Hospitality for Healthcare: The Art of the Arrival

Karen Coughlin, Hospitality for Healthcare

(ROCKWALL, TX – May 20, 2016) The past two years my family has experienced quite a transition in becoming caregivers. Our journey is like many others in that our parents are blessed to afford quality assisted care. You may be asking, “Well then, are you really a caregiver?” And my answer is, YES!

With every day we have learned from trial and error what we all hope to experience in this season of life. One thing that is certain is that change is inevitable and usually when you least expect it. From doctor’s appointments to medicine to finding just the right clothing, it is an art that my husband has mastered with an organized approach, a great calendar and a sense of humor. Some days have been brighter than others, but I’m certain he wouldn’t have it any other way.

My background has been in hospitality and I quickly realized that assisted care can be compared to a hotel experience in many ways, so I want to talk about the power in the “art of the arrival.” Our family made the decision to have everyone present for my in-laws’ arrival at their new residence. It gave them comfort knowing that all their children and grandchildren cared about them, that they wanted to know about their new home and were willing to take time to get acquainted with the facility and the staff. We decorated their room, organized their belongings and most importantly, sat with them for the afternoon so they could adjust and get comfortable.

A roadmap of the facility, the daily agenda and even the menu are so critical during this transition. So ask questions, get your roadmap and spend time mapping out a great first day and week for your loved ones.

The following are my top 10 questions that I hope makes your transition happy, hopeful and smooth:

1)      May I meet the director of the facility? (Get their business card for communication)

2)      May my parents take an introductory tour to get acquainted?

3)      What is the dining schedule and may I get a menu for the room?

4)      How will we be informed of any concerns or questions? (Leave cell numbers with staff)

5)      May I get an activity agenda?

6)      How will we communicate about medications, refills, changes?

7)      When is laundry done and how is it labeled to secure items?

8)      When does the facility offer showers?

9)      What items are restricted from rooms, i.e. heaters, fans, etc.?

10)  What is the security and/or evacuation plan?

As in your most memorable hotel experiences, the “art of the arrival,” or check-in, most often sets the pace for your experience and this can prove true in our assisted living facilities as well.  So do your homework, ask questions and then move into a great new experience and season of life. Stay tuned for

By Rockwall resident Karen Coughlin, Hospitality for Healthcare. Stay tuned for more of her aging and healthcare tips at

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