In the final entry in our recruitment series, we’re going to wrap up with concrete ideas that can help your Council recruit new members!
Promote your Council
Consider using a wide variety of approaches and materials to promote your Council. These ideas require preparation (development and design) but once developed are an easy way to reach a lot of people.
- Admission package: Include information on your Council in the Admission or welcome Package distributed to new residents and families. Family members may not immediately be open to invitations from the Family Council, but just knowing that the Council is there to provide support can be immensely helpful.
- Newsletter: include information in the home’s or Family Council’s own newsletter, such as recaps of previous meetings or events, notices of upcoming events, requests for volunteers for projects.
- Family Council bulletin board: post notices of upcoming events, previous meeting minutes, photos of events etc…
- Flyers or other handouts available in the home: place flyers, brochures, or other handouts in strategic locations in the home so that families can take copies and review them later.
- Brag! Share stories and photos of your successes widely! Include this information in all of your materials to demonstrate your Council’s success.
Make your members known
A personal connection goes a long way towards encouraging people to attend a Council meeting.
- Create name tags that Council members can wear when in the home. Making members visible will encourage family members and residents to talk to FC members.
- Personal invitations are essential. When speaking with other family members, let them know of upcoming Council meetings and extend an invitation to attend.
- Have a mini open house! A mini open house is when a Council member makes him/herself available in a common area of the home, displays Council material, and invites family members, residents, staff and others to sit with them to talk about the Family Council and whatever else that person wants to discuss. Fun hats or other accessories to wear are optional but encouraged!
Consider an event or project
Projects and events are great ways to demonstrate your Council’s commitment to its goals through concrete action. If your Council is committed to member education, holding an open education night on a topic of interest to families (e.g. responsive behaviours or Parkinson’s) is a great way to demonstrate that your Council follows through on what it says it will do. Consider:
- Hosting a meet-and-greet with home staff. This will demonstrate your collaborative relationship with home staff and give families and opportunity to connect with the people caring for their resident. Hosting will give you an opportunity to connect with families and encourage them to join the Council.
- A project that will improve the home, such as gardening, redecorating, or improving an outdoor space. This will provide concrete evidence of your Council’s positive relationship with the home administration and your commitment to improving the lives of residents. It will also provide an opportunity to ask for limited-time volunteer support that, hopefully, will turn into long-term commitment to the Council.
- Welcome packages: welcome packages are packages created by Council and given to new family members upon admission. These packages for new families typically contain information on how the LTC home works, contact information for various departments (e.g. dietary, recreation), suggestions for visits and more useful information and ideas. The welcome package could contain ideas for arranging a new resident’s treasured items in their new home, photos of events that took place in the home, stories of positive transitions to long-term care and much more. These packages help families successfully transition to the home and let them know that the Council is there for them.
There are many, many ways for Councils to recruit new members. Share your recruitment ideas with us on Facebook!