You are on page 1of 36

December 12th, 2013 Barbara Seibel 1750 Abbott Road Anchorage, Alaska 99507 Dear Ms.

Seibel: Attached you will find my feasibility report titled, “Refreshing the Anchorage Office: A Recommendation Report.” I have completed all of the tasks anticipated in the initial proposal dated October 18th, 2013: researching the Alaska demographic data to determine if our Anchorage office will likely see an increase in visitors, researching the estimated future demand in human health services, surveying a sample group of students in regards to the curbside appeal of our office, identifying rebranding opportunities, discussing volunteer opportunities with the development director, researching office décor options, researching funding that is available for facility improvements, determining the cost of restoring and maintaining the facility grounds, estimating the cost of updating the Anchorage lobby, evaluating the completed surveys, and also determining if the project is feasible. I have conducted primary and secondary research to determine if refreshing the Anchorage office is feasible for the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska at this time. I researched the Alaska senior population and estimated growth. With this research I was able to find information that projected the demand for senior health services in the upcoming years. I surveyed a sample of students at UAA regarding the curbside appeal of the Anchorage office. The information I collect from the survey will serve as my primary research. I studied various articles about office décor and marketing techniques. I also met with my associates in the office to gather their thoughts and concerns regarding the Anchorage office. I have listed the estimated costs of refreshing the lobby and facility grounds at the end of this report. I have used the criteria listed in the initial progress report to evaluate all of the information I collected. Finally, I have made my recommendation regarding the feasibility of refreshing the Anchorage office. My findings suggest that the senior population is increasing quickly. The demand for human healthcare services in the senior population is dramatically growing as well. My primary and secondary research suggests that we need to make some changes at the Anchorage office. I was able to identify and recommend projects that will help us improve the overall atmosphere of the Anchorage office while aiding in our marketing and rebranding efforts. If we use our office to make our resources more accessible to the community we serve, while sharing our mission and dedication to Alaska, we will be able to stay competitive within the market and be successful in the years ahead. Based on my research findings, I recommend that we implement refreshing and restoring efforts at our Anchorage office to better serve the community of Alaska.

I appreciate this opportunity to conduct my research and submit this report regarding improvements that will aid the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska in its mission; to unite with Alaskans affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders to ensure quality of life until a cure is found. I look forward to working with you and making the Anchorage office as successful as possible. Please contact me with any comments or questions you may have. I can be reached at the following email address aevenson@alzalaska.org and telephone number 907-561-3313. Sincerely,

Ashley Evenson Enclosures

Running head: REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

i

Refreshing the Anchorage Office: A Recommendation Report Ashley J. Evenson Alzheimer’s Resource Disease Resource Agency of Alaska December 12th, 2013

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

ii

Abstract Until now, the Alzheimer Resource of Alaska’s Anchorage office has managed to function without a major update for nearly ten years; although we have maintained a clean and friendly environment, it might be time to make some changes that reflect our dedication to providing excellent services in Alaska. I conducted primary research for this project by surveying a group of students from the University of Alaska, Anchorage to help me determine if our office needs to make some improvements. To collect my secondary research, I referenced demographic information about the senior population in Alaska, predictions regarding the demand for human health services in the upcoming years, and different refreshing and marketing options that are available to the office at this time. We will need the right mix of marketing and accessible resources to attract new visitors and referrals. On the basis of my findings, I recommend that we restore the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska’s Anchorage office facility grounds and refresh the Anchorage office lobby area to better aid in rebranding efforts, while making our resources more accessible to the community.

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

iii

Table of Contents Cover Page………………………………………………………………………………….....i Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………….ii Introduction……………………………………………………………………………….…..1 Methods………………………………………………………………………………….……3 Research Methods……………………………………………………………………….…3 Criteria………………………………………………………………………………….…..3 Research Procedures…………………………………………………………………….…4 Demographics of senior population……………………………………………….…….4 Future demand in human health services……………………………………….……….4 Survey…………………………………………………………………………….……..5 Demographics of sample group…………………………………………………………5 Rebranding and refreshing options………………………………………………….…..6 Volunteer and funding opportunities……………………………………………………6 Estimated costs………………………………………………………………………….7 Results………………………………………………………………………………………..7 Demographics of Senior Population……………………………………………………….7 Figure 1 Estimated Population of Seniors in Alaska……………………………………8 Future Demand in Human Health Services………………………………………………..8 Figure 2 Alaska Senior and Disabilities Services Grant Program……………..………10 Survey………………………………………………………………………………….....10 Rebranding and Refreshing Options………………………………………………….….14 Volunteer and Funding Opportunities…………………………………………………...18 Estimated Costs………………………………………………………………………….18 Discussion……………………………………………………………………………….….23 Figure 3 Budget for Refreshing and Restoring Efforts………………………………….…26 Conclusion……………………………………………………………...……………….….26 Recommendations………………………………………………………..…………….…..27 References…………………………………………………………………..………….…..28 Appendix A: Survey………………………………………………………….................29-31

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

1

On October 18th, 2013, Barbara Seibel, Business Manager of the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska, granted me permission to research the cost and feasibility of refreshing the appearance of the Anchorage office, while aiding in our rebranding efforts and making our resources more accessible to the community. The Alzheimer Resource of Alaska’s Anchorage office may be in need of an update; the office has managed to function without any refreshment efforts for nearly ten years and it might be time to make some changes that reflect our dedication to providing excellent services in the community. Many organizations within the state of Alaska are predicting a major increase in Alaska’s senior population; this may be an opportune time to implement new rebranding and refreshment efforts. We have a great lobby space and beautiful facility grounds; both which have been neglected over the years. We need to restore our image internally and externally to make our organization more evident within the community. I conducted demographic research to see exactly how much of the senior population is expected to increase in the next five to twenty-five years. We could potentially see a huge increase in the number of people we serve at our Anchorage office. We will need the right mix of marketing and accessible resources to attract new visitors and referrals. I have gathered some information regarding marketing techniques and rebranding strategies to help me determine if we are utilizing our office appropriately. Considering all of the competition between senior care providers, remaining competitive within today’s market is going to be really important for the longevity of this organization. If we can make our resources as accessible as possible and utilize our office space appropriately, we can create a memorable environment for our visitors and our staff. Although our rebranding efforts were implemented a few years ago, we are still only mid-way through the process.

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

2

We have an urgent need for more marketing and rebranding efforts to take place. At the same time, we need to increase the accessibility of our resources and the appearance of our office building. The Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska needs to refresh the appearance of the Anchorage office, while rebranding the agency’s name and reputation of great service within the community. For these reasons noted throughout this report, I asked Barb Seibel to grant me approval to conduct research to determine if refreshing the Anchorage office is feasible at this time. First, I have conducted both primary and secondary research to answer the question of feasibility. I referenced text estimating the future senior population and predictions that addressed the need for senior care services in the upcoming years. I created and distributed a survey to collect secondary data relating to the appearance of the Anchorage office and office buildings in general. Additionally, I researched interior design articles relating to how office environments affect mood and behavior and I met with my colleges at the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska to collect suggestions and concerns regarding the Anchorage office. All of the information I collected was relevant to this project and all of my research efforts suggest a need for improvement at the Anchorage office. Through my research I found that the senior population in Alaska is one of the fastest growing senior populations within the nation. The senior population is expected to expand for at least the next twenty years. With such a significant increase, the future demand for human health services in the elderly population are expected to increase as well. This may be a prime time to consider upgrades and improvements at the Anchorage office. Through both primary and secondary research, I found that our Anchorage office is in need of some minor improvements both inside and outside the building. We need to restore the

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

3

facility grounds and implement a maintenance schedule. The lobby appearance needs to be refreshed to promote our excellent services available to the community. In the following sections of this report, I have included: my research methods, the results of my research, a discussion, my recommendation and a conclusion. Methods Research Methods To collect the information I needed to determine if refreshing efforts are feasible at this time, I performed the following research:  research the Alaska demographic data to determine if our Anchorage office will likely see a remarkable increase in clients, caregivers, and visitors, as the baby boomer population grows older and requires our services research estimates of the future demand in human health services survey student population regarding current state of the facility discuss marketing ideas and branding opportunities for the Anchorage lobby with associates discuss volunteer opportunities with Development Director research on-site marketing strategies research creative/inexpensive office décor options research grants and funding available for facility improvements determine the cost of restoring the facility grounds determine the cost of maintaining the facility grounds determine the cost of updating the wall coverings/marketing tools determine the cost of updating the office decor and repainting evaluate the surveys to see what primary data suggests determine if the project is feasible

            

Criteria In order to effectively research information, I created a list of criteria questions to help me answer the question of feasibility:   Does a demographic analysis suggest that the population of elders in this community will double in the upcoming years? If the population of people over the age of 65 expands in forthcoming years, can we expect an increase in the demand of human services?

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

4

       

Does our agency have curbside appeal? Does the survey data suggest that the organization needs to restore its facility’s appearance? Does our facility’s appearance need to be refreshed to reflect and maintain a professional and attractive environment? Will the facility improvements help with rebranding the company logo? Are there innovative office décor options within our budget? Do we have the staff, volunteer, and/or resources to implement the project? Is there funding available to make the improvements? Are my proposed refreshment efforts feasible for the Anchorage office at this time?

Research Procedures Demographics of senior population. I researched the estimated senior population in the upcoming years to determine if Alaska expects to see a significant increase in the senior population. I found most of the information I needed in the Alaska Commission on Aging’s FY 2012 Annual Report (2013). This particular annual report was very informative and presented a lot of demographic information about Alaska’s senior population. The Alaska Commission on Aging cited information from other Alaskan organizations such as the Alaska Department of Labor who provided the senior population figures for recent years passed. The Alaska Commission on Aging FY2012 Annual Report (2013) estimated the annual growth rate of the senior population to be 6.97% which is critical for my research. In addition, I reference an article titled, A Profile of Older Americans: 2011 written by the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2012). This article compared the senior populations of Alaska to those of the other 49 states in the nation. All of the data that I collected aided me in my understanding of expected senior population within the communities of Alaska. Future demand in human health services. To assist me in my detection of the probable demand in human health services for the forthcoming years, I referenced the Alaska Commission on Aging’s FY 2012 Annual Report published in 2013. The annual report touched on the growth rate of the Senior and Disabilities Services senior grant program which is the largest grant

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

5

program that we use at the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska to help fund In-home services and care coordination services for the seniors of Alaska within region I, IV, V, VII, and VIII. The number of recipients of this program has doubled from 2009-2012 (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013). The Senior and Disabilities Services grant program is designed to keep seniors in their homes as long as possible by using professional support services to aid the client. I used this information to determine if the Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska would likely see a rise in future demand for the human services we provide to the community. Survey. To determine if our facility is accessible and appealing, I surveyed a sample of individuals enrolled in English 212 at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. My intentions were to answer the following question, “Does our agency have curb-side appeal?” and “Does the survey data suggest that the organization needs to restore its facility’s appearance?” The survey was developed to document the survey sample’s expectations regarding the appearance of the Anchorage office building and the likelihood that they would visit the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska’s Anchorage, office. I used the information I received from the survey to help me evaluate the Anchorage office’s curbside appeal and accessibility. All of the names of the individuals that participated in the survey are being kept confidential. The survey questions and the raw data can be seen in Appendix A, The Anchorage Office Survey. Demographics of sample group. I distributed the survey to a sample group of 27 students who are enrolled in English 212 at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. The survey was available to the entire English class, but only 27 students completed the survey. The demographics of the students are as follows: 70% were females and 30% males; 22% reside in Anchorage and 78% do not; 30% never resided in Anchorage, 37% have resided in Anchorage

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

6

for 0-5 years, 14% have resided in Anchorage for 6-15 years, and 19% have resided in Anchorage for 16 or more years; 52% are age 18-25, 37% are age 26-35, and 11% are age 36-45. Rebranding and refreshing options. I enlisted the aid of my colleagues to help me detect the best rebranding and refreshment options for the Anchorage office. I met with my associates at the Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska: Lorraine Guyer; Fund Development Director, Bryce Hyslip; Communications Specialist, Vanda Hoecher; Receptionist, and Angela Anderson; Executive Assistant. Together we were able to identify some areas within the office that are in need of improvements. By referencing all of our areas of expertise, we were able to pinpoint many factors relevant to the Anchorage office and several effective marketing opportunities that could aid in our rebranding efforts. I conducted secondary research to determine what qualities create a positive environment for both staff and clients. I found that certain colors and lighting affects behavior and mood. I researched various different articles and publications to gather and record relevant information regarding the appearance of an office. I was able to find some options that may be reasonable for this project. All of the research I collected can aid in the refreshment and rebranding efforts at the Anchorage office. Volunteer and funding opportunities. To assist me in answering the question, “Do we have the staff, volunteer, and/or resources to implement the project?” I solicited the knowledge of Lorraine Guyer; Fund Development Director. My goal was to find the most feasible options for our potential refreshing efforts. If we are able to find volunteers and funding to assist with the labor, we can invest more funds into our senior programs. Once we determine which parts of the project we are going to implement, I can further research specific funding and grants to aid in our efforts.

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

7

Estimated costs. I recorded the estimated cost of restoring the facility grounds and maintaining a professional appearance by requesting estimates from companies we have used before. I researched the cost of the proposed lobby refreshment projects outlined in this report. These estimates are good indicators of the cost associated with the projects proposed in my report. I was able to find inexpensive additions to the Anchorage lobby, while discovering some new marketing tools at the same time. Results Demographics of Senior Population The Alaska Commission on Aging’s Annual Report (2013) cited the Alaska Department of Labor who estimated that the 2010 Alaska senior population was 55,237. The estimated annual growth rate is 6.97%, indicating an increase of 3,850 seniors each year based on this 2010 estimate (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013). The annual report indicates that there is a need in the community for more quality training of professionals, family caregivers, with an emphasis on safety, (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013). Considering the projected increase in the senior population, we could potentially see a significant increase in the demand for public informational classes and professional trainings within the state of Alaska. All of our resource offices are likely to see an increase in the amount of services we are providing the communities of Alaska. The article titled “A Profile of Older Americans:2011,” and written by the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , found that in 2010, the state of Alaska had the fastest growing population of seniors compared to the entire nation (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2012). Considering the numbers provided by the Alaska Commission on Aging, Alaska Department of Labor, Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Alaska is going to see a significant rise in the senior population in the current and upcoming years. It is estimated that the senior population will

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

8

increase from 55,237 in 2010, to over 150,000 in 2035 (Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 2012) see Figure 1 Estimated Population of Seniors in Alaska. That is an increase of over 94,000 seniors in 25 years.

Estimated Population of Seniors in Alaska for Year 2035
200000

100000
0 2010 2035

Senior Pop.

Figure 1. Estimated Population of Seniors in Alaska Future Demand in Human Health Services The FY 2012 Annual Report published by the Alaska Commission on Aging (2013) stated that in 2011, 45% of Alaska’s seniors (65+) were disabled. This number increased by 25% between 2009 and 2011 (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013). The Southcentral region of Alaska has the highest population of seniors comparatively to the rest of the state (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013). Our Anchorage office will likely start to see more walk-ins as our senior population soars in the Southcentral region of Alaska. “The number of recipients served by the Division of Senior and Disabilities Services senior grant program continues to grow from 15,352 in FY2009, to 21,261 in FY2010, 25,000 in FY2011 to 31,000 in FY2012,” (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013) see Figure 2 Alaska Senior and Disabilities Services Grant Program. This particular grant funds services for many of our clients. We will need to stay

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

9

competitive in the market to be able to facilitate more clients with consistent and effective quality services. With the rising cost of assisted living homes, we could potentially see a raise in the use of our services that are designed to keep seniors in their homes longer at a cost that is sustainable for the client’s limited income. “Alaska continues to have the highest nursing home costs in the country at $678 per day of $247,470 average cost per year. The average annual cost in the United States is $87, 235,” (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013). “Alaska has the 7th highest cost for assisted living home care at an average of $58,200 per year compared to the national average cost being $42,600 per year,” (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013). Paula Pawlowski, Chair of the Alaska Commission on Aging can be quoted in the Annual Report (2013) citing the Commission’s 2010 Senior Survey, “95% of seniors age 60 years and older surveyed indicated their preference to remain in their current home. Providing accessible housing based on universal-designed principles and a host of supportive services including home- and community-based services, tele-health care, and assistive technology can be instrumental to keeping seniors healthy, independent and living in their own homes. These outcomes are most desired by seniors and have been proven cost-effective,” (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013). With the anticipation of the silver tsunami, and such a high desire for home based care, our in-home services, care coordination services, and educational resources are likely to be growing in demand.

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

10

Alaska Senior and Disabilities Services Grant Program
40000 30000 20000 10000 0 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 Number of Recipients

Figure 2. Alaska Senior and Disabilities Services Grant Program Survey I have evaluated the data that I collect from the surveys that were issued to students enrolled in the English 212 class at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. This primary data will help me determine if the Anchorage office needs to be updated. Below I have displayed the survey questions with an analysis of the results I received. Please reference Appendix A to view all of the raw data I collected from this survey. Prior to asking specific questions regarding the Anchorage office, I presented a few demographic survey questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. What is your gender? Do you live in Anchorage, Alaska? How many years have you lived in Anchorage, Alaska? What is your age? Of the 27 students surveyed, 8 (30%) were male and 19 (70%) were female. A total of 46% of students said they live in Anchorage, Alaska, while 54% said they did not live in Anchorage, Alaska. When asked “how many years have you lived in Anchorage, Alaska?” 30% said none, 37% said 0-5 years, 15% said 6-15 years, and 19% said 16 or more years. A total of 52% of the students surveyed were ages 18-25, 37% were ages 26-35, 11% of the students surveyed were ages 36-45. Based on the demographic questions that I asked the individuals

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

11

surveyed, I think we were able to capture a wide range of people both male and female, young and middle aged, residents and nonresidents. Next I asked questions specifically related to our field of work to get an understanding of the connection between the individuals surveyed and their relationship with seniors or lack thereof: 5. 6. Are you, a friend, or a family member seeking information about Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, care giving, Care Coordination or In-home care services? Do you foresee yourself being the caretaker for an elderly person now or in the future? Remarkably, all of the 27 students between the ages 18-45 responded “No” to the question, “Are you, a friend, or a family member seeking information about Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, care giving, care coordination or in-home care services?” Moving on, when asked “Do you foresee yourself being the caretaker for an elderly person now or in the future?” 19% responded “yes,” 58% responded “maybe,” and 23% responded “no.” This indicates that 77% or 21 students could potentially need senior care services or information sometime in the future. Accompanied with a Google Map picture, I asked the following open ended question to the survey sample group about our Anchorage office building: 7. Did you know that the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska is located on Abbott Road? What is your impression of the appearance of the building? (accompanied by a Google Map picture) I was presented with a variety of answers. Please review the answers to the question:  “No I did not. Probably not a building that would necessarily stand out. Maybe add some color, some flowers and decorations in and around the building would help the building stand out a little more.” “I did not know it was located there. I would say it does not look like it would serve as a resource center from the current view.” “It seems very hidden, very dark and gloomy.” “It looks kind of old.”

  

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

12

                     

“I did not know where Alzheimer’s resource of Alaska was located. I do like the overall look of the building.” “No, the building looks ok though it is a little blocked by the trees.” “Old, dark and dreary.” “No. it looks like a warehouse.” “Lovely” “Yes, I have yet to be inside. Great idea, though.” “Gloomy” “Looks like a unique building. Is there enough parking?” “No. Doesn’t look very inviting or like it is a caring place. Can’t really see the signs.” “Not the best location.” “I did not know the location of this building. It looks depressing.” “I did not know of this location. It seems to have a professional look and appealing nature.” “I am not aware of it.” “Scary.” “No I did not. Looks depressing.” “I have seen it but never really though much of it.” “It looks professional.” “It looks old.” “Yes I did. I think that it looks like a very stereotypical Alaskan building.” “Yes, it’s a nice looking building, I’ve seen it.” I wasn’t even aware we had an Alzheimer’s Resource building.” “Kind if dull and boring.” I found these open-ended responses to be very interesting. Unfortunately, not everyone

answered the question entirely; some of the individuals that were surveyed answered only part of the question and they did not indicate if they knew where the office was located. Eleven people stated that they did not know where the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska was located. Four people indicated that they have at least seen our location; although none of the respondents have made a connection with our Anchorage office. In response to my question about the appearance of the building, 15 people indicated that there is room for improvement. Most of them referenced the visibility and the lack of color. Seven people mentioned that the building was professional looking. Only 26 of the 27 students surveyed answered this question, so it would be difficult to obtain percentages from this data,

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

13

while remaining consistent. Although this particular type of question makes the data difficult to assess, it does give me an indication of how the community perceives our office building from the road. 8. What is more important to you, the appearance of an office building or the product/service given? When asked what was more important, the respondents answered that the “product/services” and “both are equally important”, but no one answered that the appearance of the building alone was important. Out of the 27surveyed, 48% said that they were most concerned with the product/service and 52% said that both the product/service and the appearance of the office building are important to them. The structural appearance is not too much of a concern it appears. 9. As an employee, do you think that the environment you work in makes an impact on your mood or the quality of your work? Although the respondents of this survey are all students, judging from answers to question number four about the age of the students, and the fact that this particular English 212 class is an e-learning course taken from home to allow students to work a full-time job, I would like to assume that all of the respondents have worked at least some point in their lives. The recorded answers to this question are notable. A remarkable 89% of the respondents said that “yes,” the environment that they work in does make an impact on their mood or the quality of their work, 7% said “maybe,” and 4% said “no.” These results agree with the secondary research I recorded regarding the office atmosphere. 10. When you visit a business office, do you take notice of the lobby appearance or décor?

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

14

When I asked the surveyed individuals about the appearance and décor of a business office, 88% responded that “yes,” they do in fact take notice of the appearance and décor of an office lobby. This data is remarkable for my research. 11. What is more important to you, the appearance of the lobby or the building? Lastly, I asked the surveyed group what is more important, the appearance of the lobby or the building. The majority of the group, 67% said that both the lobby and the building are both important, 30% said that the lobby is most important, and 4% said that the building is most important. Again, this information is great data for my research regarding the appeal of our office. Rebranding and Refreshing Options The interior design of a business office is important for both the employees and the community that utilizes the environment. While our office can be described as “cozy,” it might show room for improvement. While conducting my research, I found that a business’ image is very import. The Small Business Management text book states that, “The look and feel of the workplace should create an impression that says something about the quality of a firm’s product or service and about the way the business is operated in general,” (Longenecker, 2012). I agree with this statement and I think it is very important that our office reflects our values and dedication to great services and resources for our seniors, their caregivers, and professionals within the community, while aiding in our rebranding efforts. It has been mentioned several times that the Anchorage office needs more signs. Because the parking lot is located so far away from the front of the building, there needs to be an indication that the front door is located on the east side of the building. Although there is an employee entrance sign on the north side door, it is not visible from the parking lot. Quite

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

15

frequently, first-time visitors try to enter through the side door. If we had a better indicator that could be seen from the parking lot, it would reduce confusion for our guests. A simple sign that says “ADRAA office” with an arrow indicating that the office is located around the corner from the parking lot would serve our first-time visitors well. Navigating our facility for the first time can be exhausting. Our Anchorage office has a door on every side of the building. The only visible signs on the front door belong to our tenants. A sign positioned at the front window will help direct our visitors to the access door, and may create a more inviting entry, while functioning as a marketing tool too. Another option is to install an outdoor sign facing the walkway and parking lot. This type of sign can be instrumental in directing our clients toward the front of the building, while indicating which door is accessible to the public. Once our clients enter the front door, there is still little indication that the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska is straight ahead. Fortunately, we have Vanda, the receptionist, to assist with the transition from the front door to the lobby. To support our branding efforts, it has been suggested that we install a sign on the lobby wall facing the front door. This way, when visitors enter the front door, they will be greeted by the front desk and a new sign that displays our name and logo. This will help us emphasis our brand to our visitors. “For years, the corporate sector – and now also healthcare – has recognized the role the environment plays in employee recruitment and retention. This translates to the use of softer materials and a more interesting use of color. It boosts moral and soothes the psyche, making staff feel cared for and safer,” (Hill, 2010). I am proposing that we re-paint the office walls and add some color to our lobby with an accent wall and a new organization sign behind the

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

16

reception area. These two, potentially inexpensive improvements, will drastically change the appearance of our lobby while aiding in our rebranding efforts. “Color when applied in the interior environment can have a significant impact on the occupants within that space. Color mixed with light will alter a person’s perception of visual contrast. Visual contrast greatly influences people’s perceptions of interior environments. It can positively influence mood and behavior,” (Russ, n.d.) “Colors previously considered too intense for healthcare settings, such as gold curries, kiwi greens, crimsons and Caribbean blues are now considered to be therapeutic tools that stimulate and therefore can directly promote healing,” (Hill, 2010). Dr. Ullrich of the Texas A&M University is a researcher of all different types of healthcare environments. He describes a beneficial healing environment to be “stimulating, not overly neutral, with an interesting use of color and positive distractions that focus on nature and color,” (Hill, 2010). If we purchase appropriate signage for the front desk area and paint the wall a shade of blue, gray, or silver, we can use colors to stimulate the minds of our visitors while aiding in our branding efforts. With the addition of new wall art, we can complete our wall covering refreshment efforts. Currently, we are displaying a series of mismatched art and outdated posters. I am suggesting that we replace all of our current wall art with updated, professionally produced, posters or canvases. We will need a minimum of two or three very large, framed, posters to display in the front office. Although printing cost can be expensive, we are fortunate to have an illustrator, Bryce Hyslip, to design all of our marketing materials. These suggestions requiring custom-made designs can be produced in our communications department for a low cost. These types of expenses for our lobby have proven to be long-lasting and informational; our last two professionally printed poster boards lasted nearly

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

17

ten years. If we make the right investments and incorporate appropriate designs, we can utilize our purchase to benefit our marketing efforts for years to come. Every time we have a visitor, whether it is the mail carrier, or a client of Tesla, we have an opportunity to display our name and quickly list our main services. Another great inexpensive marketing tool for our front lobby is a flat screen television displaying a visual PowerPoint showcasing all of our services, trainings, resources, and upcoming events. This type of marketing is very inexpensive and the information is relevant to our guests in the lobby. We could position the TV so that our visitors can review our current events while they wait. With a quick installation, marketing tool can up and running for a reasonable cost. Our information table is no longer able to display all of the information we have available for our guests. Most of our resource materials are in the library, but we do have an area in the front office that stocks our most requested documents such as: employment applications, minigrant applications, volunteer applications, recent publications, and current event flyers. We may want to consider a different display method for the documents that are relevant to the front desk. The front desk could use a new piece of laminate to replace the current cracked surface. Behind the front desk counter is the postage center. This area could use a more functional piece of furniture that allows for more surface space and hidden storage. Although the current postage desk is sturdy, our lobby appearance might benefit from a more attractive postage center and we could always use more space to process the growing number of mail we send out. Last, we may want to consider moving our sheet metal puzzle pieces to an area where they can really shine. The donation is thoughtful and very unique, but it is ignored in the

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

18

entranceway. I’d like to consider using it in our lobby space. This would be a cost-free way to make our logo standout among other competitors. Volunteer and Funding Opportunities We have a few different options to help us locate volunteers. We can sign up for A Day of Caring hosted by BP. Or we can notify the Eagle Seals that we need some assistance with painting and maintenance of our building. Also we can attempt to recruit a team of individuals to help us refresh the Anchorage office. If my research indicates that this project is feasible, we can determine which volunteer opportunity fits our needs best and propose our plan to the volunteers for assistance. By utilizing our resources, we will be able to save some money that we can use to fund our programs. The funding for our refreshment efforts is going to be specific to the projects we wish to implement. Once we decided which of the projects I have proposed will be executed, I can find funding that is specific to the project’s needs. Some of the materials we need may be donated for example. All donations and discounts can be accepted as in kind. I might be able to get a discount on a new lobby sign and/or poster board signs. Once this recommendation report has been reviewed and I know which projects are approved, I can determine which funding option suits the project best. Estimated Costs I have determined the estimated costs of renewing the Anchorage lobby while suggesting some marketing and rebranding efforts. To begin, I would like to address the numerous requests I have received for more signage. There are great alternatives to the traditional, heavy, and highly expensive wood or metal constructed signs. This alternate option is called PhotoTex Wall Decal. These signs are original and very modern. Although they are much larger than an ordinary sign, they allow extra room for extra character.

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

19

There are two very pleasing qualities about these signs. One, we are able to design the sign any way we want. Two, they are very inexpensive. For roughly $600, we can have a sign made by UPrint that will cover the entire wall behind the reception desk. The areas surrounding our logo and any additional designs we want to include is usually a solid color. The wall surrounding our logo would act as an accent wall complementing the rest of the lobby. As our visitors walk in the front office, they will be greeted by our logo in an unforgettable fashion. Our wall could be totally transformed from generic and neutral, to stimulating and inviting. With the addition of new wall coverings and a great big new sign, our office lobby will be unrecognizable. To give our sign a nice final touch, we could install track lighting to accent the sign and make it stand out from the rest of the lobby. Track lighting is a very inexpensive way to complement and spot light our sign. For less than $150 we can install a track light in front of the wall sign to highlight our logo. We can purchase a track light that will accent the rest of the lobby and have it installed by our maintenance man Ruben Samtillama. This will be an excellent marketing tool that we can use for many years to come. After walking through our lobby I realized that our new logo is nowhere to be found. I would like to suggest that we update the laminate posters to reflect our logo that went into effect a few years ago. For roughly $250 a piece we can remake the custom poster boards in the lobby on 3mm sintra material using the company Ink Chaser’s. This price does not include framing; I was unable to find an estimate that included the framing costs. If this is something that the agency would like to reduplicate, I can look into the costs of framing the wall poster. Another option would be producing custom-made wall art. For less than $250 we could have some photo graphs printed onto poster board or canvas. This option would allow our wall

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

20

art to be specific to our cliental; therefore exhibiting our dedication to the senior community. To blend the entire lobby together I am suggesting that we go with a silvery color for all of the framed wall coverings, the track lighting, and the accent colors. Finally, the interior paint within our office is in desperate need of a new coat. After researching the positive qualities of colored paint, I would like to suggest that we replace the cream colored walls with something that is more invigorating. By using a nice accent color, we can really transform our lobby into something that is unique and inviting. The cost of repainting the lobby is fairly inexpensive. After careful research, I am estimating we will need 4 cans of paint at roughly $35 dollars a can. A few supplies will be needed as well. For close to $200, we can purchase all of the paint and supplies we need to repaint the lobby area. I am confident that Lorraine and I will be able to find some volunteers that will do the labor free of change. After we refresh the walls and the wall coverings to reflect our name and dedication to providing exceptional services, we only have a few minor decoration and furnishing issues that need to be addressed. For example, the information table in the front office is no longer functional. A long term solution will require a purchase of a new or used table. Until I speak with the management team to determine if there is a better option for this staff concern, I will not be including the cost of a table on the budget. Next, our mail center is in need of a bigger space as well. Depending on the type of table we get, the cost shouldn’t exceed a few hundred dollars. In addition to the functional amenities it could provide, it will also complement our refreshing efforts within the lobby area. If we decide that this is a valid concern that needs to be taken care of, I can find a better table, either new or used; something that would allow us to store all of our postage materials out of sight.

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

21

For less than $200 dollars we can purchase a TV, wall mount, and have it installed. This money would be well spent when our loyal clients, caregivers, and in-home workers are able to learn more about the types of resources and services we offer by watching an information power point slideshow. The slideshow can be created in-house, and Jeff can find us a computer to use for the software. If we are able to implement some of these improvements, our overall lobby appearance will be greatly improved. In order to fully restore the appearance of the facility grounds, we may want to take into consideration the sickly looking trees in the front of the building. From the perspective of the passing motorists and pedestrians, these trees are blocking the view of our buildings. The estimated cost of this task is $300 if we use a company called Tall Trees. It was suggested by a Tall Trees representative that we remove some of the hedges in the front of the facility grounds to increase visibility of pedestrians and traffic. These bushes make it difficult to exit the parking lot safely and they reduce the visibility of our building from the busy intersection. Reducing the size of the hedges will increase the visibility of our building from the street. This could aid in the openness of our office and make our building more noticeable. The cost of removing a few of the hedges is roughly $200. I compared Tall Trees rates with another company called Gage Tree Service to make sure that the estimate was reasonable, they were both within $50 dollars of each other; Tall Trees being the least expensive. We will need to keep the hedges trimmed to ensure that we preserve visibility of the road and sidewalks for our staff, visitors, and tenants. We certainly do not want anyone pulling onto the sidewalk when a pedestrian or cyclist is headed into the driveway at the same time. This summer, our rock beds will need some attention. The rocks seem to be thinning as the weeds are multiplying. Unless we want to remove all of the rocks within the bed, we will

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

22

need an inexpensive solution to address the weed problem. Although I am not a fan of weed killing chemicals, this is a simple, short-term solution until we can identify a long term solution. The going rate for an application of weed repellent is $100. I can get a proper estimate when the summer arrives. Next summer we should consider restoring the appearance of the rock bed that is directly in front of the building. This space has great potential that is currently turning into a wasteland of weeds, trash, and untrimmed hedges. For years, I have envisioned this area as an excellent place to put a sign. If the sign is positioned correctly, it could serve as an indicator for the front office. If we clear out the rock bed and build a sign and surround it with plants, it would be a very nice addition to our facility grounds. If we implement this project we can increase the appearance of the front side of the building, while directing visitors to the front office. With more input regarding the possibility of installing a sign in this area, I can identify the price for this project. Over time we may want to consider adding more parking for our growing senior population. I would like to suggest that we assign a few parking spaces at the front of the building for our seniors. “In large facilities, frail but ambulatory patients may require wheelchairs to cover long distances to their destinations, necessitating dependence on others. A logical building design and adequate parking and way finding, using signage, artwork, and other visual clues, can help patients navigate their surroundings without getting lost or having to depend on others,” (Schweitzer, 2004). In addition, we may need to consider our parking lot entrance and exit. The most common complaint is that drivers are using the entrance as an exit. Unfortunately, the exit is positioned so that it is nearly impossible to pull out into traffic. Drivers must pull onto the

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

23

sidewalk to be able to see if any vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians are coming. This can be very dangerous and it is the root of concern for our staff, guests, and our tenants. If we reduce the width and height of the hedges, we may be able to increase the visibility. Once we get the cosmetic projects completed, we can maintain the appearance of the facility grounds with little effort. Our main concerns are the lawn in the summer time and the parking lot in the winter time. Our relationship with the plow company Candy Auto Body Shop and Plow is great. They are able to keep the parking lot and sidewalks clear all winter long. Their prices are reasonable and their service is outstanding. Our lawn maintenance crew is currently TH Lawncare. They do an excellent job of cutting the lawns. Although they have a great spring cleaning rate of $80 that includes raking and hauling away brush, they do not offer any additional services. I suggest that we hire another company to take care of the weeds and any additional work we may need done. Aside from the day-to-day maintenance cares and the cosmetic project proposals I have suggested, our facility grounds are slowly being pieced back together one project at a time. Discussion Based on the information I found, Alaska can expect to see a significant increase in the senior population now and in the future. The estimated annual growth rate is nearly 7% per year. This indicates an increase of 3,850 seniors each year based off the information I found in the Alaska Population Projections 2010-2035 (2012). One of the articles I referenced in the results section of this report stated that there will be a real need for more training available to professionals within the community and people providing direct care (Alaska Commission on Aging, 2013).

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

24

Remarkably, Alaska has one of the fastest growing senior populations in the nation (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012). Considering that Alaska has some of the best tax rates for the elderly population, we may continue to see the annual growth rate of the senior population increase more. The senior population of Alaska is estimated to increase from 55,237 in 2010 to over 150,000 in 2035 (Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 2012).As the aging population grows older, there will indeed be an increase in the demand for human services especially in the senior health category. The Southcentral region of Alaska is going to see the largest increase in the senior population, because this region houses the largest percentage of Alaska’s seniors. With the increasing cost of assisted living homes and nursing homes, seniors are more and more likely to stay in their homes as long as possible to save money and increase their quality of life. With the recipients of the DSDS senior grant program doubling from 2009 to 2012, again, we can definitely expect to see more seniors requesting services at our agency. To facilitate more clients and resource inquires, some additions and improvements may need to be implemented. Right now our office is just not tailored to represent the types of services we provide. Our rebranding efforts need to be made obvious in our lobby. In order to use our lobby space to its full potential, we need to personalize the area. When visitors walk in to the lobby, they are going to take notice of the mismatched wall art, dingy cream colored walls, and outdated posters. When people pass by the Anchorage office, they are going not going to be able to see our sign through the trees and bushes surrounding the facility grounds. These are all bits and pieces of the information I collected from my research efforts. If we want to present a professional and stimulating environment for both our clients and

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

25

staff, we need to consider which upgrades are needed to impress the community with our dedication and resources. A running power point showcasing our most prized programs and resources will help our visitors fully understand the capability of our staff and how we can effectively help them deal with any difficult situations that may arise within their lifetime. Keeping in mind the expected surge within the senior population, we need to stay competitive in the market as the demand for human health services grows. By making our services and resource more visible within the community, we will help our organization grow and improve the lives of more seniors and caregivers in Alaska. I was able to identify many different décor options that fit our needs. The most important information I found from both the primary and secondary research I conducted was that the appearance of an office building is in fact important to both our staff and visitors. Although cream may have been the color of choice some time ago, more recent studies show that a variety of colors positively influence moods and behaviors. If we use color to create a more characteristic environment within our lobby, our clients and staff will benefit from the change in atmosphere. The costs of the projects I have proposed are very inexpensive considering how effective they will be in our rebranding efforts. Based on the information I collected, all of the projects that I have proposed including: the facility ground restoration efforts, the marketing additions, and the refreshing of the lobby; are reasonably priced. Please take these projects into consideration and know that all of the suggestions reflect the needs of our clients, our staff, and the rebranding efforts we have strategically implemented. In Figure 3 Budget for Refreshing and

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

26

Restoring Efforts, I have included a budget for the proposed projects I have explained in detail throughout this report. Budget for Refreshing and Restoring Efforts Lobby Refreshing Efforts PhotoTex wall sign Track lighting for the sign Reproducing custom-made poster signs Repainting lobby Television and wall mount for PowerPoint slide show Facility Grounds Restoring Efforts Removal of two sickly trees Removal of outlying hedges to increase visibility of the road and sidewalks Spring cleanup and weed killer application Total Cost of Lobby Refreshing and Facility Grounds Restoring Efforts Figure 3. Budget for Refreshing and Restoring Efforts Conclusion Right now there are very few materials within our lobby showcasing our brand and dedication to the senior community. Our logo is nowhere to be found; we are missing out on pertinent marketing opportunities every time we have a visitor. We really need to consider how we can better customize and utilize the space we have available for the public to visit. It seems this area of the building may be the best place for marketing materials and rebranding efforts. A majority of the improvements that were identified in this report will in fact aid in our rebranding efforts. Any addition of signage will support our rebranding efforts we are currently exercising. A simple sign pointing our visitors to the front lobby and additional senior parking close to the building are both improvements that will help us direct the community to our doors. If we can increase the appearance of our facility and the visibility of our signs from the road, we could potentially provide more awareness of our resources. With the expected rise in the senior population of Alaska, we need to be prepared to facilitate more visitors and clients. The demand for our services is likely to increase remarkably

$600 $150 $500 $200 $200 $300 $200 $100 $2,250

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

27

in the upcoming years. By implementing the projects that I have proposed, we will be better suited to provide for the senior population and their caregivers. Our Anchorage office is in need of refreshing efforts that will benefit the community and our staff.

Recommendation Based on the information I collected to determine if refreshing efforts at the Anchorage office are feasible at this time, I recommend that the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska executes the projects that I have suggested in this report to help better aid our community and rebranding efforts. All of the resources that I referenced for demographic information regarding the senior population and the future demand for human health services indicated that Alaska is currently experiencing an increase in the senior population; we should expect to see a remarkable surge in the amount of seniors and caregivers seeking resources within the community. The data that I collected to determine if our facility and lobby appearance are in need of a refreshing update indicated that, yes, we do need to make our facility more appealing to the public. Our lobby needs to show more characteristics of our mission and dedication to senior resources and services. Upon launching the projects, we should expect to spend atleast$2,250. I expect that we will have enough resources, volunteers, and sponsors within the community to keep the costs of our improvement and rebranding efforts within our budget.

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

28

References Alaska Commission on Aging (2013). FY 2012 Annual Report (January 2013). Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section (2012). Alaska Population Projections 2010-2035 (April 2012). Hill, T. R. (2010). The Contributions of Color (August 10). LittleFish Think Tank. Longenecker, J. G. (2012). Small business management: Launching and growing entrepreneurial ventures. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Russ, R. R., & Montgomery, K. F. (n.d.). The Impact of Design Elements on Wellness in the Built Environment (38th Annual Conference). Environment Design Research Association. Schweitzer, M.Arch., M., Gilpin, M.F.A., R.N., L., & Frampton, Ph.D., S. (2004). Healing Space: Elements of Environmental Design That Make an Impact on Health. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10(1), S-71-S-83. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2012). A Profile of Older Americans: 2011 2012.

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

29

Appendix A: Survey This is the survey that I created and distributed to a sample of 27 students at UAA. Below you will find the raw data I collected from the survey results. The Anchorage Office Survey This survey was developed to document 1.) your expectations regarding the appearance of an office building and 2.) the likelihood that you would visit the Alzheimer's Disease Resource Agency of Alaska's Anchorage office. Your name will be kept confidential. Your answers will be used as primary data for my research project in our English 212 class at UAA. You were selected as a participant of this survey because you are member of Krista Soria's English 212 class. If you have any questions or concerns you may contact the course instructor Krista Soria at kmbot@uaa.alaska.edu. Thank you for your participation and your truthfulness while taking this survey. Please review the survey questions below: 1. What is your gender? a. Male b. Female 2. Do you live in Anchorage, Alaska? a. Yes b. No 3. How many years have you lived in Anchorage, Alaska? a. None b. 0-5 c. 6-15 d. 16 or more 4. What is your age? a. 18-25 b. 26-35 c. 36-45 d. 46+ 5. Are you, a friend, or a family member seeking information about Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, care giving, care coordination or inhome care services? a. Yes b. No 6. Do you foresee yourself being a caretaker for an elderly person now or in the future? a. Yes b. Maybe c. No d. I don’t know A. 8 B. 19 A. 13 B. 15 A. 8 B. 10 C. 4 D. 5 A. 14 B. 10 C. 3 D. 0 A. 0 B. 27

A. 5 B. 15 C. 6 D. 0

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

30

7. Did you know the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska is located on Abbott Road? What is your impression of the appearance of the building? (Google Map Picture)

1. “No I did not. Probably not a building that would necessarily stand out. Maybe add some color,

some flowers and decorations in and around the building would help the building stand out a little more.” 2. “I did not know it was located there. I would say it does not look like it would serve as a resource center from the current view.” 3. “It seems very hidden, very dark and gloomy.” 4. “It looks kind of old.” 5. “I did not know where Alzheimer’s resource of Alaska was located. I do like the overall look of the building.” 6. “No, the building looks ok though it is a little blocked by the trees.” 7. “Old, dark and dreary.” 8. “No. it looks like a warehouse.” 9. “Lovely” 10. “Yes, I have yet to be inside. Great idea, though.” 11. “Gloomy” 12. “Looks like a unique building. Is there enough parking?” 13. “No. Doesn’t look very inviting or like it is a caring place. Can’t really see the signs.” 14. “Not the best location.” 15. “I did not know the location of this building. It looks depressing.” 16. “I did not know of this location. It seems to have a professional look and appealing nature.” 17. “I am not aware of it.” 18. “Scary.” 19. “No I did not. Looks depressing.” 20. “I have seen it but never really though much of it.” 21. “It looks professional.” 22. “It looks old.” 23. “Yes I did. I think that it looks like a very stereotypical Alaskan building.” 24. “Yes, it’s a nice looking building, I’ve seen it.” 25. I wasn’t even aware we had an Alzheimer’s Resource building.” 26. “Kind if dull and boring.”

REFRESHING THE ANCHORAGE OFFICE: A RECOMMENDATION REPORT

31

8. What is more important to you, the appearance of an office building A. 13 or the product/service given? B. 0 a. Product/service C. 14 b. Appearance of the building c. Both are equally important 9. As an employee, do you think that the environment you work in makes an impact on your mood or the quality of your work? a. Yes b. Maybe c. No d. I don’t know 10. When you visit a business office, do you take notice of the lobby appearance and décor? a. Yes b. The décor does not make a difference to me c. No 11. What is more important to you, the appearance of the lobby or the building? a. Lobby b. Building c. It does not make a difference d. Both the lobby and the building appearance are equally important A. B. C. D.

A. 24 B. 2 C. 1

A. 8 B. 1 C. 0 D. 18