“Lessons From Santa Claus For Creating Aging In Place Solutions”


Santa Claus comes in many forms and personalities from the traditional elf that we are accustomed to seeing in holiday parades and shopping malls to family members and friends – with and without the traditional dress


Santa Claus is coming to town

It’s still a few weeks away from the Christmas season, but it’s true that Santa Claus will be making appearances here and there very soon. He’s coming to town – or possibly already present.

If we take a look at the way Santa operates, we can discover the positive ways he goes about his business that can help us as we are creating aging in place solutions for our clients. There are some great takeaways in his performance.

In a larger sense, Santa Claus is more than a person who makes an annual appearance but a larger, more generous embodiment.

Santa needs help learning what we need

As children, we think that Santa has the ability to know what we want to receive and then get that for us. However, he has a lot of help. This is the lesson for us. We need to be receptive to the needs of our clients, and we need to listen to them and those around them.

They may not be able to express specifically what they need, but they can describe what would help them – as can family members or caregivers.

It’s paying attention to these subtle nonverbal clues as well as what is actually being shared with us that will allow us to meet our client’s needs effectively.

Begin by asking questions

As children, we write letters to Santa and visit him at the mall to let him know what would like to receive. He is not psychic. This is a great lesson for creating aging in place solutions for our clients. We can’t always read their minds to know what they would like or what they feel could help them. We have to observe their space and ask questions.

As Santa, our goal would be to figure out what people on our list really wanted, needed. or would appreciate if it was a total surprise. Not unlike being a good aging in place specialist. Determine what people want and help them find it, achieve it, or have it. Toss in something special or unexpected when we can.

We also can ask questions with our eyes – observing what is present that isn’t working as well it might have at one time or is failing to provide a safe living environment. Make suggestions about what will improve the situation.

Carrying out the mission

Once we determined what someone wanted – their very special desire for a gift (which could also apply as a solution for their home), we earnestly looked for it, no matter how much effort it took.

We shopped any place we could think of that might have what we were looking for – looking for a bargain or trying to find it on sale – even if we had already purchased it. Then we chose just the right box, wrapping paper, ribbon, or something else special for its delivery to make sure the presentation of our gifts had the maximum impact.

We did not let anything get in our way – no matter how many places or websites we had to call or visit to find the item that we wanted in the right size, color, style, and availability. When we apply that type of determination to what we pursue – a gift or a solution – we can be powerful with solid results.

Being Santa to our clients

As much fun as we have playing Santa for our family and others, we actually have been practicing good sales and communication techniques in the process. We didn’t insert or will in the process but did all we could to find out what our clients really needed and wanted to help them have a better quality of life. When they weren’t forthcoming with ideas, we could make suggestions, but it was still their call as to what they thought they would like to have.

Then we get to experience that Santa Claus moment when we see the expression on their faces with appreciation for what they have received or anticipation for how that item or solution will help them.

As we prepare to enter the holiday season – and throughout the year – let’s remember to take a page from how Santa discovers what people want and then appeals to their desires.

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