How Are Your Senior Care Facility Communication Skills?

Both Administrators and Caregivers are often required to communicate with Doctors, Family Members, Social Services etc, and it is imperative professional communication skills are used at all times. As an Administrator this mind set must be driven from the top down.  The tools and the training of your staff in understanding confidentiality and implementing professional communication skill sets should be reviewed and practiced on an ongoing basis.

All personnel should be trained in effective and professional communications skills, client confidentiality, and be trained in the tools used during all communications based on their role. This includes communication logs, forms that are used in your operations.

More often than not I will call upon a facility and receive just a hello, one that seems as if my call was a burden to the one answering.  What does this say about your operations in just answering the phone? You will be surprised in how many potential clients will hang up or a social service worker or referral agency that often refers clients to facilities or determines your level of care, or an Insurance Underwriter who will determine your premium based on your professionalism.  Are your communication practices hurting your business and even putting it in potential risk?  If you are still reading and have any questions – here are 2 easy ways to reach us now!

Call 800-449-6762

The below information is a small sampling of our offerings to the Health Care industry, and as our client this unmatched program is included in your policy:

Always remain calm, courteous and professional on the phone. When answering the phone, speak clearly and always give your full name and the name of the facility.  Practice this with your employees if you feel necessary but never assume it is being done right without proper training and practice.

Make sure to have a call logs handy to document complete, careful notes that include the date time and full name of the caller and a return telephone number. See that the note is delivered to the individual in a timely manner, what may seem of little importance to you can be of great importance to a resident or other party the message is for.  Add this call log to the client’s records if appropriate and include the action taken on the note.

Take care in relaying confidential or sensitive information. Never repeat sensitive or confidential information as you may be in violation of privacy rights. Only the Administrator, Management and the Facilities Attorney should have access to this information. As you receive sensitive information for your resident from any source, it should be filed and accessed only by those of authority and permission for review. Staff is not one of them.  Staff should be trained on what should and should not be conversed within your operations, including the procedures in documenting and delivering this sensitive information to Administration for filing.

Outgoing calls should be treated the same as incoming calls, always introducing yourself by full name and the name of the facility. Careful note taking is again necessary. Be sure to plan for the outgoing call in advance making certain that you have all the information at hand before making the call.

If your current agent is not offering and implementing a Risk Management plan at your facility as a policyholder, your operations could be at risk.  It is our expertise and offerings that separates SIA from other great agencies with a decent price, as the exceptional agency that is making a difference. Ask our current clients.  For further information this and other Risk Management tool sets, please contact Jim Nocero for a free review @ 800-449-6762 or

Do you have any questions you would like answered? Please leave any comments, questions or ideas below, we would love to hear what you have to say.

From Our Family to Yours-Thanksgiving is a Time to Remember

Hello Friends,

Thankfulness is the theme in our agency this Holiday Season so we created the following message to share with everyone we care about. 

Thanksgiving is a time to remember the things we have to be grateful for. It’s a special time to give thanks… not just for the obvious, like food, but for the thousands of fortunate moments, the multitude of blessings that we receive each year.  
That’s not always as easy as it sounds, especially today. We tend to remember the bad things much more easily than the good. Below are some tips to help people who desire to make thankfulness an everyday habit. It’s a routine that will benefit throughout the year. Please pass this on to anyone who might be able to use it:
1. Begin by keeping a gratitude journal. Try and stay away from writing down negative things; only positive ones. For example, “I’m grateful that I made it through that heavy rush hour traffic safely.” “I’m grateful that I got to see a beautiful sunset.” “I’m grateful that I have a class at school that I really like.”
2. Think of all the good things that happened because something bad happened first. For example, “If that slow driver hadn’t pulled in front of me, I would have gotten a speeding ticket.” “If I hadn’t tripped on the playground, I would never have met such a nice person.” “If I hadn’t experienced unemployment, I would never have acquired the skills that got me a more fulfilling job.”
3. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you do have. For example: “I’m so fortunate to have a warm place to sleep in at night.” “I’m so fortunate to live in a safe neighborhood where I can take walks.” “I’m so fortunate to be able to see the beauty around me.”
4. Think about people you’ve known that have made you thankful for their existence. They can be family, friends or simply people that you’ve read about or seen on television. Imagine how many other people there are who might be equally as wonderful. You just haven’t met them yet.
5. Think about people who have made life hard for you. Now think about the things you accomplished because of them. Did you finish something because they said that you couldn’t? Did you get better at something because they made fun of you when you did it badly? Did their cruel actions make you vow never to treat others that way? Even the negative forces in your life can be hidden blessings, worthy of gratitude.
6. Think about the animals that have given you joy: Dogs that love you with every inch of their hearts, cats that think your lap is the best place to nap in the whole world, birds whose songs uplift your spirit, squirrels whose antics put a grin on your face and so on.
7. Think about the places that make you smile: A favorite hangout, a wooded trail, an exciting city, a great spot from which to view the sky, a hill that you once rolled down. Give thanks for all these things.
Now pass it on. True gratitude involves action. Lend a hand. Pitch in. Make a gift. Give your time. Listen. Give back as often as you can. Even a friendly greeting can make all the difference in the world.

From our family to yours, a very safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving Holiday.

Mike Stromsoe and the
Stromsoe Insurance Agency Total Protection team
Free call 877.994.6787 
PS Get free holiday safety tips on our blog at

More Private Secrets Than a Round-the-Clock Confessional

We are so fortunate that our friends and clients continue to share their experiences with us. Here’s what a few of  our clients Really say!  CLICK HERE

Our goal is for you to be 101% satisfied with your experience with our Total Protection Team.  Please take a moment to let us know how your experience with our agency has been, we want to know!

Add your comments below or here are 4 easy ways to reach us now!

Call 877-994-6787
Fax 951-677-6265

To everyone, a safe, joyous and Happy Thanksgiving!

Everybody Needs To Come Here & Get Insurance

Truth is stronger than fiction.  Here is what Chris McLain who TRUSTS Stromsoe Insurance Agency has to say…

Or you may click here to watch the video on

And if That Wasn’t Enough – Here’s even more PROOF why you should not trust any other insurance agent to protect you and the people you LOVE…

Round-the-Clock Testimonials (click to view .pdf)

Tell us about Your Success Story – As our valued clients, it is of the utmost importance to us that you receive Outstanding Client Service from your insurance company and our agency.  Please share your comments, questions, ideas and suggestions with us below or give us a call 877-9946787.

Workers’ Comp Premium Assessments on the Rise

Employers have no control over the assessments, but they do have control over their final work comp premium. Visit to learn all of the little known secrets.

The Department of Industrial Relations has completed its annual review of the workers’ comp premium assessment rates and to no one’s surprise employers will be paying more in 2010. Much of the increase is due to a new user assessment that will complete the move of all of DIR’s operations over to user funding — a change that is intended to remove its operations from the political machinations of the budget setting process.

The assessments cover the operational costs of the Division of Workers’ Compensation and Cal-OSHA. The fees also go to pay for the care of injured workers whose employers failed to have coverage and the cost of finding workers’ comp cheats. Overall, the 2010 the assessment rates are set at:

Fund Assessment Rate for Carriers Assessment Rate for Self-Insured Employers
Workers’ Comp Administration Revolving Fund 0.015166 0.027736
Workers’ Comp Fraud Account Assessment 0.003986 0.006057
Occupational Safety & Health Fund 0.003064 0.009488
Labor Enforcement & Compliance Fund 0.001924 0.005946
Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund 0.001849 0.002345
Subsequent Injuries Benefit Trust Fund 0.001050 0.001414

Source: California Workers’ Compensation Institute

The new assessment for 2010 is the Labor Enforcement & Compliance Fund, which will support the operations of the Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement. Previously, these costs were covered by the state’s general fund. This year’s budget act, however, did provide for some future predictability in the assessment rates. The budget deal set a three year cap on funding for Cal-OSHA and DLSE at 2010 levels that will run through 2013.

The DIR is expected to begin mailing notices and invoices to carriers and self-insured employers next week. An initial installment is due by January 1, 2010, with the full balance paid by April 1, 2010.

Holiday Kitchen Safety Tips for You

Did you know that more kitchen fires are reported during the holidays than any other time of the year?  Here’s a quick list for you to print out and keep handy during this busy holiday season:

*Supervision is the key. Never leave cooking food on the stovetop unattended and regularly check food cooking inside the oven.

*Get in the zone. Keep children and pets away from the cooking area by creating a 3-foot safety zone around the stove.

*Keep away from the heat. To reduce the chances of bumping pots and pans and spilling their contents, turn panhandles in, but away from hot elements and burners.

*Keep it clean. Keep the cooking area clean and clear of anything that can burn — towels, potholders, drapes, food packaging, etc.

*Roll ’em up. Make it a point to wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto burners and catch fire.

*Is it too hot to handle? Use thick, dry, flame-resistant potholders when handling lids and pans.

*Keep a cool head. In the event of a range-top fire, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by turning off the burner and carefully sliding a lid onto the pan. Leave the lid in place until well cooled. Never carry the pan outside.

*Water and grease don’t mix! Never use water or flour on a grease fire.  Doing so can shoot burning grease around the kitchen, actually spreading the fire.

*Use the right tools. If you’re familiar with using a multi-purpose fire extinguisher, keep one handy in the event of a grease fire.

*Prevent flame spread. If you have an oven fire, immediately turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flame spread.

Print this list and share it with your friends and loved ones. We want to help as many people as possible. Be safe and alert to any kitchen dangers and you’ll be sure to enjoy a wonderful holiday season.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As promised in our Thanksgiving email on 11-18-2009, you can win a free turkey! Please comment here and we will randomly select a winner from all of the blogposts on November 23,2009. Good luck!

Today I am thankful for…..

Today I am thankful for _________. See how many people can do this. Everyday this month until Thanksgiving, think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status on Facebook, Twitter and/or share with your friends and family. “Today I am thankful for_______________”.  Invite and encourage othersto take the challenge. Good luck! Thankful for the opportunity to serve you, protect you and for your business!

Also, visit our fan page at

Holiday’s and Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

It is the beginning of the holiday season, what do you have planned for your residence and family members during these busy times? In addition November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month which is a great time to make a difference.

As you prepare your activities for your residence, early and proper planning is essential in making an impact to your residence and their family members. 

This can be done by sending out notices to the family members requesting information about their family’s holiday tradition.  Seek out as much information about your resident as you can by using questionnaires that requests past activities that the family did together, this may include shopping, cooking, music played, tree cutting, flower arrangements or religious activities that occurred during this holiday time. 

Make sure you get the times the family members would like to be present or the time they plan on taking the resident member out for celebrations.  Try to include the family members in these activities, as in having the resident help the family member bake family holiday cookies at your facility, play a family game as they may have in past holiday celebrations, etc.

Play music that was included in your questionnaire if obtainable or have family members bring it with them, this brings back fond memories for all.  There are many activities that you can include both resident, family members and your staff to make this a special moment.

The information you gather goes a long way and preparing in advance.  Don’t wait to the last minute, please send out your questionnaires/invitations early on so you can prepare the activities. Match the ability of the residents needs and keep it as simple as possible when using the information you received from the family. This family bonding between you and the residence family goes a long way in their confidence in your administration and most importantly helps in the residence developmental needs.  You can take the lead or have the family member take the lead but never criticize any activities but give praise.

I had a special resident that was a stand up comedian during the 50’s, I asked her to put on a short routine for the facility during Thanksgiving week and she surprised us all.  This was a very special time as she prepared for weeks for that day and watching her jokes and presentations come back to life during her routine.  A fire was lit that day and she was awesome and a moment I will always cherish.

Separate yourselves from the ordinary…

Do you have questions or comments?  We want to know, please feel free to comment in the box below.

We have a Triple Whammy Winner

In case you missed it, on page two of our October/November Protection Coach update (click HERE for your copy) ,we noted a very special offer for anyone who becomes a fan on our Facebook Fan Page at

We are pleased to announce Susan Kahakui as the special “Triple Whammy Prize” winner of the triple set of gift cards:

  1. 1. Ice cream at Coldstone.
  2. 2. Movies at Block Buster.
  3. 3. Coffee at Starbucks!

With our gratitude, enjoy!


GRAND PRIZE #3 – Big Screen TV is sitting in our lobby waiting for a good home.  Are YOU ready to start talking?  Tell your friends and family about Stromsoe Insurance Agency today for your chance to win!  Click here for more deatils on the 2009 Referral Express.

The Indepedent Insurance Agent

Are you ever frustrated when you walk into a big box store and try to figure out what type of appliance, TV or other electronic device that you want to purchase and there is no one around to help you.  Makes me consider how much your time is worth?  For example when you get the wrong thing and have to take it back, what it costs in retracing your steps to exchange the wrong thing for what you now hope will be the right thing.

Going to an agent for your insurance and advice will save your time and money.  Only the high priced advertising companies make out on the advertising done by online insurance companies.  The customer, YOU, are their last consideration.  Why take it anymore?  Call an independent agent that “cares” about you!