Senior Care Industry Netcast Interview Video

Full Senior Care Industry Netcast Transcript

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. I’m joined today by Jennifer Thompson with Home Care Assistance in Franklin, Tennessee. Hi Jennifer.

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Hi Valerie.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Nice to have you on the show. We will get right to it. Tell me in a few sentences who you are and what you do. I already said who you are, but tell us again and what you do for folks.

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Sure. My name is Jennifer Thompson. I’m a registered nurse and I currently run Home Care Assistance, which is a non-medical home care service for seniors.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. Of course we need so much of that, especially right now. I think being at home is probably the safest place to be.

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

What’s the best thing about serving aging adults?

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

I think the best thing about serving aging adults, of course, there’s always a sense of reward that you feel when you know you’ve made a difference. But when we first started this business, I would go into people’s homes and just be heartbroken at times for some of the situations that I would see people in as their health declines and they’re not able to care for themselves anymore and sometimes don’t have family who are close or able to pick up those pieces and it would really just break my heart. And so I recognizes that we can’t change someone’s circumstances. We can’t change the effects of a stroke or that family lives far away, but what we can do is help people make the best of whatever their situation is. Whether someone has four years left or 40 years left, we want to make that the best that it can be. And so that is the most rewarding experience, is when we go in and we can see where we really did improve someone’s quality of life.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, improving their quality of life. I mean it really… What is that old saying? It’s not how many days you have left, it’s how good the days you are… how good the days are that you have left.

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I mean we all want a quality of life. I agree, seeing seniors improve their just overall attitude and having someone come in they can just talk to for a few hours-

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

… it makes a huge difference to them.

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

It does.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Thank you for that answer because I really agree with you there. I hear from other senior service providers, we’re going to switch our gears just a little bit here, that marketing online, and I know a lot more folks are getting into this because of our current situation, but marketing online is challenging because it’s confusing, it’s ever changing. What is your experience been or what are your thoughts on that?

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

I would agree with that completely. It’s still ever-changing and confusing. I did not up in the computer age so I’m at that age as an adult, I’ve had to learn as we go along. It’s so interesting because we have some of our seniors who have just totally embraced technology and are really good at it and love it. And then we have that other group, like my dad would fall into, who do not believe there’s any need for technology, still have their flip phone and just want absolutely nothing to do with technology, so it’s definitely challenging. But we also see when families or children of our clients step in, that makes a difference because a lot of times they will be the ones searching online or wherever that may be for the right fit for their parents or loved ones. And so generally you can reach those people through the online marketing, but definitely I would agree it is a challenge and we’ve seen it changed so much in the last what? 60 days, who would have thought?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, who would have thought, really? I know. Just like doing interviews like this, obviously this is a great way and probably even if we were neighbors, the only way we would be able to do this right now. So yeah, things change in a heartbeat. Thank you for those great thoughts on that. I’m going to edit right here. Let me scroll down a little bit.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Okay, here we go. What other successful leaders in the senior care industry, like yourself, would you like to acknowledge or give a shout-out to? I am going to guess there are marketing partners out there that you really enjoy working with in your local area.

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Absolutely, and there’s so many. I hate to narrow it down, but I have a couple of people that we’ve worked really closely with that have really made a difference and impacted our clients. We have worked with Henry at Medline Express Pharmacy and they have been fabulous to help us with monitoring medications and getting what our clients need quickly and making sure it’s packaged in a way that simplifies it so we can make sure everything is done properly and on time. We’ve worked with geriatric care managers, Jen Norby being one of those. I don’t think enough people know about geriatric care managers and the benefits of their services and they cover a great need for seniors, especially those that don’t have families close by to help them monitor complicated health histories. And so those are just some of the people that we’ve worked closely with that have really been a positive influence with us and been great to coordinate with and share clients together with.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s great. I’m glad you mentioned a pharmacy because we don’t hear that a lot and that is so important, especially if you guys have a relationship with one that’s local to you and that a lot of your clients probably use anyway and they’re able to accommodate some of those special needs or reminders. That’s great. I’m glad you shared it. And care managers, you’re right, people don’t know as much as they should about care managers and they really are a extremely helpful service. I almost want to call them care counselors. I know they’ve got life care managers, they’ve changed their name and all that, but geriatric care managers are also counselors almost for the whole family…

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Really are.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

… to coordinate everything and help everybody talk through their potential dysfunction sometimes. Yeah, it really helps. It really helps. What piece of advice, any advice at all, would you give to other senior care providers?

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Gosh, I think just to say, because it can be a very tough industry, it can be emotionally draining, it can be physically draining, and just to always remember why we do what we do. I think it’s so important sometimes for us to step into the shoes of our caregivers and our patients and to remember what it feels like to be in that position because it renews us, our faith and the reason why we do what we do. If we just sit behind the desk for the computer too long without stepping into those areas, again, as a reminder, I think it can be so easy to lose touch with why we do what we do. I think every now and then we all need that reminder again and just encourage people, “You are making a difference even on the days that you don’t see it making a difference.”

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes, exactly. Yeah. You do get bogged down in the day-to-day work and putting out little fires and staffing and all that and it’s nice to visit, I think, and you just said this too, about visiting with actual clients. It’s nice to visit with them because that renews your spirit-

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

… and you see how much of a difference you’re making in someone’s life, so yeah. All right, last question. This is supposed to be a fun one and some people give us all kinds of different answers. When you have a win in life or in business, what do you do to celebrate?

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Well, as a company what we’ll do sometimes when we have a really great success story or we’ve had a really great outcome for something, we will just stop late in the afternoon, we’ll still be answering the phones, but take a break from what we’re doing, maybe open a bottle of wine and we’ll just have a toast and share the stories and the victory of what just happened, whatever that may look like.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s nice. That’s a great way to include everybody too. I know it’s hard to get everybody together outside of the office, but having a little downtime and being able to talk about success is so nice.

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Well, thank you, Jennifer, thank you for being on the Senior Care Industry Netcast. Thank you for all of your amazing answers and we look forward to putting this out there and having other folks learn more about you, your business, the area you serve. All of that will be with our video, so thanks Jennifer.

Jennifer Thompson, RN:

Thanks, Valerie. I appreciate you having me today. Thank you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. Thanks.

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