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🌟 Exciting Netcast News 🌟

Episode 13 of the Senior Care Industry Netcast is live!

We were fortunate enough to have Brandi Hackett, LMSW, CASWCM on our show and she offered some great insight and #advice for other #seniorcare and #healthcare providers.

About Brandi Hackett, LMSW, CASWCM

Brandi is the Clinical Care Specialist at Family Private Care LLC
http://www.FamilyPrivateCareLLC.com

Ep 13: Senior Care Industry Netcast: Brandi Hackett 1
Brandi Hackett, LMSW, CASWCM

She is professionally published for her article on “Compassion Fatigue” in the Journal for Certified Senior Advisors – and has also been featured in local publications, internet interviews, and radio broadcasts discussing a variety of aging-related issues.

She also has written and presented multiple continuing education classes for Social Workers, Discharge Planners, Nursing Home Administrators, and Music Therapists. In 2018, she was awarded the Marietta Suhart Award by the Georgia Gerontology Society due to her demonstrated ability to provide education and leadership in aging services. Brandi currently resides in Canton with her husband, Jason, and their son, Joseph.

Check out the blog post with the #video 📹 and look for more episodes coming soon as we travel the U.S. to find the leaders in #seniorcare to share their insights, experiences, and joy.

If you’d like to be on our show, check out the link here: https://www.seniorcareindustrynetcast.com/netcast

Full Transcript

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry Podcast, 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. Hi there. In a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.

Brandi Hackett:

Hi there, Valerie. Thank you for having me. My name is Brandi Hackett. I am a medical social worker, and I’ve been in the field working with older adults and their families for the last 15 years postgraduate. Currently, I am serving as the clinical care specialist for a company called Family Private Care, which is a home care agency that provides services both in metro Atlanta, and in metro Birmingham. My youngest client has been 37 and my oldest has been 107, so I’ve had great experience. I would say the majority of my clients are over 60. I also manage a email blast where I connect fellow helping professionals with educational events, unique resources, and job opportunities in our field.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh, that’s really good to know. We’ll have to put that information on your video so everybody can subscribe. That’s great.

Brandi Hackett:

Thank you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So what is the best thing about serving aging adults?

Brandi Hackett:

I found there to be two things, one being their humor and one being their wisdom. They have truly earned their stories. By the time that I meet them, usually they’ve lived very long lives. They have lots to share, and I have enjoyed sitting in that and allowing them that space. Typically, I’m forced to slow down. I have to take a seat. I have to listen. I have to be willing to hear whatever story they’re ready to tell, but I find that they come with the real desire to teach. They’ve been there, done that, and they want you to know more.

Brandi Hackett:

For humor, I’ll be honest, some of the stories I can’t share on a public forum like this, but they always keep me on my toes. Again, they’ve lived a lot of life, so their humor comes from a real place and it tends to be really funny. So they’ll tell you great things. I get a lot of what I call grandpa jokes. A lot of people call dad jokes, a lot of jokes. I think a lot of people, when they think about working with those in tough spots, especially older adults, they think about the sad parts. But I can tell you I’ve laughed just as much with a lot of families than I have done other things. We’ve had tough times, of course, but we’ve also shared a ton of laughs.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. I love their sense of humor. Even my parents and grandparents, they have a great sense of humor. So that is something that we haven’t heard before. I’m so glad you mentioned that because they’re full of fun, no matter what age usually. So the next question’s a little bit of a pivot, but we talk to a lot of senior service providers and we talk a lot about online marketing, because obviously that’s how you and I met to do this and that’s how we do our business. So a lot of senior service providers find it challenging and confusing because it’s ever changing. What has been your experience and what are your thoughts? You mentioned that you have a little email thing that you do, so tell us about that.

Brandi Hackett:

Okay. So I do that privately, so that’s not attached to any business that I have. That’s just something that I’ve done for the last nine years, sort of as a hobby. So that’s enjoyable, but I can tell you in working with home care and in my past in working with other companies, I even worked for a crematory that I helped to market. So talking about unique marketing. I think it is an ever moving target. I think we have to be aware that there are certain levels of sensitivity that are important. So for example, in the time of this, in the pandemic that we’re in, you have to factor that in. You have to be aware that people that are receiving your message at that time are maybe at a different place, or have a different set of names. I find it hard because I think everywhere you turn, you’ll get different experts that are telling you different sets of advice on frequency of messaging, type of messaging, style of messaging, this thing versus that thing versus that.

Brandi Hackett:

I’ll be honest, I have found in marketing, it is basically meeting the people where they are, filling a gap in services that they obviously need, making sure that you do what you say you’re going to do when you offer a service, and then also being a resource for the others in the helping professions in the industry. I find that those relationships are strong marketing and sometimes that can get lost in online marketing. But I think we have to remember that there are people behind the data and behind the numbers and just making sure that we are keeping real life relationships beyond the online marketing.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Very true. You mentioned people are sending different messages at a time like this, when we’re in the middle of an international issue, a national issue, with a disease process or a virus. So even seeing ads, I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I see ads, I think, Oh my gosh, they should have masks on. Or, why are they touching each other without gloves? Because we’re so like …

Brandi Hackett:

We are.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

They’re probably ads or messages that were made way before this ever started, but you see a big group of people in an ad and you’re like, oh. So yeah, you’re right. The messaging is important right now.

Brandi Hackett:

I probably think it’s true too that it’s really a time for proactive planning and a lot of the services that we provide in the industry, unfortunately people wait until a moment of crisis to intervene, but I think this is a real opportunity for those in the senior industry to think about proactive means of education and just making sure that people have access to knowing what’s out there. I’m using a lot of my time when I’m in front of consumers or patients, especially those that are seeking services, just to make sure that they’re checking in all the way across the board, not just by what we serve, but things like legal planning documents, end of life planning documents. I just taught an ALS group yesterday where they have a wonderful hospital planning document that you can complete. So I think there’s a lot of ways that we can continue to support and provide real education and be that asset.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

You’re right. People are thinking a lot more right now about pre-planning and what if, and I should have this done already and I didn’t even think about it. So you’re right. This is a time when people hopefully are taking the time to get some of those documents up to date or put together. You’re right. Okay, back to your wisdom about senior care. Let’s start here. I’m going to edit this. Beep. What other successful leaders have there been in your life who’ve maybe been an inspiration or a mentor or an organization that you really would like to say hi to that you think does a really good job?

Brandi Hackett:

Perfect. I’ve been very blessed to have a number of connections in this field. I do think that it takes a village. A lot of people say that about children, but I find that throughout the lifespan, and I feel like I, myself am a tiny part, Family Private Care that I work with is a tiny part, but we are in a huge field, a huge village. Some of the services that I really have enjoyed getting to know and enjoy referring to are things like elder care law attorneys. Often they are certified elder care law attorneys, and I think that those a wonderful thing to familiarize yourself with. Another thing is aging life care managers. Those are previously called geriatric care managers. They had a name change in 2010 when the term was trademarked. I work with a tremendous amount of those in Atlanta, I actually once was one, a couple of years ago.

Brandi Hackett:

So I have a deep respect of that discipline specifically. I’m also very proud as a social worker. There are a lot of degreed social workers in healthcare that are doing a host of things. Often we’ll share a similar skillset, but I find that even if I speak to two different social workers who are dialysis social workers, I’m learning two sets of information, multiple resources, et cetera. So I’m always impressed by what we do as a discipline in this field. Lastly, I think there’s some unique creatives that I want to mention. That could be people that are working in things like assistive technology. I have a great team of music therapists that I do a lot of work with. Also people in home modification that are doing some really creative, interesting things to help people age in place. So I think there’s the traditional healthcare that people think of, your home health, hospice, hospitalizations, skilled nursing, but then there’s a host of other layers, sometimes privately hired, but things that can bring such an increase of quality of life and reduce chaos for families.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s true. I love the art therapy world, the music therapy and art therapy. I don’t think they get enough shout outs because they do such a good job and it’s so much fun too, so thank you for that. So what piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers?

Brandi Hackett:

I think to do well in this industry as a senior care provider, you have to have some humility and you have to know that there is so much to learn and you need to take an opportunity to learn as much as you can, as often as you have that opportunity. I find a lot of people want to come out of the pipe saying, Well, I’m the expert. I’m certified. I’m name that whatever label they want to give theirselves. But to me, I have a very hard time with that just because I know every single day I’m learning something new and the knowledge is coming not only from the for profit sector and the nonprofit sector, but the public and the private sector. We’re looking at people in administration, we’re looking at frontline workers, again, that all have a different voice in this. I find a lot of skills from things like diagnosis specific resources.

Brandi Hackett:

I look at successful companies and I look at non successful companies, because I think you learned just as much from both. There’s a lot of individuals that are doing great things. There are advocacy groups that are doing incredible work. But the thing that I always have to remind myself is the expert is those that we are serving.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep. They know they need.

Brandi Hackett:

100%, and if we lose sight of that, they are our teachers. So we are their students and they are teachers. So if I can get any advice, I think it is that, if we can humble ourselves and get knee to knee with those that we’re trying to serve and have a better understanding of what that looks like, then I think there’s a lot more success in that than coming in and trying to assert to them what we think they need. It’s just a different perspective.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely. You ask them and listen, and you’ll get your answer. Very nice. Thank you so much. That’s why I love doing these interviews with folks who have some experience because your wisdom precedes you. You obviously have been doing this a long time and so many people will benefit from hearing your words, whether they’re brand new to the industry or just to remind themselves why they got into this business. So I thank you for that. So my last is a fun one. When you have a win in life, whether it’s personal or business or a client is celebrating something, how do you celebrate?

Brandi Hackett:

I have to keep going back to the fact that I’m a small part of this village, so we don’t accomplish this alone and I tend not to celebrate alone. So one thing that I try to do is acknowledge every part that played in that. So success can look pretty different in our world. It isn’t always a happy ending. It isn’t always candles and balloons. Sometimes it’s someone dying at peace. Sometimes it’s someone transitioning out of a dangerous situation or into a situation where they can have a better quality of life. So sometimes it is a mix of joy and loss and celebration and sadness, and to be able to be present but also to give kudos to those that have played a part. Now, of course, I try to give myself a little pat on the back at times, if I feel that I have done something that has reduced the chaos in that situation or increased the joy or been a voice for someone that may not have had that or supported a colleague.

Brandi Hackett:

So there are times that I’ll be like, okay, I’m not bad at this. I try to rejoice in that, but I keep going back to the fact that it is not about us. It is about we, and I think acknowledging that and giving praise to the village and not the individual will only benefit us all because in the end we will need that village ourselves. We will be the them, and at that point, I hope that I have supported my village enough and supported those that will potentially support me enough that you pour in hopefully what you get out and I’m hopeful for that. So my celebration is just seeing us all succeed in this industry.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Being thankful. Yep, absolutely. Brandi, you have done an amazing job with this interview and your wisdom is just shining. So I thank you so much for giving us something that everybody can digest a little bit and think, that’s right. Absolutely. She’s got it going on. She knows her stuff. Thank you so much for doing this and for being on the show. I hope that the rest of your year and the rest of your career goes just as nicely as it has so far because the people that are involved with you are very lucky.

Brandi Hackett:

Thank you. Thank you so much for this opportunity. It’s been a lot of fun.