Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry Netcast, where leaders with three or more years of experience share their advice. So let’s get to it. In a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes, good morning. My name is Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova, (www.rightaccordhealth.com) and I am a registered nurse, and I am an owner and administrator of RIGHT ACCORD Private Duty Home Health Care. We are a local home care agency located in Sarasota, Florida, and we have been operating for the last 13 years in this community.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Nice. So you do have a lot of longevity behind you. That’s a good long time. You’ve seen it all by now.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And of course, this year has been crazy for everybody. But what is the best thing about serving aging adults?

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Well, I used to be a critical care nurse and I worked in hospitals in acute settings for many years. And taking care of my patients in critical care, I’ve seen the [inaudible 00:01:16] being sick and dying, and had a little burnout and I shifted my career into the home care. Because I believe I can make a difference in the lives of aging adults and helping them in their homes to hopefully prevent some of these debilitating issues that can be prevented, instead of going to hospitals and being in my critical care. I love to help them age gracefully in the comfort of their own homes and be there as long as they’d possibly be there.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely. I can understand what you’re saying about being burned out a little bit. I think any of us who’ve… I’ve also worked in critical care and honestly, it’s hard. It’s hard work.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It really does… When you’re young and you’re right out of nursing school, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s constant movement, and the shifts go by fast, but as we get older, boy oh boy, it’s…

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes. Yes. 18 years, long.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. I think that we all have chapters in our lives. And I think your chapter where you’ve started your home care agency, and have been with it for 13 years, that speaks volumes to your passion for this and how much you love to serve seniors, because that’s a long time. That’s great.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. All right. My next question is about people or organizations in your life who may have influenced you. So, over the course of your career, your adult life, I bet you’ve had mentors or inspirations or maybe it could be parents, grandparents or organizations that you just think do a really good job. Who would you like to talk about?

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Well, I love the Parkinson’s Foundations and I love to support the local Parkinson’s Association in our community. And working as a critical care nurse, as well, I’ve seen part of a lot of the neurological disorders and Parkinson’s is a very slow and progressive debilitating disorder that affects a lot of people across, and it’s a very interesting disease that affects both the patients and the families long term. And so, I’m really a big supporter of their programs from [inaudible 00:03:41], from their support groups to really encouraging the patients to do a lot of activities from voice lessons to exercises dancing.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

So our community is very active. On a daily basis have activities that we support on an ongoing basis. I also love Alzheimer’s Association and we could see the rapidly growing numbers of people suffering from dementia. And the same thing just like Parkinson’s, the Alzheimer’s is also a big number that is not even slowing down. And I used to be a facilitator for our local Alzheimer’s Association, for their caregiver support groups on a monthly basis. So I love to hear what families are going through and to be their resource and be able to help them navigate the system and go through the disease process.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. It’s great to have those… Both those organizations are a huge part of our communities because so many people have either one or both of those issues.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So yeah, I think that’s great that those are working well for you and your community. Everybody has their local chapters. State level and local that do great jobs. So, I’m glad you’re a supporter of them. They really are. Those are two of the disease processes as we age that are so long term and can be so debilitating. So, that’s great.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. Let’s switch it up a little bit and talk about online marketing. Well, right now in our world, it’s really hard to network with each other in person. So I always ask this question. I know that online marketing can be challenging. We know that it’s ever changing. What has been your experience or thoughts with that?

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes. Online marketing. It sounds really complicated and I think the marketing of our businesses has shifted from the usual advertising in yellow books and magazines and ads, newspapers, every time we do a business in the past, it shifted into digital marketing. And I think understanding digital marketing is so complex for a lot of people. Me as myself, just really knowing the terminologies that are being used just confuses me from SEO to AdWords and Google Analytics and just blogging and all these social media platforms and all its uses just really complicates the mother. So, it’s confusing for someone like me as well.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. It can be very confusing. And you have a website and so you have dabbled in some online marketing, I can tell. Yeah?

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes, yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And that’s how we found each other through LinkedIn. So that works.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. That’s good. So you’re making your way through it all, even though it’s challenging.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Just really educating ourselves. But I think everything has been shifted to the internet nowadays.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Pretty much, yeah. We received a phone book the other day. Believe it or not, on our doorstep. Instead of it being this big, it was [inaudible 00:00:07:14]. I don’t even know what was in it. We put it in the recycle bin. They shouldn’t even be doing that.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yeah, we still do. We still have a little… Believe it or not, even in our senior community, there’s still a lot of books that are being published just for the senior audience who don’t like to use technology.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. That makes sense.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

So I think that’s what the market is been done.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That does make sense for our seniors to have a book or something they can look through for resources or phone numbers or little yellow pages, because you’re right. Not all of them play on the smartphone all day like our kids do.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Okay. So what piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers?

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Well, we serve the same population and the same experiences and challenges of the shortage of staffing and caregiver that we have right now. The pandemic has really shifted a lot of our seniors into going home prematurely. Sometimes coming from the hospital or leaving the facility because they would rather be at home rather than being in the hospital. Social workers are also sending patients home faster than usual. So it really had increased our business in home care. I’m sure a lot of people in the same industry are experiencing an influx of patients that are being served in the home.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

So, my piece of advice is that… Gone were the days where when we have caregivers that are probably just thinking, “I will be a companion or be a sitter or doing simple things and house a whole task.” And that has become more complex now. And we have seen clients that have high skilled needs such as, having stroke or suffering from [inaudible 00:09:15] after a surgical procedure and they’re coming home, with more skilled need.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

So we need to train our staff. We need to get hone in their skills. And I’m in Florida where much of our staff are not mandated to do a lot of trainings compared to other states where there’s really a mandatory certification for all caregivers across the board. So my advice is to keep honing them, keep shaping better providers, so that we can serve the population that needs them and be more competent.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. I would totally agree with you. People are discharging… In the last several years, people discharged fast as it was, right?

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And now people are anxious to get out of the hospital because that environment is potentially where a lot of people have caught COVID and have gotten sicker. So it may be more under control now than it used to be. But in the beginning of all this, it is still a position where people don’t go straight to rehab for two weeks of learning how to walk again. Or two weeks IV therapy. They come home for all of that now and you’re right, it’s more important than ever that our aides, no matter what state we’re in… And you’re right. For instance, New York requires a certification a lot of times, or New Jersey specifically is very-

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

… careful of that.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

That’s where I came from.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. You know that you have to have your New Jersey CHHA to work in New Jersey. But you know, states like yours and states like mine, here in the middle of the Midwest we don’t require that. So you’re right. It’s up to the leadership to make sure that we’re providing training and resources and making sure our caregivers understand these different disease processes. They don’t have to be our ends, right? But they just need to understand [crosstalk 00:11:21].

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

No, no. That’s why I developed my own program for the training and actually accredited myself to the Board of Nursing and Board of Education to become a CNA on Home Health Aide training program provider.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Very good. I think that’s a great piece of advice for a lot of home care agencies especially when you’re suffering with this issue of not having enough staff. The more you can do for NA, the more you can do for a caregiver, the more you can educate them or provide that training that they don’t have yet. [inaudible 00:11:57], you’ll be there absolutely.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely. Great job on that.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Thank you. Thank you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

My last question is supposed to be a fun one. When you have a win in life or business, and that could mean anything, little wins, big wins, meaning your clients are happy. Or you had a congratulations… You had a thank you email from a client’s family that said, “We’re so happy. Mom loves when Mary comes to the house every week.” Those little things make our hearts happy. So when you have a win in life, how do you like to celebrate? Big or small?

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Well, I like to share my wins with my team and we get to go out and have fun. And when we accomplish special, significant things like, we pass accreditation surveys and we had just have done a successful event in our company, we get to celebrate it together. And I just want a way of saying thank you to them. I do have a great team of staff in my company, and they are really very passionate and dedicated on what they do. They share the vision, the mission and the philosophy of the company. So I really thank them for their support and their work and their hard work with RIGHT ACCORD.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s awesome. Yeah. It takes a team. It takes more than just one of us to run a successful agency for 13 years. So, you have a very good team behind you and some excellent caregivers out there who are heroes every day for showing up and doing the complicated jobs that they do nowadays.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I want to thank you for being on the show, for sharing your wisdom, for sharing with us your business and all the things that are your missions and visions and things that brought you to this. So, thank you very much. This is what the show’s about, is sharing our wisdom with each other and the right way to do business. So, thank you.

Rosemarie Tamunday-Casanova RN:

Thank you so much, Valerie.