Stress is a daily struggle. You get stressed about getting to work on time, making dinner for your family, how much money is in your bank account, and how much longer you have to listen to your neighbors’ dog barking.
Whatever you’re dealing with, we’ve all been there. In fact, about 77% of American adults are stressed.1 This stress rate may seem high, but the number has merit, considering what we deal with daily.
The State of Stress
Stress is a universal emotion. Granted, people get stressed about different parts of their lives for different reasons. And everyone certainly responds to stress in their own way. But stress persists regardless. That’s the problem.
The American Institute of Stress estimates that 120,000 Americans die annually from work-related stress.2 While this may seem like a startlingly high number, it’s not that surprising when you consider human physiology.
Human bodies weren’t designed to manage the volume of modern-day stress we’re confronted with. And that’s why medical professionals have linked chronic stress to the six leading causes of death in America: heart disease, cancer, lung disease, accidents, stroke, and diabetes.3
But the problem doesn’t stop there. Researchers have also linked stress to weight gain and substance abuse, both known risk factors for the causes of death mentioned above.
The Integrative Analysis of Longitudinal Studies on Aging has examined stress and the destruction this feeling can cause. They found that the greater a person’s stress, the higher their risk for premature death.4
Stress is a natural emotion, and it can be good. But too much worry is harmful and can actually cause permanent damage if left unaddressed.
What Does This Have to Do With Marketing?
There’s a strong possibility that the seniors considering your community are stressed. They’re worried about letting go of their home and what to do with the possessions they’ve collected over decades. They’re stressing over moving away from friends and family. Not to mention how they feel about the everyday challenges of the world we live in. And they’re thinking about whether or not they want to be—probably for the rest of their lives—in a community like yours.
These are burdensome decisions, so worrying about their outcome is totally normal. Just understand that how your potential new residents are thinking about their future does affect the way they respond to your marketing.
According to the Harvard Business Review, several scenarios are notorious for causing upset to prospective community members. Looking through the lens of senior living, they include:5
- Lack of familiarity with the senior living market
- Feeling out of control about the performance of the senior living community at large
- Understanding what’s at stake if something goes wrong
- Believing the senior living community has the upper hand
- Taking a long time to choose a senior living community
Your new resident opportunities have genuine concerns that are burdening them. And you can help. You can design your digital marketing strategy to connect with your ideal audience in a way that eases their stress.
How to Market to Stressed Seniors
Here’s a step-by-step guide to reducing stress for your seniors:
- Identify triggers: For seniors, this might be leaving their home forever, moving away from friends, or letting the majority of their personal possessions go. When you understand what’s affecting them, you’ll know how to adjust your marketing.
- Respond to emotions: Empathize with your leads and work through their concerns with them. Sometimes, all they need to do is talk to someone before they can let the worry go. Prepare video content that targets the most common objections you hear. Host these videos on your YouTube channel, and forward them to potential new residents you know are struggling with specific challenges.
- Offer peace of mind: Reassure your future residents about their decision. Worried about making new friends? Focus on the social activities your community offers. Show don’t tell by inviting them to an event or open house so they can experience the event for themselves.
Of course, this process is only possible with the right people on your sales and marketing teams. Design your hiring process to identify candidates that are empathetic and well-trained to deal with the overwhelming stress seniors can experience when choosing a community.
Stress is all around us, and if we give this emotion enough power, stress can control our decisions and actions. Dreamscape Marketing can help you navigate the new resident journey more easily. Schedule a strategy session by calling 888.307.7304.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in October 2022 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. For a list of references, please contact us.