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🌟 Exciting Netcast News 🌟

Episode 22 of the Senior Care Industry Netcast is live!

We were fortunate enough to have Sandi Wake, Owner of CarePatrol of Western Michigan, on our show and she offered some great insight and #advice for other #seniorcare and #healthcare providers.

Ep 22: Senior Care Industry Netcast with Sandi Wake, Franchise Owner at CarePatrol of Western Michigan 2
Sandi Wake, Owner, CarePatrol of Western Michigan

“My mission is to help families through the difficult and stressful process of finding the appropriate care options for their loved ones. We have a reputation of honesty, integrity, and compassion.”

Sandi considers herself fortunate to serve seniors and their families as they navigate the oftentimes challenging process of finding the best possible senior living options. She assesses her client’s needs, concerns, and preferences before recommending appropriate options, including Independent Living, Assisted Senior Housing, Memory Care or In-Home Care.

Sandi recently helped members of her family go through the placement process in Western Michigan, and understands the stress of keeping a loved-one safe. This experience gave Sandi the passion that she has today to help families.

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 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.

Sandi Wake:

Hi, Valerie. My name is Sandi Wake and I’m with CarePatrol of Western Michigan, and we help seniors and their families find assisted living, independent living, memory care and in-home care. And it’s a very hands-on service where we, generally before COVID, we would meet with families and we would take them on tours and were getting to know them very well and becoming a trusted advisor for them. And once somebody is placed, we’re also following up with them. So, that’s what we do in a nutshell.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. So you help those families make better decisions because they get to see all the places. And just as out of curiosity, now that it’s harder to tour, or maybe impossible to tour for the moment, do you share pictures and information, or how do you do that?

Sandi Wake:

We’re doing a lot of phone calls, we’re doing virtual tours, we’re doing video tours, so whatever it takes. But yeah, so we’re still leading people by the hand, it’s just not in person so much.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And that’s okay. I mean, if the facilities are playing along and they’re able to help you get those tours done, then that’s a great… that’s the next best thing to be in there in person. So what is the best thing about serving aging adults?

Sandi Wake:

I think when people come to us, they just don’t even know where to start. Strangely enough, people don’t plan for this part of life. They’re going to retire and they’re going to maybe winter in Florida, but what they’re not thinking about is that part between wintering and Florida and passing along. And sometimes you need some extra help and they don’t plan for it, and so what we can do is we can come in and just help them. And it’s great when you’re working with a family and you’re done with the initial conversation and they just say, “You’ve lifted a load off my shoulders.”

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh, absolutely. This is such a… It can be a very confusing, and there’s so much good information out there, but how do you know which information?

Sandi Wake:

Yeah. Well, and we find that with our clients too, that maybe they’ve heard of different places because of family members or friends, and they maybe hear good things or bad things about places, but we can point them in the right direction. So it’s not necessarily what they’ve heard, it may not be appropriate for their loved ones, so we get them pointed in the right direction and can save a whole lot of time.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Oh yeah, absolutely. Okay. So let’s shift gears just a little bit and talk about internet marketing. I hear from other senior service providers, and we just touched on this with the things that you’ve had to do, marketing online can be challenging, it’s confusing and ever-changing. And I totally agree with that. What has your experience been with helping these families and doing marketing online?

Sandi Wake:

I’m not a big fan of marketing online. I’m not sure how loudly I’m supposed to say that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

No, it’s okay.

Sandi Wake:

But what we do is we do have a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn and we do send out a newsletter. And quite frankly, I feel like with this group that we’re working with, the hands-on approach is so much better. So we’re not depending on marketing virtually to give our clients, we’re working with hospitals and-

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Referrals.

Sandi Wake:

[Crosstalk 00:04:15] a lot of word of mouth. So I think that makes more sense, especially for the older population.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep, and I would agree, I think, and especially in the business that most of us, I say us, but you are in, being able to see someone in person and help them understand that it’s going to be okay is definitely something that every family wants. To be able to either meet you face to face on Zoom or or meet you somewhere else and be careful and still meet you and know that you’re going to take care of helping them get where they need, I think that extra touch is important. I think the online stuff is what we do for a living. So I’m a geek when it comes to online, but I also serve businesses, not clients necessarily. I think it’s great to have an online presence that’s up-to-date. I think if you can do that, then you’ve hit the mark. You just need to not let things be out of date, I guess.

Sandi Wake:

Yes. Yes. And we do have a website too. I always forget about that, but yeah, we have a website that tells about us and what our values are. And we also have articles for our clients out there too that can be very helpful.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, just a little extra out there on online is always good.

Sandi Wake:

Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right, so I would imagine that you got into this business for a reason. And sometimes the folks we interview have either organizations or other leaders in the senior care industry that made a difference in their life or in their decision to get into this business, or along the way somehow. So is there anybody that you would like to talk about, or any organization that’s really been helpful for you?

Sandi Wake:

Yeah, it’s interesting because I sort of fell into this business and I was just so fortunate to have fallen into this business because it’s working really well now that my parents are needing assistance. But I… Gosh, there are so many organizations and so many people, the hospice associations and the in-home care companies and the communities that we work with and the rehabs and hospitals, it’s just, there’s so many people. I do have a wonderful colleague that handles the CarePatrol office along the Lakeshore. We’re in Michigan, she’s along the Lakeshore in Michigan, and Karla Middlecamp, she’s just been a great friend and sounding board, and it’s good to have a person like that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

We always need somebody like that in our life that we can depend on and-

Sandi Wake:

Yes, [crosstalk 00:07:05] you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, vent and talk to. Absolutely, that’s great. So, thank you for that. What piece of advice would you give other senior care providers? You work with so many, I would imagine you might have some words of wisdom for others.

Sandi Wake:

Let’s see. You have to be very patient dealing with the senior population and their families because it’s an emotional time. If somebody is coming to us and needing placement for their mom or dad, it’s very emotional. And so you just have to be very patient, and you also have to realize that at times you have to shake things off, because we’ll work with a client for a long time and sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t, just because it’s a frail population. And yeah, you have to lead with your heart, you have to do the right thing always, and then I think whatever you do follows, the success will follow you if you’re doing what you need to be doing.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That golden rule. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. And, okay, so my last question is kind of a fun one. When you have a win in life or in business, how do you like to celebrate? It could be with family or your team or your colleagues, how do you like to celebrate?

Sandi Wake:

It’s interesting because I was thinking about this question ahead of time. And it’s not like we have these major wins where it’s like, “Let’s have a party or go out for dinner or drinks or whatever.” We have a lot of little wins, and it seems like you get those and then you just move on to the next one. So that was a really tough question for me. But we try to enjoy all the wins that we get along the way.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It’s just being glad. Like I can remember, and I’m an old nurse and I’ve done a lot of things, but one of the things that I remember hearing from a lady who we helped place in independent living community was, and I think you probably have heard this too, “I wish I had done this 10 years ago. I wish I had done this 20 years ago.” That is a win in my heart, you know?

Sandi Wake:

Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

You know they’re happy.

Sandi Wake:

It’s interesting because I worked in a manufacturing organization for 30 years, and I had just done this for a few months, and one of the daughters said, “You have been such a godsend.” It’s like, “Did anybody ever tell me that in my previous 30 years? Never.” So it just makes you feel good that you’ve made a difference and [crosstalk 00:09:50].

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, those are wins. Those are definitely wins. Knowing that you’ve helped somebody and they are happy in their new surroundings or whatever that help was, absolutely a win. So, well, thank you. You did a wonderful job with this interview, and that’s all my questions. So, thank you so much for being on.

Sandi Wake:

Well, it was a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on your show.