Care Home Management

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Care homes share resident stories to boost reputation

Care homes can change negative perceptions about aging and care settings by becoming better at telling residents’ stories.

This is the view of Colette Lowe, managing director of Chew PR, who says that by sharing the stories of residents, care home owners and staff can cultivate empathy, break stereotypes, and foster a human-centred approach.

“Storytelling has the remarkable ability to shift perceptions and evoke empathy,” she said. “By narrating the experiences, achievements and challenges of residents, care homes can dismantle preconceived notions and biases.”

She added that personal stories also create a connection enabling others to see the individuals behind the stereotype of care.

Colette Lowe

“When families resonate with the stories and connect with the narratives, they are more likely to choose the care home for their loved ones. Storytelling helps differentiate a care home from its competitors and enhances its efforts in attracting new residents.”

Capturing and sharing resident stories requires a thoughtful and sensitive approach, but it can be much easier than many care homes think, said Lowe.

Here are some of her top tips:

  • Active listening: Engage in meaningful conversations with residents, encouraging them to share their memories, experiences and aspirations. Actively listen to their stories, showing genuine interest.
  • Collaborative storytelling: Involve residents, their families and care staff in the storytelling process. Invite them to contribute their perspectives, memories and anecdotes, ensuring a comprehensive representation of each resident’s journey.
  • Multimedia Presentations: Utilise various mediums to bring resident stories to life. Reminiscence sessions involving photographs, videos and audio recordings make it engaging encouraging a higher level of interaction.

“By sharing stories that highlight the achievements, wisdom and joy of residents, care homes can counter negative stereotypes and foster a more positive and accurate understanding of care,” said Lowe. “This promotes a more inclusive and compassionate community, positively impacting the care home’s PR efforts.”

Storytelling examples

During Father’s Day, residents of one care home wrote on paper memories of their fathers in a heart-warming and anecdotal tribute, so touching were the memories that it created a story the local newspaper picked up and covered as a Father’s Day special.  

Another care home had huge success with the media when one resident’s bucket list was made public. In fact, it went viral as the bucket list was completed with the media showing interest in each of the bucket list activities.  The story was covered on broadcast and print media across local, regional and national media.

“By harnessing the power of storytelling care homes have a real opportunity to humanise the care experience, promote empathy, and create an environment that truly values and celebrates each resident’s journey.”

Colette took part in Care Home Management’s recent PR and Marketing Podcast. You can listen here.

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