How to Engage Adult Children of Residents

Members | July 12, 2015

The adult children of your current and prospective residents and clients have a lot of questions about their aging parents. Your website could help answer those questions -- and help you earn the trust of key family decision makers.

The adult children of your current and prospective residents and clients have a lot of questions about their aging parents. Your website could help answer those questions -- and help you earn the trust of key family decision makers.

Before that can happen, though, your website will need 2 key features:

  • Content: Your website needs articles that answer questions like “How do I talk to my dad about giving up his car keys?” or “Why won’t mom accept my help?” Copyright laws won’t let you simply borrow articles like this from other websites. You need to either write them yourself or license them from a subscription service.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Website content needs to be optimized for search engines like Google and Bing. That way, when someone searches for a particular aging-related topic, your website will pop up at or near the top of the search results. Once visitors get to your website, of course, they’ll also be able to read all about the services and supports you provide.

Not sure how to counsel adult children who are concerned about their parent’s health or safety?

Don’t have a clue how to make your website a Google search result?

A new LeadingAge member benefit can help.  

Content Engine: A Way to Provide Aging-Related Content

Content Engine is a special subscription program that offers LeadingAge members the right to publish professionally written articles, from the PBS-affiliated Next Avenue news service, on their websites and in other communications.

Next Avenue is a national, web-based content service for the 50+ audience. More than a million visitors come to the website each month to get practical information from experts in 5 areas:

  • Health & Well-Being.
  • Money & Security.
  • Work & Purpose.
  • Living & Learning.
  • Caregiving.

Content Engine subscribers purchase a license that lets them use 8 Next Avenue articles each month in any way they choose. Subscribers get to choose those 8 articles and their accompanying photograph from a collection of 12 articles selected by a Next Avenue editor and sent to them in an email.

Articles cover a range of topics that appeal to current and prospective residents/clients and family caregivers. And yes, there are articles about what to do when parents are resisting your help, when to encourage mom to leave home, how to visit with aging parents, and how to talk about money and other difficult issues like driving.

Why Purchase Web Content?

Next Avenue’s managing director, Susan Donley, offers several reasons why it pays to spice up your website with original content about issues that matter to older consumers and their families. That content can help you:

  • Engage new customers: “Offering resources like this is a great way to introduce your organization and its services to older adults and their families, particularly when they are not quite ready to make a choice,” says Donley. “It can help establish your brand as someone who ‘gets them’ and who wants to help them. That way, when the time comes to make choices about where they want to live, you are already in their minds.”
  • Drive traffic to your website: “The content you get from Next Avenue is SEO-optimized,” says Donley. “We use online search data to make sure that the combination of words we use in headlines and articles is the most likely to be found by Google and Bing. When that happens, prospective residents and clients find you.”
  • Save money: “It’s hard to produce content that is good, trustworthy, well researched and well written, and not every nonprofit can afford to have a journalism center,” says Donley. “Next Avenue prides itself on our ability to engage with this audience, particularly around issues that can be scary or hard. We work really hard to be more accessible and to reach consumers where they are.”
  • Expand your digital presence: “I think that most organizations have a sense that they need a more robust digital presence,” says Donley. “Not every organization is quite there yet, but everybody knows that they need to be thinking more about it. We can help organizations move from thinking to doing.”

Many Ways to Use Content

While the Next Avenue material can be used to help organizations engage with family members, hundreds of Next Avenue articles are written especially for older adults. Donley says that most Content Engine subscribers use the materials on their websites or in newsletters targeted to current and prospective clients and residents.

LeadingAge members are also experimenting with creative ways to leverage their Next Avenue material, says Donley.

“Let’s say you are going to do a participatory arts and crafts event,” she says. “So, next to the invitation, try publishing a Next Avenue article about how the arts improve vitality. That way, you are not just offering a program. You are also helping residents understand why it’s smart to participate.”

Donley expects to hear more stories about creative ways LeadingAge members are using Next Avenue articles in their marketing and resident relations programs.

“You are buying the content once, but you can use it however you want,” says Donley. “Finding new ways to make that content do double-duty is the exciting part.”

For More Information

For more information about Content Engine, visit LeadingAge.org or contact Renee Green at contentengine@leadingage.org.