We are coming up on the long-awaited college basketball playoffs where the best men’s (and in a separate series, the women’s) college basketball team is given the trophy as the National Champion for the season just completed. This is different from the major college football program where, after the season of twelve games or more, only four teams are selected to compete for the title. In basketball, 68 schools (from the hundreds of schools that actually compete in basketball) begin the competition in a single-elimination tournament – lose and go home, win and go on.
This is an exciting time for many people, coming in the midst of other springtime activities – the daylight savings time change with longer evening hours, Mardi Gras, spring training for Major League Baseball, flowers and trees blooming (depending on the location), spring break, and other such fun happenings.
The term madness as applied to this college sports phenomena means that there is such intensity by students, fans, boosters, alumni, and local townspeople in support of their teams that happened to one of the 68 starting the tournaments. Then, as each of the seven rounds goes by, the field dwindles. There typically are surprises as so-called Cinderella teams – ones much smaller in stature or enrollment than more well-known schools and programs take on and defeat a higher seeded opponent and often go on to win a couple more games. Sometimes, a favored team will perform poorly and lose their opening game.
This is why the tournament has garnered the nickname it has – plus all of the office and neighborhood pools wagering on the outcomes of the various games and the last teams remaining.
It’s fine that we have this pastime available for entertainment, but let’s contrast this with our aging in place services business and how we approach crafting solutions for our clients. Our businesses are anything but madness. They are well-controlled, and we are professional. We approach each client to determine their individual needs and requirements and then create a solution tailor-made just for them.
We could attribute a type of madness – enthusiasm or energy – to our clients in the way they want to remain living in their present homes and their commitment to that. They are very strong in their belief that this is their forever home, and we get the pleasant opportunity of helping them fix anything that is not quite right with their home or the way it accommodates their needs so that they have years of happiness to look forward to as they remain in that home.
It’s possible that we could describe our own passion for working with people as they decide to remain in their present homes as madness also – in a good sense. We are so enthusiastic about helping them and so committed to creating just the right solution for them. This is a very personal approach – not an off-the-shelf solution or one of the ones we use all the time. It is specially created to fit their home, their lifestyle, their needs, and their budget. That’s the type of drive we have to make sure we don’t leave their home without understanding exactly what they need and want and then creating it for them – on our own or with our team of strategic professionals that work with us.
Creating solutions for our clients is extremely rewarding and something we take quite seriously – whether they have very specific needs that limit their mobility, they rely on an assistive device for getting around their home and for coming and going, they have vision, hearing, or other sensory concerns, they have cognitive impairment, or they just are getting older and want to remain safe in their home.
March might signal a time of year when people begin focusing on improvements they want to make to their homes after the long wintertime and prior to the warmer spring and summer months, but any time is fine to begin renovation projects. Some people are going to have more urgency thatn others, but all of the work that we are asked to provide is important because it helps people stay in their current homes and not move. Even when the solutions might cost more than they expected or budgeted, it’s stil going to be much less than it would be for them to sell their home and move to some type of retirment center or managed care.
For those of us who like college sports or basketball, let’s enjoy the March Madness that is about to happen and use it as a parallel to the passion and enthusiasm we bring to our clients to help them live in their homes successfully as they age in place.