Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

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

Suzannah Hart:

I am Suzannah Hart (https://www.insightdementiasolutions.com/) and existentially, I’m a student of life, I’m seeking to partner with others who have a commitment to healing and empowering themselves on their journey. What does that mean professionally? I’m a licensed clinical social worker and I have a practice called Insight Dementia Solutions. So I work with older adults, caregivers, a subspecialty in dementia, and I do traditional psychotherapy, talk therapy assessments in a nutshell.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, that’s a lot. That’s a whole lot and I’m sure that folks… I mean, having someone who has a subspecialty in dementia is so needed because that’s such a hard… If you’re family caregiver, it’s so hard when you haven’t been trained on how to take care of somebody like this and you’re trying your best at home or wherever they end up being. It’s rough. So what do you find is the best thing about serving aging adults and their families?

Suzannah Hart:

I really connect with the experiences and the wisdom that folks have and share. I learn all the time from who I call my peeps and what I’ve seen and appreciate so much is that often it’s never too late for someone to change, to grow, to learn something, to accept support.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. That’s awesome. I would imagine for you, seeing the light bulb go off for some people about their current situation versus how it might be different or better, or how they might make a change or one little thing that might change your whole life. I’m sure that for you is pretty amazing to see-

Suzannah Hart:

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

… and rewarding.

Suzannah Hart:

Very.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. In your lifetime, I would imagine there are other people or organizations professionally, personally that have really meant a lot to you and really guided you on your journey in your professional life. Is there any organization or person you’d like to talk about?

Suzannah Hart:

The inspiration for my doing what I do really was my granny. She’s now passed. She had dementia. I knew nothing about dementia. So she’s the big reason why I’m here. I encountered lots of professionals along the way on our journey and I thought, “I want to do what they do.” There’s a local agency called Oasis Senior Advisors, Daphne and Lisa, and I’ve worked with them. They’ve been super helpful and I love their integrity and their passion. And one of my heroes, who’s not in my line of work in this field is Teepa Snow. I imagine most folks are familiar with her and she’s just a wizard.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

She is.

Suzannah Hart:

[inaudible 00:03:32] mentor all the time to people.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes she is a dementia whisper for sure. Such a great resource. Yeah, absolutely. Those are great people that you mentioned. I know it seems like usually those of us who do what we do have a family member who made a big impact on us as we were growing up and what happened to them and that really does impact us and sounds like you have had that experience too. I would agree, Teepa Snow, [inaudible 00:04:06].

Suzannah Hart:

Yeah. I still have this. I got this from my granny when I was just a wee-wee last and I still have that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely. What a great memory. Absolutely. All right.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Let’s talk about online marketing for a minute. I ask this question of everybody. Online marketing is confusing, it’s ever changing, but it’s often necessary, especially right now we can’t meet in-person as much. What is your experience or thoughts with online marketing?

Suzannah Hart:

As of yet, I have not mastered marketing. That’s certainly not my strength yet. I’ve tried all kinds of things. Again, yet, I haven’t quite found my niche with that. I don’t think about… For my profession, what I do as a psychotherapist, I have had a lot of success with Psychology Today. I use that a lot. I’m not on Facebook anymore. That was never beneficial directly. I think LinkedIn has been perhaps not direct marketing, but that’s how you approached me and I’ve connected with lots of professionals. That’s how I got approached to do an interview with Military Network Radio about a little over four years ago. So I’m still figuring out marketing.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s all right. I think LinkedIn is a great professional to professional networking opportunity. And you’re right. We look for people who have experience like yours and we reach out to them and we say, “Hey, you know what? We want to know more about you because I know our entire audience would love to know more about what you do and what the possibilities are.” Whether they’re a professional or consumer, we interview people that come from or offer all kinds of different services in different for families. And most of them, families don’t even know about yet. So when you bring your skill to the table and share it with us, it’s not just other professionals, but consumers who think, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize there was somebody who specialized in dementia and who could maybe guide us through this journey and help us with some great… She’s got great experience.” That’s why we do this. Is to give people the knowledge that they need to make better decisions and for professionals to learn from each other about best practices and where we came from and why we do what we do. It’s always an interesting conversation.

Suzannah Hart:

Right. I’m reminded all the time of that phrase, “It takes a village.” I think that’s true really for all of us, not just children, not just older adults’ dementia, but we’re relational beings and we really can’t very successfully navigate this life thing on our own. So I connect my folks with resources. That’s a big chunk of what I do. It’s important.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes, it does take a village personally and professionally, for sure. Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Okay. What piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers out there or families?

Suzannah Hart:

What I’ve observed in this field is that it especially attracts folks who… It’s a calling. It’s a true vocation that your heart… It’s a really heart-based, heart-driven. Largely, certainly not always. But for me, it’s been really important to follow my heart and to have faith, trust and belief in myself and why I’m doing what I’m doing. Also to try new things. I worked in a number of different areas of the older adult realm, because I wanted to, until I finally coalesced all those experiences into what I do now.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Having a wide berth of experience. There’s nothing that compares to that. Being able to see all the different things and as a senior care provider, knowing all your resources. And if you’ve worked in them, you know what exists out there. That’s awesome.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. Last question is supposed to be fun. When you have a win in life or business, how do you like to celebrate?

Suzannah Hart:

A number of different ways? But my best friend, my BFF of 20 whatever years, Sean, I celebrate with him and I have a new dog. She’s right here being angelic and quiet.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Very nice.

Suzannah Hart:

It’s only been about four months Luna and we celebrate. And something that has come personally into my life in the last few years is the importance and power of gratitude. So yeah, certainly with like a win or a success. And thank you and I think my granny… But even as a daily practice, even when, and sometimes, especially when you’re not feeling it, like I’m not feeling grateful right now. There’s always, always something, something.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes. There is always something to be grateful for. We are vertical today and that’s something to be grateful for.

Suzannah Hart:

Right.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely.

Suzannah Hart:

And also dancing is really fun and important.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s absolutely great.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Well, thank you. Thank you for answering our questions and for giving us some insight into what you do and why, and the resource that you bring to the table for families and for other professionals who might be seeking that. Thank you very much for doing the show. We appreciate it.

Suzannah Hart:

Thank you so much.