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Understanding the Needs of Elderly People in Homes

Write an essay on A home For Elderly People.

Understanding the methods of attaining sustainable competitive advantage for a newly established Elderly Home which is being staffed with multicultural work force

A home for elderly people is a special place with the particular kind of atmosphere. The people staying here have left back their past and have entered the final stage of their lives. The new life they are leading need to be full of care and control. The elderly people need full care in terms of medical facilities, day to day activities and also for emotional support. The institution that provides the support has to be well versed with their activities and should be well equipped to provide them the requirements. To make it done effectively, it is needed to maintain an order so that every day task can be managed but it also demands that the care receivers submit themselves to the institutional rules (PukelienÄ— and MaksvytienÄ— 2015).

Receiving care means that the residents have to accept help to perform actions they were able to carry out themselves for the better part of their lives, including eating and drinking, washing, getting dressed and undressed, going to the toilet. Control means that life in an Elderly people's Home follows strict rules. It is not the individual but the institution that now determine what, how, and when activities are to be carried out (Portet et al. 2013).

This creates potential conflict between residents and staff, conflict which is expressed through linguistic interaction between the two groups. The country's demographic transition into an ageing, aged, and hyper- aged society not only means that people get older and older, but also that there are increasingly fewer young people to take care of the elderly, leading to a multicultural workforce (Mazur 2013).

Preliminary figures based on the 2011 Malta Census of Population and Housing indicated that, at end of 2012, 24 per cent of the total population, or 102,026 persons, were aged 60-plus (Countrymeters.info 2016). Population projections indicate that the Maltese population will become increasingly aged in the coming decades. In the period 2012-2035, persons aged 65-plus are projected to increase from 77,190 to around 111,700—an increase of 44 per cent (Countrymeters.info 2016).

The paper discusses how a newly established elderly Home can achieve competitive advantages to sustain successfully in the market with multi cultural workforce. It shows the issues that can be raised with a multi cultural staff and the solutions to these issues so that competitive advantage can be attained. Further the steps and policies an elderly home should follow to meet competitive advantage is discussed here (Moreno et al. 2015).

Conflicts with Multicultural Staff

Competitive advantage is a concept of business which allows any firm or a organization to outperform its competitors. It can be in terms of cost, technology, entry barriers, skilled workforce, geographical location and other advantages that the organization can have over its competitors. Competitive advantage helps in the attainment of sustainability of the firm in the industry. It can be obtained by the firm through different strategies, like lowering its cost of production by adopting advanced technology, or giving better quality services to the customers as compared to its competitors. It can also be gained by introducing unique product in the market or by differentiated its product compared to other products (Robson 2013).

An Elderly Home in Malta, a Southern European island country, needs to develop its competitive advantage to sustain successfully in long run. Malta is a service based industrialised economy. The country’s strength is its strategic location, situated in the middle of Mediterranean Sea between Europe, North Africa and Middle East. It’s a developed market economy with Gross Domestic Product growth rate of 2.4% as in 2013 and per capita income of $29,200 as in 2012. The contribution to GDP by agriculture sector is 1.4%, industry by 25.3% and service by 73.3% (Countrymeters.info 2016).

Malta population demographic age structure-wise in 2014 is 15.1% of the population between age 0-14years. 12.6% of the population between age 15-24 years, 40.4% of the population between age 25-34 years, 14% of the population between age 55-64 years and 17.9% is 65 years and over of the total population. The elderly dependency ratio is 24.8% and the male – female ratio for the age 65 years and above is 32,903 males and 40,868 females as in 2014. Further the life expectancy is 79 years which lead to further increase in the aged population (Countrymeters.info 2016).

The demographic figure of the population highlights that there is a good number of old aged people in Malta and being a developed economy the social structure has changed from joint family to nuclear family that has led to the increasing demand of elderly home organization by the working population to take care of the older generation in the family. There are quite a number of elderly homes in Malta. As per the statistics of Yellow book, there are around 40 rest homes for elderly people in Malta. It implies a good number of elderly homes exist in Malta due to the increasing aged population and demand for elderly homes (Mitic and Ognjanov 2013).

Competitive Advantage for Elderly Homes in Malta

The newly established elderly home in Malta has to develop a competent competitive advantage for long term sustainability in the country. There are large flows of immigrants in Malta and according to the statistics; there is inflow of 3 immigrants on average per day. It consists of a mixed population of non-Maltese nationals, comprising of Italian, German, Libyan and African. As the working population of Malta is falling over the period, the newly established elderly home has to maintain a staff of multicultural people to meet the increasing requirements (Marburger 2012).

The multicultural staff of the elderly home and the residents of the home often get into conflict due to the imposition of rules for care and control of the elderly residents by the staff members. The major concern of the company is how to develop sustainable competitive advantage with the multicultural staff. One of the reasons for conflict is the need for the residents to submit themselves to the caretakers and follow the rules of the homes. There are two basic rules that an elderly home has to follow to maintain a particular environment in the home. One is receiving care and other is control. Receiving care means that the residents of the homes has to accept assistance for carrying out actions like washing, getting dressed, drinking, eating, getting undressed and going to the toilets. The control means the life of elderly people are now controlled by the institution, It is the institution and not the individual which decided how, when and what activities are to be carried out. Such task when carried out by the staff members, lead to conflict between them and the residents (Link 2015).

The newly established home has a staff member of multicultural who plays the most vital role in the efficient operation of the institute due to its nature of work. Increasing conflicts between the staff members and the residents of the home will lead to negative popularity of the elderly home and will weaken its competitive advantage in the market. The institute need to train its staff member about the methods they must use to treat the old people. They need to have utter patience and should give sincere effort to handle the elderly people effectively (Liang et al. 2012).

To understand the strategies that should be used by the institute to attain competitive advantage in the industry of elderly homes. A SWOT analysis is done for the newly established elderly home to understand the strength, weakness, opportunities and threat of the institute. It will help to understand the internal and external environment of the institute that will further help in building competitive advantage against the competitors. The SWOT analysis can be done in two parts, first to understand the strength and weakness of the company. For that it is necessary to identify the scale and cost economies, the size and financial resources of the institutions and intellectual, legal and reputational resources of the institute. Second, is to understand opportunities and threat, the trends of competitive, technological and socio-cultural environment need to be identified (Li and Guisinger 2014).

SWOT Analysis for Elderly Homes

Strengths: The newly established elderly home has a large potential market due to the increasing population of aged people in Malta. According to the statistics, 24% of the population is aged people above the age 65. These people need an elderly home for themselves as the nuclear family structure has left nobody in the family to take care of them. The geographical location of Malta is the added advantage of the institute. It is an island country and is surrounded with sea which creates a beautiful atmosphere in the country that is always liked by the elderly people as they spent most of their times in the residents. One of the strength of the institution is its low cost structure. Establishment of the  elderly homes requires initial  investment but the working capital is not very high.  So the institution can concentrate on the quality of the service provided to the aged people by training the staff members and recruiting more staff members. The reputation of the elderly homes builds on their treatment to the older generation people. The newly established elderly home should concentrate on the quality of service it provides to the elderly people and develop it as the institution strength (Lee et al. 2013).

Weakness: The newly established elderly home weakness is the multicultural staff members. It is difficult to handle the multicultural staff members in terms of maintaining uniform discipline in the institute. The working habits and the manner of treatment to the elderly people by the staff vary according to their culture. It creates differences in the services provided by the staff to the elderly people. This may lead to conflicts and chaos among the elderly residents and the staff members. Further linguistic languages may be used to show the anger on each other which spoils the environment of the homes. Moreover, it affects the goodwill of the elderly homes and the working population become resistant towards keeping their aged family members in the elderly homes (Lapersonne 2013).

The home for elderly people may not have continuous flow of earning as it is not a lucrative business. It gives more importance to the care and love provided by the staff of the homes to the residents rather than charging exorbitant fees from than residents. It is more of a voluntary service than paid service. Moreover, some elderly residents may be abandoned from their homes by the younger generation and has no place to stay. The institute cannot charge from such aged people and has to give them free services. Some aged people are left alone and has nobody left behind in the family to look after them. Again free service has to be provided to these people. Hence, low financial earning becomes a weakness of the institute (Hood 2013).

Strategies to Attain Competitive Advantage

Opportunities: of elderly homes can be the potentiality of the industry. There is huge demand for elderly homes in a developed country like Malta so the newly established elderly home should avail this opportunity. The changing socio-cultural environment of the country from joint family to nuclear and single family has created the demand. There are more families who are willing to pay high price for keeping their elderly grand- parents and parents in a cordial, loving and caring environment due to the lack of time with them to take care of the elder generation in the family. It has created an opportunity for the institute to have a good earning and use the excess earning to build skilled and efficient staff for the residents (Hollensen 2015).

The advanced technology has given an opportunity to the newly established home to connect itself with the families of the residents across the world through online video chatting. As the elderly people miss their families, the use of technology for video chatting with their dear ones make them feel happy and keep them healthy. It improves the environment in the homes and brings happiness to all the residents. The institute should use such technology and get popularity for its business through advertisement in different forms like televisions, websites, emails, leaflets, newspaper, messages in mobile phones and local cable lines etc (Guo and Bai 2014).

Threats: to the newly established elderly home are the already settled institutes in the country which is providing successful services to the elderly population of the country. In this industry, the homes run on the basis cof love and care they provided to their residents. The already established goodwill and reputation of the competitive firm is the biggest threat. The people will be unwilling to shift their older generation to newly established place Winning the confidence of the people is the biggest threat of the new institute when the existing institutions have already earned the customer loyalty and trust by providing good service to them (Genderen 2013).

Another threat to the business is ill health of the elderly peoples. The institute should be cautious and well equipped to handle any kind of emergencies on the medical grounds. The elderly residents are more prone to weak health and need special care and proper medical check-ups on regular basis.. If there is any kind of negligence from the institute on this ground then it may affect its image and goodwill and hence business as people will not be willing to take risk with the health of their elderly family members (Calabrese et al. 2013).

The SWOT analysis of the newly established elderly homes helps to understand the areas where the institute can work for creating competitive advantage towards its competitors. Some of the areas are discussed here.

Firstly, the institute should work on creating goodwill among the customers by providing trained staff members, good environment and advanced technology for communication and medical facilities. It will give the institute an edge over the other competitors and it will build a competitive advantage for the institute.

Second, the institute should remove the cultural differences among the staff members by following some disciplinary rules in the home. The staff members should be trained of handling the older people with great patience and care. The linguistic differences should not be used as a way of taking out ones anger towards the other. It will affect the environment of the institute and will deteriorate its competitive position. 

Third, competitive advantage can be obtained by providing quality stay of the elderly people with good sanitation facility and cleanliness of the environment. The better is the staying and medical facility, the better is the institute goodwill and makes it have a stronger competitive advantage over its rival (Suryadevara et al. 2012)

Fourth, the institute should have connections with renowned doctors and medical institute to create an image of a well equipped institute which is required for security purpose of the people. Further the staff members should be trained to undertake emergency situation with proper care and stable mind (Suryadevara and Mukhopadhyay 2012).

Fifth, the cultural differences among the staff can be used as strength by promoting the advertisement of the institute in different languages and pooling old aged people of any caste and religion to the institute. This creates a multicultural atmosphere in the institute and should allow the people to adopt each other’s cultural to have more fun ad learning (Stambaugh et al. 2013).

Sixth, proper care service and control service provided to the aged population create a competitive advantage against other. The care service should be provided without any kind of hassles among the residents and staff members and control service should be provide with following  a proper routine for the medical treatment of the company It will definitely upgrade its position in the market and will build  competitive advantage against the competitors (Sigaroudi et al. 2013).

The newly established elderly home can attain competitive advantage in the industry against its competitor by following the above steps and thus improving its chance of sustainability in the long run. Running an elderly home is a slow earning business but with the right competitive advantage, it will be able to establish a sustainable earning in long run. Malta has a great number of elderly homes, so establishment of sustainable competitive advantage is inevitable for the company to survive the tough competition in terms of quality care and services to the elderly population (Barney and Hesterly 2012).

To conclude, the brief of the paper is given. The paper discusses the newly established elderly home at Malta. It highlights the demographic population of Malta and increasing percentage of elderly population has created the demand for elderly homes. There are large numbers of elderly homes in Malta. The paper tries to understand the manner in which the newly established elderly home can create competitive advantage in the country with multicultural staff members. It highlights the problem faced by the elderly homes and the manner the home can tackle the problem. The multicultural staff members were due to large immigrants in the country and increasing demand for staff by the elderly homes. However, the institute with proper training of the multicultural staff can attain competitive advantage against the competitors. There are around 40 elderly homes and to have sustainability in the industry, the institute need to develop strong competitive position in the industry which can be attained through proper facilities in terms of medical, technology and conducive environment in the homes. Apart from that, the price figures for the services should low and competitive.

The paper discusses the SWOT analysis of the newly established elderly home and finds out the areas where the institute can develop its competitive advantage against its competitors. Further the steps are mentioned that the institute should take to develop competitive advantage in the industry. 

References

Barney, J. and Hesterly, W. 2012. Strategic management and competitive advantage. Boston: Pearson.

Calabrese, A., Costa, R., Menichini, T., Rosati, F. and Sanfelice, G., 2013. Turning Corporate Social Responsibility‐driven Opportunities in Competitive Advantages: a Two‐dimensional Model. Knowledge and Process Management, 20(1), pp.50-58.

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Stambaugh, J.E., Zhang, Y. and DeGroot, T., 2013. Labor Mobility and Hypercompetition: Another Challenge to Sustained Competitive Advantages?. Strategic Management Review, 7(1), pp.64-81.

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