Episode 50 of the Senior Care Industry Netcast is LIVE!

We were fortunate enough to have Anthony Cirillo, FACHE – Health, Aging, Caregiving Expert on our show and he offered some great insight and #advice for other #seniorcare and #healthcare providers.

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About This Episode:

EP 50: Senior Care Industry Netcast with Anthony Cirillo 2
Anthony Cirillo

Anthony Cirillo is a Global Practice Partner of GIS Healthcare, a provider of caregiver and related solutions to corporations and health providers. He is also the creator of the Caregiver Smile Summit. A health and aging expert, professional speaker and media influencer, Cirillo is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives with a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania. His consulting and speaking expertise serves a worldwide clientele including Cleveland Clinic, King Faisal Hospital, Atrium Health and Wall Street startups. He is a member of the Nationwide Financial/NCOA Health and Wellness Roundtable and a member of the Bank of America Elder Care Policy Roundtable. Contact him at anthonycirillojr@gmail.com.

Full Transcript:

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry NetCast, 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 us who you are and what you do.

Anthony Cirillo:

Hi, Val, I’m Anthony Cirillo. I’m a health, caregiving, and aging expert, and I fell in love with seniors through my singing career, which was a semi-professional career in nightclubs. And I got out of that and started going singing in senior communities.

Anthony Cirillo:

Essentially what I do now, because I’ve rebranded thousands of times, I connect people and companies to other people, products, and services. I also have my own set of caregiving products as well. I’m a media expert. I write for U.S. News & World Report monthly as well as Sixty and Me, and I’m on the local version of the Charlotte Today Show as well every month. Also, a professional speaker and consultant in the industry, and just to end it, I’m on the Nationwide Financial and National Council on Aging Health and Wellness Round Table and the Bank of America Elder Care Policy Round Table. Blah. There you go.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Man. You do. You’re very busy. You’re busy doing all these things. That’s awesome. All right. Well, for the main stuff that you do all the time, what is the best thing about doing what you do?

You serve seniors, caregivers, and professionals, so what’s the best thing about what you do?

Anthony Cirillo:

Well, I think the best thing about what I do, and again, my career spans, well, we won’t want to say how many years, but my career spans a long time, and it started out in hospital marketing. And that sounds great, and it was. But you don’t touch anybody that way. You indirectly are trying to influence people, but what we do in senior living, even if you’re on the periphery, in some way or another, you’re touching people. And so, for me, it’s the purpose of it all.

Anthony Cirillo:

It’s like I said, my earlier career was hospital marketing. When I finally went up to New York, I took a job with a healthcare company and on Wall Street, and I was out in the Boroughs of New York every day serving seniors. I would stage the events, go to the events, and of course, because I was a singer, I would become the MC and DJ and the singer. And if your name is Cirillo, when you sing Sinatra, it’s golden.

Anthony Cirillo:

So, it’s not until I started using my musical talents in senior living did I really get that fulfillment factor. And so, to me, it’s just in the sharing of information in whatever venue I’m in, speaking, TV, social media. I’m helping people, and getting that fulfillment and giving the fulfillment is the best thing about, I think, what I do, which didn’t necessarily happen in other parts of my career earlier.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Well, I mean sharing your wisdom and your talents and all the things that you’ve learned over the years certainly helps so many, so we appreciate all of that about you. Okay. So, let’s switch gears for a second and talk about online marketing. I ask everybody this question. You’ve been doing online marketing for a long time. I’ve watched you on LinkedIn, and I’ve seen your articles and all that. We know that online marketing can be challenging and confusing. It’s always changing.

What has been your experience or your thoughts about getting the word out there about what you do?

Anthony Cirillo:

Right, right, and this old guy here was actually named a Mover & Shaker in The Social Shake-Up, so I was well with all these millennials and Gen Xers as a social media guy. And the main thing is I didn’t get to this influence or the number of followers overnight. You have to develop a voice. You have to provide value, and that’s the main thing.

Anthony Cirillo:

Too many people want to sell. Even some of my partners right now that are putting social media out there, they want to direct them directly to the sale. And to me, if you … As you know when you watch my stuff, I provide value. I’m going to put an interesting article up there, something that’s going to have you do something that’s going to brighten your day or educate you some way, and then if you want to know more, well, here I am.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Anthony Cirillo:

And so, and I think that’s the main thing is to provide value. My platform … That’s the other thing is over the years, I call it educated aging, that people should prepare for aging sooner in life physically, financially, emotionally. And that’s what I provide every time I’m trying to put something out there.

Anthony Cirillo:

I also automate, and I think that’s important for people. I use Hootsuite. I set up Google Alerts. I follow the trends, but writing’s the key. You need to be able to write, and you even need to have a sense of humor, I think.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Ah, yeah, and definitely a sense of humor. Yeah. And so, and you’re right. And pick your platform. I mean, if we can be all over the place, and we can be in too many places and try to stretch ourselves too thin. So, I think picking your platform and providing value is definitely the key.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

For instance, we do this show. It’s kind of a passion of mine. It’s kind of outside of my core business, but I love it because we get to talk to so many different people across the country. And this is not selling anything. There’s no fee to be on the show. This is just pure letting other people share their wisdom with the rest of us-

Anthony Cirillo:

Sure.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

… in the senior care industry. And I think that’s exactly right. Provide value. Provide something that people will be interested in learning more about, and they’ll learn more about you along the way and your services. So, yeah.

Anthony Cirillo:

Yep.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Getting right to the sales is not always the best strategy, especially-

Anthony Cirillo:

No, it isn’t.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It’s an overwhelming … These, our seniors are in our families are in an overwhelming position. They’re overwhelmed with information, with financial issues, with emotional issues, so educating to me has always been the first step in all of this.

Anthony Cirillo:

Yep.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So, you’re right. You hit the nail on the head there. All right.

Anthony Cirillo:

There you go.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Cool. So, okay. I would imagine over time, there have been other successful leaders or maybe just organizations that have done a really good job, and they’ve either been a mentor or just an inspiration to you.

Who would you like to give a shout out to?

Anthony Cirillo:

Well, there’s so many. I mean, certainly, I’ve had mentors in CEOs of hospitals I worked at. All the amazing caregivers that I’ve encountered in my life are inspirational to me because when you see how much they are juggling and especially look at caregivers today with COVID, and it’s crazy. There’re certainly professionals out there that have influenced my life and people I follow like Ken Dychtwald and Teepa Snow. And I really love P.K. Beville and the Second Wind Dreams and her Virtual Dementia Tour. I think it’s life-changing for people. I keynoted her conference years and years ago, and we’d been friends ever since.

Anthony Cirillo:

But I have to tell you, even just the inspiration I got going to a prep school in Philadelphia that basically made you feel you can do everything and anything in life has served me well. And it’s interesting. I’ve been in touch with a lot of my classmates over Facebook and even gotten together with them over the years and just amazing to see how everybody’s done because we had that foundation.

Anthony Cirillo:

And of course, the seniors themselves. When you’re ever, like I tell people, when I went from hospital work to senior work, maybe I took a little dip in the finances, but I have so many fulfilling stories. The one I call The Story of Esther, maybe we could tell that another time, but once you have those stories in your life, you realize you can’t go back even if you wanted to.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s right. Yeah. But, yeah, our seniors are so full of good information, and I love the stories. And most of the folks we talk to really, they say, “Hey, listen,” because they have such great stories. Their lives aren’t the way they present to you today. Their lives were something different, and they … And as a Gen Xer myself, I know that our boomers definitely are tougher than we are.

Anthony Cirillo:

Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

They’re a tough group. They lived through a lot of stuff. So, awesome, yeah. Their stories are amazing. All right.

What piece of advice would you give other senior care providers or any senior care provider?

Anthony Cirillo:

Well, I think the big one is be transparent. In navigating senior living, it’s hard enough. I think the key to exceptional experiences is trust and communication. I helped start in some way the patient experience moving in hospitals, and I almost rue the fact that now we’ve created more layers of bureaucracy when at the bottom line with all of this, if you create a better experience, communication and empathy are key. I think that’s why so many care providers right now are in so much trouble in COVID.

Anthony Cirillo:

I think the ones who are coping well are the ones who just laid it out frankly. “We have these cases,” or, “Somebody has passed here,” or whatever it is. “Here’s the deal. This is what it is,” as opposed to then getting caught later. And I think that just, again, undermines trust, and it’s going to be word of mouth. And who’s going to go there in the future? So, the industry is being decimated from a brand standpoint, not just from COVID, frankly. So, I think that’s transparency, communication, empathy. I think a lot of these core things, we try to make it too complicated.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, well, yeah. Transparency is so key. Absolutely. It’s just not worth it because at the end of the day, somebody is going to find out about something if you’re not transparent, so just, you know what? We’re all doing the best we can.

Anthony Cirillo:

Yes, we are.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Nobody is trying to hold back anything necessarily. Okay. Last question. It’s supposed to be a fun one. When you have a win in life or in business, how do you like to celebrate by a win? What I mean is it could be anything. It can be a small win. It’s just you made somebody’s day, or you know that somebody’s going to be a success because of a speech you gave.

Anthony Cirillo:

Right.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Or they thanked you.

How do you like to celebrate?

Anthony Cirillo:

Well, it’s kind of funny. I thought this made me laugh when I read the question because as a solopreneur, you don’t have a lot of people to celebrate with.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

After this, you will.

Anthony Cirillo:

So, I have to go in front of the mirror and kind of dance around. But I really pause, and as I think we all should. And one of the traits I’ve learned from seniors is pause and consider how grateful I am for whatever it is that that win was. I also thank whoever is/was responsible for it, and then I make sure to execute on it. And of course, then a nice bourbon and dinner with my wife is probably going to be the capping of it all.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

My husband would agree, a nice bourbon and a good dinner. Yeah. All right, awesome.

Anthony Cirillo:

You can’t get better than that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Well, we will make sure that all of your contact information is with this video, so if folks want to get a hold of you and learn more about what you do, what you bring to the table. Because I know you are a wealth of information and can help other senior community, senior living, so we’ll make sure that all of that’s with this video.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Thank you for doing the interview. We appreciate it, and we hope to have you on again. And give us some updates on how things are going or what’s new with you, okay?

Anthony Cirillo:

My pleasure, and it was so great to be back in touch with you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. All right. Thank you so much.

Anthony Cirillo:

All right.