At Utah Senior Planning, our senior planning services include helping seniors and their loved ones with placement in assisted living facilities. There are several important elements to consider here, from finding the right facility to making the move-in as smooth and simple as possible for everyone involved, particularly the senior themselves.

One question we often get from our clients who are either already in a new facility or soon moving to one: Can I tip my staff for excellent service? Many seniors who live in these facilities greatly appreciate the care their staff provide, and wish to show their appreciation through a small monetary tip. But for a couple reasons, most assisted living homes prohibit this, and we also advise against it. Here’s why that’s the case, plus some other ways you or your loved one can show appreciation to your wonderful staff for a job well done.

Disparity of Services

The primary issue with allowing residents to tip their staff is the potential for a disparity in services between those residents and others who do not offer tips. Not every resident of a given facility is in the same place financially, meaning some may be more able to tip often – this might encourage staff to provide different services for those people, and could result in infighting between staff members.

In addition, there’s concern about tipping habits reflecting other areas of life where tipping is most common, namely in restaurants and room service. Research has shown that seniors, like all people, will naturally associate these kinds of services with tips, and may therefore give unfairly large tips to these employees while shorting employees in other areas. As you can see, there are multiple reasons why management at these facilities generally prohibits this sort of thing.

Other Appreciation Methods

Luckily, there several other ways to show your staff you appreciate all they do. These might include simple verbal appreciation, written cards, or even a small planned event for a given staff member’s birthday or anniversary. In addition, some communities keep an Employee Appreciation Fund established by the residency council, which allows residents to make voluntary donations that are then split up fairly among all employees, usually around holiday time. Ask if your facility has a fund like this.

For more on tips to assisted living staff, or to learn about our estate planning, veterans aide or other services we offer, contact the professional staff at Utah Senior Planning today.