Help seniors live 'full life'

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

YARMOUTH, Maine - If you're an HME provider who's looking for a gift idea for your customers or simply a way to reward them for their business, Bonnie Barchichat has just the thing. She sells the "Full Life Senior's Health Journal," a 44-page, pocket-sized book with 14-point type that helps seniors (and their caregivers) log important medical information, such as emergency instructions and power of attorney. Here's what Barchichat told HME News about how HME providers can make the book, which she sells for $4.95, part of their marketing programs.

HME News: Where did you get the idea for the book?

Bonnie Barchichat: Twenty-five years ago, I started out with my first journal: "Pet Passport." After I determined there was a need for organizational-content books, I said, "Well, after pets come children." So I developed an immunization journal for children, which has been extremely popular. After that were seniors. I have more than 15 books now.

hme: How did you decide what to include in the "Senior's Health Journal"?

Barchichat: I worked with many professionals--geriatricians, dieticians and audiologists. I want the best information, and I want it to be important and timely. I looked to the medical community and the people who service seniors. There were about seven different professionals who made this book what it is.

hme: How can providers use the book as a marketing tool?

Barchichat: In their retail lives, they can use it to get people in the door: Come in and get your free gift and look at our products. Customers often don't expect a gift when they buy a product, so it's nice. It can be a gift-with-purchase kind of product. Or it can be a gift for signing on to an e-mail list.

HME: Can you customize the books?

Barchichat: We can imprint them. Sometimes we bind in coupons. So there are a lot of ways to work with us to promote your products, your services or your community.

HME: Why do seniors and their caregivers find the book useful?

Barchichat: If seniors and their caregivers write all of this information down--things like, where do you keep a copy of your living will--it helps open up a lot of talking avenues.