3 Tips to Update Senior Living Terminology for Your Website, Social Media and Paid Programs

What image is conjured when you hear the terms ‘old folks’ home’, ‘nursing home’ or ‘old age facility’? Is this outdated terminology a good representation of the direction your senior living community is going in 2019?

Not likely.

Advancements in customized dining options, plush amenities and investments in technology like robots and A.I., chatbots, data science initiatives, EMA and CRM integrations, etc. all demonstrate that senior care isn’t resting on its laurels and is moving past previously stigmatized terms.

Providers are preparing for the silver tsunami of 2030 with strategic investments. In fact, Senior Housing News recently reported that Reddit’s Co-Founder invested more than $500 million into senior living technology startups and expects a massive disruption in the industry over the next decade.

Can your senior living community definitively say your website has updated its terminology to stay current with prospective residents and ACIs evolving needs and interests?

Today, we’re helping your community update and refresh its digital assets. Continue reading to learn:

  • Seven updated changes to senior living vocabulary, originally covered on A Place for Mom
  • Three actionable tips for senior living marketing teams to update its digital assets to reflect updates in senior living terminology

7 Updates to Senior Living Terms and Vocabulary

As A Place for Mom articulated, necessary updates to terminology were needed to address the shifts happening in senior housing to promote dignity for those aging. The updated vocabulary reflects that shift:

  • The terms “Admission” and “Discharge” are now referred to as: Move-In and Move-Out
  • The term “Assisted Living Facility” is now referred to as: Assisted Living Community
  • The terms “Bed” and “Unit” is now referred to as: Apartment, Room and/or Suite
  • The term “Elderly” is now referred to as: Elder
  • The term “Long-term Care” is now referred to as: Senior Living
  • The term “Patient” is now referred to as: Resident
  • The term “Tour” is now referred to as: Visit

Though your senior living marketing team may wish it could take a magic wand and instantly update all its social posts and digital assets in one fell swoop, there are proactive tactics communities can take to reflect the evolution in the senior housing industry.

Tip #1: Update the Most Popular and Heavily Visited Pages Where Outdated Terminology is Used

Until your senior living marketing team performs an exhaustive site-wide audit to comb through every page and digital asset, it can mindfully update pages that you know draw traffic and links. Here are the three areas of high impact that your community will want to focus its effort:

1.) Your site content – Specifically, your team will want to update and refresh blog posts and site content from the past year before delving into historical pieces of content (three years or older that fail to draw traffic or links). To help your team streamline its efforts, click on the page and piece of content in question and enter ‘Control and the letter f’.

You’ll see a bar with a search box appear at the top of the page. From there, type in the outdated senior living term and you’ll be able to see how many times that term is used on a selected page. Your senior living marketing team can coordinate with its developer to replace outdated terms used on these pieces of content or can make the corrections manually if your team has access.

2.) Service Line and Category Pages – These crucial pages are a MUST to refresh and update. If prospective residents or ACIs click through to site pages and see terms that don’t reflect the quality of life they’re seeking, they’ll likely bounce from your site instead of clicking through to deeper pages in the funnel to convert.

Use the same method from the previous recommendation on your service line/levels of care category pages. Press and hold down on ‘Control and f’ to identify all instances where outdated terms are used and immediately replace them.

3.) Social Posts – Your community’s social media presence is the window into your organization’s daily life and happenings. Which makes it crucial for communities to make the best impression possible. This entails using updated terms when publishing posts, regardless of the social platform. From an admin standpoint, your team may also be able to retroactively go in and change vocabulary if it so deems.

Tip #2: Update Copy in Paid Ad Campaigns

Paid ads on search engine results pages (SERPS) are pushing down organic results and taking up prime real estate year-over-year, as evidenced in our recent post on the ‘Benefits of PPC advertising for Senior Living’. So, if the first thing a prospective resident sees when typing in ‘retirement community near me’ is an ad for your community, it must resonate with that individual.

To ensure that your PPC advertising efforts receive the necessary click-through and call leading to a visit, your senior living marketing team will need to make sure its copy is engaging, refreshed and updated. If your team finds that it’s still using outdated terms in its copy, replace the ad copy with the updated terms above and test the results.

Tip #3: Create Content That Addresses Evolutions in Senior Housing

Have you ever heard the quote, “The only thing that is constant is change“ by Heraclitus? The quote is especially applicable in senior living. Over the years, a shift has occurred in the perception of senior housing. No longer are communities considered the sterile place or “nursing home” to ship off an aging loved one.

Today, communities are embracing the dignity and independence of those who are aging and the zest for life residents share with one another in a community setting. Investments in amenities, social activities and an engaged and attentive staff are but some of the elements your senior living marketing team can touch on within the content that’s created on behalf of your organization.

In fact, your senior living marketing team can address the sweeping changes, including the terminology and semantics, within a piece of content if it hasn’t already. Additionally, your team can take the opportunity to share what it’s learned after attending conferences like LeadingAge, Argentum, Enquire, Senior Living 100, SMASH, and others throughout the year.

This will demonstrate that your community values continued education and that it’s bringing back and applying the concepts and techniques learned. Not only will this effort help build trust with prospective residents, it will open your organization up to thought leadership opportunities. In a world where trust is fleeting, the added credibility your senior living marketing team will gain by creating content to address massive industry changes will become a beacon for positive attention.

Contact Our Team to Refresh Your Senior Living Community Marketing and Communication Strategy

Staying up-to-speed in the continuously evolving and competitive senior housing industry requires proactive steps, sound investments and strategic planning. It also requires deftly communicating how your senior living community is doing all the above to assure prospective residents and ACIs that your community is indeed the right and best choice.

Our team can certainly advise your senior living community as we do for our client partners. Contact us, and we can help your community update, refresh, and attract its ideal residents to surpass your organizational goals.

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