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Senior Living Consultants Murrieta (2022)

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Valerie: Hi this is Valerie van Leuven with the senior care industry net cast where leaders with three or more years in the senior care industry share their advice. It's six questions in nine minutes. So let's get to it. In a few sentences, tell me who you are and what you do.

Karen: My name is Karen like, and I'm a registered nurse here in Fredericton, New Brunswick in Canada. And I'm a caregiving consultant. And when I started my business in 2016, I kind of gave myself the title care navigator. And I've kept that because actually care navigation has just exploded. So it's a real rapidly developing field. And so I go by the title care navigator. And I assist families to navigate the complex issues that come with caring for a loved one. And I do that through caregiver coaching, and through developing roadmaps for success, and through a monthly peace of mind program. So I do those three things, because I love to help people who may be stressed, overwhelmed, full of anxiety over their role as a caregiver to feel more calm and competent, and capable as a caregiver, even though they're feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and maybe ready to give up. Now, that's been my thing.

Valerie: Definitely, it's a great title. Everybody can use a coach when it comes to this stuff, because there's no, no one's prepared. It just can't be. That's awesome. Okay, so what is the best thing about serving aging adults.

Karen: What I really enjoy Valerie is, I think just some of the conversations and the connections that you make when you're working with older adults. And I find they're often craving it, they're often lonely or isolated. The current situation doesn't help matters. But I find that they're really open and receptive to having a good conversation. So I really love carving out the time to have those really meaningful conversations where you can learn a lot about them about their past, about their families and how they want to be cared for in the future. I love working with older adults, it seems that as my business has evolved, and I've slightly pivoted in the last two years where I tend to be spending most of my time with the children of older adults, the children, their aging parents are who I ultimately serve and support. But caregivers often is my target my client now. So I really feel like it's my passion and my purpose to support them so that they can support their parents and still come out of it and one piece.

Valerie: Yes, absolutely coming out of it. And one piece that is the getting through it and knowing you did the best you can possibly do that, as

Karen: I call it to survive and thrive, to maintain your own health, to have the ability to be a caregiver, and to perhaps increase the longevity of your caregiving role so that you can be a caregiver longer. And I think with all of those things, that really leads to good outcomes for not only them but for their aging parents. So family caregivers are often the unsung heroes in our healthcare system, but I see them. I see them.

Valerie: Yes. Okay, we're gonna pivot just a little bit and talk about online marketing, because you and I connected through some online marketing. So Right. I hear from other senior service providers that marketing online can be challenging. It is ever changing. It can be a little confusing. What are your thoughts and how do you reach out to folks, when your marketing especially right now?

Karen: Challenging? Yes. Like most providers, I probably would rather spend more time in my business, like doing my work, seeing people in the community, rather than spending time on my business. Initially, I was a little leery of social media. Marketing, I'm a nurse. So those kinds of things didn't really come naturally to me. But as the years have gone on, since I've been a nurse and independent practice, I've realized that you are your brand, and that is what people are buying from you. So I've actually kind of learned to really lean into the role. And I'm really actually kind of enjoying it right now. But when I need to do certain marketing things that I'm not familiar with, I do hire out. I've found a great graphic artist who helps me with small things like speaker sheets, or posters for events or different graphics that I might want to use for different events. So I would say like, if it's really out of your wheelhouse, like, hire out if you can, and I realizing that budgets can be tight. So, you know, I know, I was searching for someone, and I was able to find them. But the other challenge, I think, sometimes, too, is that you kind of sometimes wonder if your message is even really landing with people. Like I know, this morning, I did a Facebook Live. And you know, when you don't see anyone pop on, you're kind of thinking like "Is anybody out there", but you just really have to keep showing up. And even though people may not need you today, they might need you tomorrow, or next month or next year. And if you're always showing up as your authentic self, then you'll be top of mind for them. So I just keep plugging away. And I've been just trying to be as consistent as I can and a few different platforms. I try not to overwhelm myself with that. I like to work at a pace that doesn't feel really overloaded or overwhelmed. But I have been working pretty quietly on a little marketing and rebranding strategy with a partner here in my community. While all of this Coronavirus and social distancing has been happening. I wasn't able to see people in the community families and caregivers in the community. So I thought this would be a really great time to just change things up a bit.

Valerie: I totally agree. It's been a great time for all of us to kind of reevaluate and do little spring cleaning, and or winter cleaning or wherever you started. Yeah, and I will say, one thing that somebody taught me about Facebook Lives ,because we're on video a lot, is that do the Facebook Live for the people who watch the replay. If you don't see anybody show up, that's okay. Because like you said, people will watch it on their own time. So always do to live as if you're doing it for the folks who watch it later. And that helps tremendously for me, I think. Because, you know, it's hard to catch people who are gonna sit and watch your Facebook Live at anytime of the day. So unless you're right.

Karen: People are just logging on because they see your live. Yeah, it's so true. And I think a lot of people watch quietly, especially maybe in the sector, that we're in dealing with older adults, because, you know, it's full of a lot of emotion, it's a difficult time, people are generally overwhelmed, maybe a little stressed. And I, I just find that people tend to watch quietly, and many times, I might be out somewhere and someone will say oh, you know, I really enjoyed that video you did, or I really love that post that you had about gratitude. And so you don't always know. But people do follow and people do watch just because they don't engage or hit like doesn't mean that they aren't following you.

Valerie: That's right. Absolutely. And let's say you're everywhere, and you didn't have anybody knew it. Yeah. Okay, so now we're gonna pivot back to the wisdom part of this and that is with senior care, and that is, most of us have a mentor or someone who has inspired them in their career professionally, maybe personally. Who are those people for you? Would you like to give a shout out to organizations?

Karen: Yeah, well, there were two people that came to mind when I saw that question. And one of them was a local colleague here in Fredericton. I have to shout out to my Canadian friends. She's somebody Her name is a Mae foreman. And she works independently as a consultant now as well under the brand silver mark. And she has always been sort of in my circle and always been someone that I would lean in and listen to and certainly go to for advice. And she and I have gabbed about several different projects because we're both really passionate about working in this space. And she just recently relaunched her a product and she calls it the Sunbury box. And it's actually a gift subscription box aimed at primarily mothers and grandmothers in an effort to decrease isolation and prevent loneliness. So it's this beautiful gift box and it's called the Sunbury box. So I just I would love to give a shout out to a mayor because she's a great person who works really, really hard in our community. And so many people tap into her expertise because she's thrilled smart cookie. The other person I would give a shout out to was somebody that I had the privilege of collaborating with in February. Her name is Karen Tyrell, and she lives in the beautiful community of Coquitlam, British Columbia. If you ever get to go, it's beautiful. And she's an energetic, I have to stress energetic. She's a dementia consultant, and educator and an author. And she she supports those that have Alzheimer's and other dementias through her business called Personalized dementia solutions. And she and I collaborated, she happened to be in Fredericton. This winter, it was a bit of a rude awakening for her to come to Fredericton in February, being from the west coast, but we had a great presentation that we did collaboratively in our community. And it was great. It was so well received. And we support each other's business even from a distance.

Valerie: Great, thank you for that. I know those folks will appreciate it too. And yeah, we can share this with them. I know all all our of our shout outs really appreciate folks recognizing that it just makes your heart feel good. So yeah, I love that. Yeah. Okay, so what piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers?

Karen: The first thing that came to me was about connecting, I guess I'm a real connector. Actually, my tagline when I started my business, I don't know if you can see it on my logo, but it was connecting families with care. But I've always been a real connector. So I guess that's what my advice would be to connect with other be people who do similar and maybe different work than you different networking events that you can go to whether they're just in your space, or maybe like a chamber event where you can meet different people from different industries and different fields of work. And really just collaborate on projects, if you can, that there is really more power in numbers. And it can really raise awareness of your brand as well as their so I tend to do a lot of this maybe sometimes too much for my own good. So I was really kind of leaning into the approved senior network because I actually developed a mobile care network of care providers here in the Fredericton area who are all mobile. So we all go to you. So there's a real diverse group of physiotherapy, nurses like myself, foot care nurses, a concierge service for seniors, downsizing specialists, So we really tried to group together to really sort of raise that awareness because as small businesses, we don't have large marketing budgets. So we try to collaborate and raise awareness together. And then I also joined the Canadian Association of self employed registered nurses. And I actually couldn't just join, I had to become the Atlantic director. So yeah, it's just a way of connecting with nurses all across the country. So really, I think connection is key. And really thinking outside the box and not just doing something because you think that it might be on trend, but really something that you're passionate about, and something that you're gonna really kind of light your fire. Talk about thinking out of the box, myself and a colleague here in the community, we actually had a death Expo, where we could openly talk about death and dying and how to prepare for that. It was a huge success last year, and we were all set to do it again in April. And of course, it was canceled. So we've tentatively postponed for November, because we're doing so well here in New Brunswick. So yeah, so think outside the box collaborate when you can. And one thing I always I often say to my clients, especially if they're siblings that are at odds is remember who you work for. Remember who you do this for? Remember who your client is, and what do they need and how can you serve them? Because like I said before, like you're you are your brand people are going to tap into you or your business or your service because they see you. So just be you. Be authentic and be present in your community.

Valerie: Great, great advice. And I that's why I love talking to folks who've had some experience and have been around the block for a while because it takes us a long time to develop that kind of wisdom. In our business life and our personal life and especially in the senior market, nothing is ever the same things change all the time. People are different, the way they handle things are different. And I think the connecting piece, that is an excellent piece of advice. So thanks. Absolutely, you're right. In bigger numbers, we definitely do better together. Okay, so this is our fun question. When you have a win, maybe it's in life for personal or professional. How do you like to celebrate? We've got all kinds of different answers.

Karen: Oh, yeah, I'm trying to think back to some of the past videos that I've watched. The first thing that came to me Valerie was gratitude. I start with gratitude. And I'm so fortunate that I get to do what I do, in a community that I love, serving people that are open and willing to receive and action takers. So clients are so appreciative, I find, especially older adults are so appreciative, they love to lean into what you have to offer them. So Gratitude has been huge for me, I, I start every day with gratitude. And sometimes I find the more things you find to be grateful for, the more it just comes to you. So I start every day with gratitude. And I have to say it has changed my life. On a nice note, you know, maybe if I had a big win, I might celebrate with a nice meal, maybe a nice glass of wine with a nice group of people. If we could do that. And actually here in New Brunswick will, we will be able to do that we're in a new phase of recovery where we can gather distanced. But yeah, so yeah, so I'm going to do that on the weekend. I'm going to do them tomorrow. I have a little birthday celebration for my niece. So I'm sure there'll be a nice glass of wine.

Valerie: Yeah, that's good. Now, yeah, I think we're coming to a point where we can start here where I'm in the middle of the United States. And so we weren't affected nearly. It's not been as devastating as it has been on the east and west coast. But so yeah, we're getting to get together slowly. But surely, little bits at a time, they're opening things back up. And so yeah, it's nice. It'll be nice to see everybody in person again, even if we're not hugging on each other right away.

Karen: Unless you have your mask off, we will be able to do that. We will be able to hug but with our masks. The other thing that I tried to do, too, it just seems to happen. I never seem to be not that I'm not satisfied. But I just always seem to want to go the next step. But if I have a win I find I like to build on that, like for example, I mentioned the death Expo a few minutes ago, it was a huge success last year. So it was almost like automatic. We're going to do it again. And how can we make it different? How can we make it better? What you know, what can we improve? Like, what can we build on? I hosted a caregiver retreat last fall. And it was amazing. And after I came down from the high of having it all I was like on my calendar, when can we do it again? So I find when I have a win, yes, I celebrate it. And I oftentimes look to build on it.

Valerie: That's great. That is the best way to celebrate a win is to go for it again. That's awesome. Okay, well, I you know what, you have done an amazing job of answering all these questions. I know that our audience is gonna love it. And so I appreciate you being on the show. Thank you so much, Karen.

Karen: Thank you, Valerie. Thanks. It was been fun.

Valerie: All right. So that is our show. This is Valerie van Leuven with the senior care industry NetCast where leaders with three or more years of experience in the senior care industry share their advice. Thank you, Karen, like very much. And I'm sure we'll see you again soon. Thank you.

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