Caring for the elderly
The 2001 census indicated that for the first time the UK had more people aged over 60 than under 16. Improved healthcare and living standards have contributed to the ageing population. One person in five is over 60. There are now 1.1 million people aged over 85 – five times the figure of 50 years ago.
Many of the aged are able to continue living in their own homes, often in sheltered housing or retirement communities, but there are an increasing number living in care homes. These homes provide residential accommodation for both the short term (providing care or recovery after illness or accident) and the long term. Most cater for varying levels of care requirements, including 24-hour nursing.
Living in these privately-owned care homes costs between £400 and £900 per week, and tends to be financed by residents’ families or from the proceeds of the sale of residents’ homes. Consequently, the residents of these care homes tend to be from a relatively wealthy background. The selection of a care home is often based on location so that the resident is near family and/or friends. Moving into a home is a major commitment, both financially and emotionally, by the resident and their family.
Care homes have tended to be small enterprises operating in converted large houses, but, increasingly, private sector care homes are purpose-built and part of large international companies. One of the largest operates in the USA, Canada and Europe, with 420 homes catering for the needs of over 50,000 residents.
The public sector is also becoming increasingly involved on a commercial, as well as on a statutory basis. The Local Government Association is considering setting up a company to invest in building 20 homes around the UK. Each home accommodates and can cater for up to 150 residents and the care provided varies from cleaning and catering to 24-hour nursing. There is a requirement for about 1,000 new residents each year. This includes 500 who will be short-term residents for up to three months; this sector is important, as many short-term residents later go on to become long-term residents.
LGA Housing now needs a continuous marketing communications activity to ensure a steady flow of potential residents. The marketing department is planning a campaign, which will be aimed at potential residents, their families and healthcare professionals who may influence them.
The above data is based on various articles and has been adapted for exam/assessment purposes – LGA Housing is a fictitious organisation.
In the role as the newly appointed Communications Manager for LGA Housing please produce a fully integrated marcomms plan to meet SMART objectives, for discussion at the next Board meeting. Your plan must contain :
- Situation Analysis
- Business Objectives
- Marketing and Marcomms Objectives
- Marcomms Strategy
- Target Audience selection and justification
- Tactics over time including a GANNT chart showing integrated activities
- Measurement and Evaluation