Senior Care Industry Netcast Video

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Senior Care Industry 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!

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

And we are lucky to have with us Tania Spear from Silver Linings Home Care, serving Western Massachusetts and Cape Cod. And with that, in a few sentences, Tania, thank you for coming on the show, and tell me who you are and what you do.

Tania Spear, MSN, MBA, RN:

Thank you. I’m happy to be here. And as you said, I’m Tania, and I’m a nurse and the owner/administrator of Silver Linings Home Care. I started in home care as a home care aide when I was in nursing school over 25 years ago. And so we serve Western Massachusetts and Cape Cod, and I’m thrilled to be doing what we do.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

Awesome. And what’s the best thing about serving aging adults?

Tania Spear, MSN, MBA, RN:

I think it would have to be the connections that we make. I often joke with the seniors when I’m doing an assessment that I’m a bit of a matchmaker, and they’ll laugh. But I really feel like that is the biggest part of my job, is connecting the right caregivers with the seniors and the right qualifications and skill set and personalities.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

I think that’s awesome. Being a matchmaker is really important. You want to have the right caregiver with the family, someone who you know is going to have the same… Just somebody who really meshes well with the family members. So it’s great that you take that into consideration.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

So I hear from other senior service providers that marketing online, because we’re now in the situation where we can’t really go see our referral sources. So marketing online is challenging, because it’s confusing and ever-changing. What has been your experience with marketing online, or your thoughts on that?

Tania Spear, MSN, MBA, RN:

I’m fortunate enough that I’ve been in this community for a long time. I was a nurse leader before I opened our business. And so we haven’t had to do a lot of marketing, because I feel like we have a lot of personal connections. I would say that most of our referrals that are not somebody reaching out or knew somebody, we get a lot of referrals from Facebook. And probably the biggest challenge I have, personally, is time. So I mean, we reach out. I haven’t had to do a lot of advertising, but to try to just keep that connection going, and it’s a time factor for me. I’m on the phone all the time right now, trying to make sure that everybody’s safe and educated.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

Yeah, it is time-consuming, and sometimes even… It’s easy to, when you’re so busy, the online piece of marketing can often take a back seat a little bit, because you’ve got people that you need to deal with right now. So I hear you: That is a challenge. The time part is a challenge. So I’m going to guess, and because you’ve been in your market for so long and you’re well-known there, you have other leaders in the senior care industry that have really made an impact on you and your life and your business. Is there anybody you’d like to say hi to or thank you to, or just shout out about who are really great marketing partners and folks in your local area?

Tania Spear, MSN, MBA, RN:

That’s hard to narrow down, because I feel like I’m very fortunate that I have a great network of friends and colleagues. But I would say that the college that I went to, Elms College, where I received first my bachelor’s, and then I went on and got a dual master’s, but they really have been great about promoting and helping. But also, I thought about this a little bit, and Beth Cardillo, who is the executive director of Armbrook Village in Westfield, Massachusetts. When you look at leaders and people that you learn from or emulate, she definitely is somebody that I looked up to and have become friends with, because she is very engaged in the community, not just for her role as executive director. She has led the charge for age-friendly communities and is always eager to lend a helping hand. So I hope that someone would look to me the same way at some point.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

Great. We all have our mentors and our friends who we know are making a great impact in our local communities, and so thank you for recognizing those folks and your college. I always like to shout out to other people who are doing a great job in the area [crosstalk 00:05:39] difference for all of us. So what piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers? It could be anything from startup to just what to keep in mind on a day-to-day basis.

Tania Spear, MSN, MBA, RN:

I think that that is one of the things that has probably changed the most for me over the last couple of months. And so I’ve been taking a lot of time to plan my day and, I’d say, reflect, reach out, and rebalance. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. And so I feel like, especially in this time when we’re getting a lot of bad news and, you know, those things, there are silver linings. But I feel like I really need to stop, and I really think about that all day. I start my day and end my day reflecting. I try to reach out to people. So right from the beginning, I was reaching out to our families and reaching out to our caregivers. But even today, I was thinking: There’s also your family and doing that, and that helps me rebalance. And so it’s easier some days than others for sure, but that would probably be my advice.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

I would agree, yes. Take some time for you. The last couple of months have been rough for everybody, and we all need to just… We’re all caregivers at heart in this business, and, you know, take care of us, too.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

Okay. Last question is kind of a fun one. When you have a win in life or a winning business or a win with a client who’s just done so well, how do you all celebrate?

Tania Spear, MSN, MBA, RN:

I guess that would depend on the win. And so I tried to celebrate a little bit every day. And sometimes they’re small wins and just getting the schedule on a Friday done, and then celebrating the caregivers. This is the other thing that’s a challenge, because we try to do more things in person, so I do probably a lot more than most people, getting people together. And so we’ve had to kind of tweak that a little bit, but I really feel that if you’re not pausing… And I love this question, because if you’re not pausing and celebrating the win, then, you know… It works well for the entire team. We have a few clappers around the office, so if something fun happens, I make everybody stop and go get the clappers and just try to celebrate each other. And you know, you have to.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

Yeah. It helps everybody, especially in times like this. Compliments and little celebrations help everybody get through the day and the week and help everybody feel really good about what’s going on.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

Well, thank you so much. You’ve done an excellent job of answering these quick six questions.

Tania Spear, MSN, MBA, RN:

Okay.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

All right? Thank you so much.

Tania Spear, MSN, MBA, RN:

Thank you for reaching out to me, and hopefully we’ll talk again soon.

Valerie VanBooven, RN, BSN:

Okay, thanks. Bye-bye.

Tania Spear, MSN, MBA, RN:

All right. Okay, bye-bye. Take care.