How much thought do you put into the general appearance of your care home? We talked to designer Rebecca Lippett from one of our partners Umbrella Group about the importance of interiors.
Some of you may recognise the benefits of investing in the interior of your home, but I’m guessing that, for many care providers, spending money on interior furnishings falls into the category of “necessary evil” rather than “shrewd investment”. For most time-pressed care home owners, interior furnishings often gets bumped down the priority list.
However, if you’re hoping for higher profits and happier residents maybe that’s not sensible. Even if you are a not-for-profit, I’m sure that an increase in room sales or being able to increase your fee structure will benefit you.
The interior of your care home is often what potential residents and their families base their decision on. A bad interior can, consciously or unconsciously, equate to bad standards of care in the minds of a potential resident and their family. One of the simplest ways to give room sales a boost is to give the interior a facelift.
When we are booking a hotel, or buying a house, online or via a brochure, we don’t plough through the pages of text. Our eyes go straight to the pictures! It’s the same with choosing a care home; we want to know what it looks like. Sure we’ll check out the care standards after that, but your home will be sold on first impressions.
Rebecca highlights that a bad interior sends out unspoken messages that are off-putting to visitors:
- “We have low standards of care”.
- “We don’t care about our residents quality of life”
- “We have no clear brand image as a care operator”
- “Our business isn’t doing very well”
- “We don’t know what we’re doing”
Rightly or wrongly, your visitors will judge you on what they see. Looks are a major contributor to the difficult decision they are making. Your visitors will be thinking “I can’t put mum in here…” but a good interior says: “We care about our residents’ quality of life. Our residents want to live in an environment that is safe, therapeutic and beautiful. Standards are high. Your loved one will be happy here”.
The judgments may or may not be fair, but people make them just the same. So it pays to make sure your home is beautiful and leaves visitors feeling that they do want to place their relative in your care. They should leave feeling inspired and excited, not worried or guilty.
Successful care home owners get this. They see interior design and furnishings as an investment which brings them a good financial return. Their budgets allow for investment in interiors. As a result, these are the homes that are full with a waiting list of people who want to move in.
Residents pay a lot for care. They deserve to live in an environment that makes them feel happy, safe and comfortable. “But how do I do that?!” I hear you cry. “I just don’t have the time or the cash!”
Leasing options means you can lease everything you need and split the cost across monthly payments to fit your cash flow. Because of the tax-efficient nature of leasing the interest costs can be minimal.
Head over to The Umbrella Group website now to download a free brochure. They will be happy to offer any help or advice that you need.