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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Treating Your Partners Well /   Editorial List

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Treating Your Partners Well

In 2001, we created the annual Caregiver Friendly Awards to celebrate products, services, media and books which have the best interest of the family caregiver in mind. One of our very first winners was a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS). It did not win for any advanced technology, but because the judges thought the company’s commitment to customer service was specifically outstanding. For the first time, seniors who used the service were actually encouraged to talk with the service agents on the other side of the big red button; and the representatives checked in with their clients on a daily basis just to see how things were going. Thankfully, this is a common part of many PERS services today.

When we are presented ads for Today’s Caregiver magazine that are too technical or have text size and background colors perfectly appropriate for 24-year-old designers, but inappropriate for seniors and caregivers, we always tell our clients that the answer is simple – present the materials to their own mothers or grandmothers and see if they can read or understand the ad’s message.

In the 1992 Bill Clinton Presidential Election War Room, the phrase they had posted on the wall to remind those working on the campaign of the mission statement by which they needed to live was “The Economy, Stupid.” In our office, it is always “The Caregiver, Stupid.” To partner with and produce products or services in support of family caregivers, organizations need to remember their mission must be “The Customer Service, Stupid.”

Nothing stupid about that.


Gary Barg

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