242 South Beach St. Tickets are FREE for either showing 2pm or 5pm, Sunday September 21st. Just email to RSVP to the event and bring as many people as you want- I will be there at the 2pm showing.

    The website for the film reads, “We are moms and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters - all bringing the power and proof of recovery to our communities. Together we will change public perception, and ultimately the public response to the addiction crisis...FOREVER. Will you join us?” 

    The Serenity Springs Recovery center is located at 1555 Cow Creek Road in Edgewater, FL 32132 and you can contact them directly on their 24-hour hotline, 365 days a year, at 386-423-4540 or request more information via email at 

A Taste of Family Tradition: Feature Article for the NSB Observer May 2014

posted Dec 1, 2015, 2:59 PM by Constance Payne   [ updated Sep 29, 2018, 1:05 PM ]

A Taste of Family Tradition: Feature Article for the NSB Observer May 2014

    Every family practices their own unique traditions; whether they are passed down from generation to generation or new behaviors are created with an array of different cultural backgrounds. No matter what or why, everybody has at least one practice.

    Some families believe that wealth should not be passed down, that every generation is in charge of creating their own fortune and niche in an industry. Critical thinking and self reliance are the traditions that Mable Rosman instilled in her children, which in turn were passed down to her grandchildren, creating a tasteful legacy of family values.

    The family secret of Mable’s Pizza began in the 1950’s, a time when all restaurants used fresh ingredients daily. She made her pizza with the finest blend of cheeses and toppings- even creating her own way of seasoning that can still be purchased today. Long ago Mable’s Pizzeria was known as the best place to eat pizza in Pensilvania. 

    After her retirement Gramma Mable gifted the coveted recipe to her grandchildren Eric Ross and Felicia Engles who started their own restaurant, Panhead’s Pizzeria in New Smyrna Beach. The brother and sister duo understood the value of their grandmother’s heirloom recipe, being the only members of the family that were trusted with the secret.

    Eric Ross has over 15 years of experience in the culinary arts and makes pizza the exact same way that his grandmother did all those years ago, including a specialty flour that is fabricated specifically for their signature flavored dough. He even uses the custom made rolling pin that she had, and the same exact bricks from Mable’s Pizzeria in the ovens they work out of today. As a motorcycle enthusiast, Eric considers Panhead motorcycles a work of art- just like the food they serve at their pizza place. 

    Felicia Engles, known as the “glue” of the restaurant, has a knack for organizing team members and creating a valued work environment. Joined by her sister in-law and manager Devan Engles they recognize the hard work of their employees, and often give initiatives and incentives to reward them for the role they play in the company. From helping in the kitchen to balancing the books Felicia is dedicated to every aspect of the business. 

    The family pizzeria doesn’t stop with strictly blood related relatives though, Brittany Gaither is a respected member of the team and Felicia’s husband Jesse Engles plays a very important role as well; having crafted the interior of the business from bar tops, to tables, and benches. Jessie also hand mixes the famous dough, a service that is rarely seen in the pizza industry today. He believes that passion is the core ingredient in proper kneading followed by the flour, yeast, then water. Their General Manager Albert Amalfitano is proud to be considered part of the family, and one of their trusted keys to success. Having worked in the food industry and management for years he takes pride in not just tossing food on a plate, but creating memories that taste as great as they smell.

    Mable’s tradition has carried on with amazing success, on the opening day of Panhead’s Pizzeria in 2010, their very first customer took one bite of his meal and exclaimed “Where did you get Mable’s pizza?” not knowing that the owners were her grandchildren- a comment that has now been frequently announced by travelers from up north who vacation here in our little beach town.

    Panhead’s Pizzeria is considered an upscale restaurant where customers can enjoy their dining experience in a relaxed setting. Aesthetically appealing food and quality control is something the staff takes pride in daily. If they don’t like the way something looks when it comes out of the oven, they pull it- considering that a service to their customers. Serving only the best of the best is an important tradition all in its own and the most crucial aspect of dining there. The family encourages guests to try the cheese pizza first in order to savor the signature, daily hand grated blend of unique cheeses. You can enjoy a fun family or group experience with their ‘flights’ of pizza- a way for you to try a variety of pizzas in one sitting without emaciating your wallet.

    They also have a collection of specialty pizzas with rock n’ roll themed names, the best seller being “Nothing but a Good Time” a supreme styled version of pizza. Recently, they’ve added gluten-free pizza to the menu for people with intolerances to that particular protein composite. Making an amazing pizza is their main focus but they do have much more to offer such as salads, smoked wings, and a variety of appetizers, all perfectly complimented with homemade dressings and sauces. For those of you on a bit of a time constraint when it comes to lunchtime, you can try a smoked meat or vegetarian dip-wich sandwich that comes with a choice of 2 out of their 13 delicious homemade dipping sauces.

    This family team is excited to announce that they have a special room at their Port Orange location for catering party functions and wedding rehearsals- complete with olive oil tastings from around the world and cooking classes. Mable’s seasoning is available at either location and can be used on pretty much anything!

    Creating their own legacy and turning it into a successful empire has left the family extremely humble. They attribute their success to an aggregate of family values and recipes, their dedicated staff members, and their community following. Everyday they strive to maintain the quality and consistency of their food as well as their excellent customer service.

    Panhead’s Pizzeria is located on 113 S. Orange St. in New Smyrna Beach and 4085 South Ridgewood Ave. in Port Orange where there is a collection of over 90 beers to pair with your meal. If you’re lucky enough to run into Gramma Mable on your next visit make sure you take a selfie with the legend who started it all!  #panheadspizzeria

Check out the rest of the menu at

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