In working with our aging in place clients, listening places a huge role. Often they have selected us to speak with them and counsel them about their concerns and issues. Therefore, we have to listen intently – not just to hear what they are saying but to understand it at a fundamental level.
When we initially engage someone or their appointed representative to begin hearing about their concerns or have them share with us what is on their mind, we have just moments to help them get comfortable with us about our ability to really understand their needs and provide a viable solution for them. There are many contractors that can deliver various solutions that may address their surface needs, but we have to look deeper and attempt to really understand why they are contemplating a change to their living environment, why it will help them be more comfortable in their home, and what their concerns are about moving forward with a project – even if the have the funds to proceed.
While most people will have done some type of remodeling over the years – paint, new carpeting, a minor kitchen remodel, new roof, and the like – a remodel that will reconfigure their home to provide a safe and comfortable living space for them over the next several years and enable this to be the home that they can remain in becomes a more serious and important decision than just choosing a paint or wallpaper color. There is real emotion attached to this, and we need to be able to discern this through what they are telling us.
They are sizing us up and evaluating how well they think we understand them, how they believe we can meet their needs, their trust and confidence level with us, the general quality of us to address their concerns, and whether they want to pursue working with us.