All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
Senior living communities offer a broad range of challenges to PMPs. The large number of people coming and going provides multiple avenues of introduction for a variety of pests. The residents may or may not be physically able to assist with treatment, particularly if the treatment is more extensive than what may be the norm for a general pest visit.
Treatments for cockroaches and bed bugs often require moving furniture, clearing all cabinets and may require the individual to leave their home for a while. All of these can be exceptional challenges to our elderly patrons. I have been involved in pest control for the last decade and many of my clients have been in senior living facilities.
To many of the wonderful people I have been privileged to meet over the years, pest management often is not their most pressing need, even when dealing with a pest like bed bugs. Usually a PMP will focus on the immediate need or concern of their client, whether the problem is ants coming through a window, beetles coming under the door or cockroaches in the kitchen.
We are trained in the methodology of solving the immediate problem. What we may miss, and what is so very important, is the human aspect of what we do. When PMPs get into the routine of planning the day, trying to be as efficient as possible to get to as many of our clients as we can, it is easy to forget to take the time to communicate with the client.
Who is the client in a senior living facility? Because a building may be set up as a single account we tend to treat it as such. We only have so much time to do our job and move to our next appointment.
But in a senior living complex, every resident is our client. It is important to remember that. It is important to allow time to treat every individual living in that facility as a valued client, because that is exactly what they are — a valued client.
Einstein theorized that nothing can move faster than the speed of light. I know something that comes close: A rumor started at morning coffee will spread through the building faster than a bad review on Facebook!
If I am called to perform a bed bug inspection I know that by the time I have finished everyone in the building will be aware there is a problem. Communication becomes critical in preventing the spread of false or bad information.
It is common to have residents who have a variety of sensitivities to lots of different things.
Even if the resident is dealing with an insect issue they may not want pesticides used in their home. Practice your IPM strategy and use insect monitors generously. Always read your label if applying material. Be sure to adhere to any restrictions regarding occupancy during treatment.
Also note the length of time the resident must be away while the material dries. Show compassion toward each resident.
Remember, every person living in the facility is your client. Prep sheets should be kept short. Simple instructions are much more likely to be followed.
In many cases, the resident will want to help but may not be physically able to do so. Keeping your prep list simple will help to invest the resident in the process and encourage cooperation.
No matter what type of service you are providing, the property manager, the resident and the PMP always must be on the same page. Some of our senior clients are very tech savvy.
But what they may not know is where to find correct information. As a result, much of the service can be taken up by correcting misinformation found by the residents online.Joel Manion, MD, DC FCPA Past President Dr. Joel Manion was born and raised in the state of Florida and after high school went on to the University of Florida where he graduated and obtained his first bachelors degree in Exercise physiology in The NewStar wall mount, model FPMA-W60 is a tiltable wall mount for flat screens up to 30" (76 cm).
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