Episode 56 of the Senior Care Industry Netcast is LIVE!

We were fortunate enough to have Terri Murphy, Co-Owner of Hope Senior Home Care, https://hopeseniorhomecare.com/, the show, and she offered some great insight and #advice for other #seniorcare and #healthcare providers.

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About This Episode:

EP 56: Senior Care Industry Netcast with Terri Murphy, Co-Owner of Hope Senior Home Care, Bloomfield Hills/Grosse Pointe, MI 2
Terri Murphy, President

Ensuring quality care for those in need has been a part of Terri Murphy’s life for over 30 years.

It began for Terri when she watched her father become the primary caregiver for her ailing mother. She witnessed first-hand the commitment and time involved with providing constant care for a loved one.

“Watching my Dad take care of my mother was both emotional and inspiring”, Terri said. Later she and her sister would assume the caregiver role as their father struggled with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

These personal experiences drove her passion first for the home care industry and later for the overall aging process and the senior community at large.

In addition to Hope Senior Home Care, Terri formed a 501c3 non-profit called Certified Senior Solutions, Inc. www.certified-ssi.org This unique organization works closely with individuals, families, employers and employees addressing the full spectrum of needs within the aging process.

Terri is committed to delivering the quality of care for which Hope Senior Home Care is known for while expanding the service to serve even more families. This passion has fueled the growth of the organization now serving most of southeastern Michigan as well as select counties in northern Michigan.

A former CFO, Terri’s husband, Kurt, provides financial and administrative leadership to the Hope Senior Home Care team. “Terri and I share the passion for care on which this company was founded,” Kurt said

“Kurt and I look forward to continuing to build a great company focused on clients, caregivers, and the community,” Terri said.

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. So let’s get to it.

In a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.

Terri Murphy:

Hello, I am Terri Murphy. I am the owner and founder of Hope Senior Home Care in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. I founded Hope 16 years ago, after many years of providing family caregiving to my parents and just really saw a need at that time, especially for some quality in-home care companies. Of course, we have many more out there now, but back then, there were very few.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Hmm. Yeah. And you know what? There’s probably not even enough to service all the folks that really have a need, so you’re in a really good place.

What is the best thing about serving seniors and their families?

Terri Murphy:

Oh, it’s such a privilege to work with the elderly, and I would have to say that for me, it’s creating that two-way relationship, not just us providing care, but them sharing, sharing their life and their history and their experiences and learning about everything they’ve done. I always say, we’re not just caregivers.

We need to go into a family’s home and learn about their history and things they used to do and liked to do and bring that back into their life. So it’s not just about the daily care, but about making their life a little bit better by improving and coming back to some of the things they used to enjoy.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely. It is a privilege, and you’re right. They have so many great stories. We talk about this a lot, but just sitting and listening is all they really want sometimes, is somebody to sit and listen to them. So you’re right. It is a privilege to be able to make sure they have a great quality of life, even at an older age when they are not able to do everything themselves anymore.

Terri Murphy:

Right.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep. I hear from other senior service providers that marketing online can be a challenge. You guys have a great website. I love your website. It’s confusing. It’s ever-changing.

What has been your experience or your thoughts with online marketing?

Terri Murphy:

Oh, that’s a good question. And I think the answer is in the question. It’s confusing. It’s challenging. It’s not our expertise. It’s not what I wanted to do when I went into this business. It was the furthest thing from my mind. I enjoy social media and technology, but it’s time consuming, too. You really don’t have time to get to it, and I think most organizations don’t. So we’re so grateful to have you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Thanks!

Terri Murphy:

Because there’s that constant presence, that consistent daily presence that maybe someone’s not looking for services right now, but because we’re in their life every day on their social media, they remember us down the road. So that’s why it’s so important to be consistent and have that presence. It’s just it’s a generation that, we go to the internet, and we go to the technology to look for services. So it wasn’t as important 16 years ago, but so important now. And we’re just grateful to have folks who step in so we can just work on the care and providing good quality care for our families.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Well, I appreciate those kind words, and you’re right. It’s really about you guys doing what you’re experts at and focusing on that and improving that or doing more with that or whatever it is you want to do, but you’ve been doing this for so long now that it’s what you should focus on. And, I would say we have this, and I ask this question every time, and I think outsourcing some of it is important. I think participating is important, but you need to have presence.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I’m a Gen Xer. So I would say if my parents need care, the first thing I’m going to do is look online for, I may know somebody, but I’m probably going to look online. I’m going to look up a few. I’m going to look at reviews. I’m going to look at their website.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And to me, if a website is well-maintained and their Facebook page is up to date and current, it’s not so much about all the content that’s there. It’s really about, are they present? Are they here in the moment? And I think you guys are obviously, and that really makes a difference. The last post on your website wasn’t in 2017, and your last Facebook post wasn’t in 2017. So to me, that makes a difference. I know somebody is taking time to watch this stuff, and it’s important to you. So I don’t know, I’m a little biased, but I think-

Terri Murphy:

Well, I have to tell you, we have had comments over time from friends and people that follow us on social media that have said we do just a great, such a great job with our social media.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Good!

Terri Murphy:

So, yay!

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s the object of the game is that, I remember the first time somebody said to me, “Oh my goodness, you’re everywhere.” Meaning every time they would go to something, they’ve seen me online, it was in the industry in that. And I thought that is exactly what the object of the game is, is that if you go over here, you go over there, you’re going to run into whatever my brand is and whatever your brand is is the object of the game. You’re going to see that stuff when you get on Facebook and LinkedIn and on the website. So anyway, yeah, you guys do a good job though. Your website’s beautiful and that it really takes-

Terri Murphy:

Thank you.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

… a lot of time to maintain those kind of things. All right. Let’s talk about successful leaders and organizations in your life. I’d imagine there are some organizations, people, leaders who’ve really made a difference for you over the years, or you just think, gosh, they really do a great job.

Is there anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?

Terri Murphy:

Can I quickly do three?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Sure, absolutely.

Terri Murphy:

We’re so fortunate in our community and the surrounding Grosse Pointe community to have such powerful, wonderful resources for our seniors and our elderly. I have to say I’ve worked with two of the three since I started. They’ve been around longer than us.

Terri Murphy:

The first one’s The Helm. They’re a wonderful senior activity center in Grosse Pointe that serves all of the Grosse Pointe and [inaudible 00:06:56] surrounding [inaudible 00:06:58]. Just provides such a wonderful place for seniors to come, connect, share a meal, participate in an activity together. And normally their calendar is just so full with so much going on. It’s a little tamer right now, but I’m sure they’ll pick that back up. But they are starting to have senior events and people coming in to gather.

Terri Murphy:

The next one’s the Wilson Center, more of a clinical place to go, social workers on staff, somewhere where families can go and ask the questions they just don’t have answers to. They assess they provide resources and referrals, and they also have a really neat automobile simulator that we’ve referred a number of families to.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Cool.

Terri Murphy:

That’s been useful in making that decision about whether it’s time to take those keys away or not. And last, but certainly not least, the Assumption Cultural Center, which I’ve been fortunate to work on their committee to put together this wonderful Senior Expo every year with over a thousand seniors come through and just to see all of the industries, professionals, the healthcare professionals, local celebrities who come together to make this a really fun educational day for these seniors.

And my favorite part is just when the work’s all done and I get to just walk around the venue and just interact with the seniors and see all of our yearlong hard work paying off. But what’s really neat about Assumption is they have a preschool and a daycare on site.

So it’s not unusual to walk through the building and see a group of seniors partaking in some activity, and the kids coming through and them stopping and interacting and that whole interaction between the different generations. And it’s just such a joy to watch. So it’s fun to just hang out at their center and just see what’s going on in any day.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That is really neat. I love that intergenerational mix. I think that helps everybody all the way around.

Terri Murphy:

You bet.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Everybody gets a good smile and a little extra attention and it’s fun. That’s really a good mix.

What piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers?

Terri Murphy:

Over the years, I’ve had calls from people that are thinking about getting into the industry and they want me to give them the magic word that’s going to make them a success. And I have one. I mean, I think that the first thing you have to look at is, is this really coming from your heart? Do you have a heart for this?

Do you have the compassion to spend time with the elderly and care for them sometimes in just very unusual circumstances. I feel that if you don’t, you’re just not going to last long in the industry. And when I’m hiring my staff in the office, I’m looking for that in them too. It’s not just me that has to have a heart for this. We all need to get up every day and enjoy what we’re doing because there’s so many challenges and frustrations in the industry.

Terri Murphy:

We’re on 24/7. You never get to just relax. So if you don’t love it and you don’t love what you’re doing, then I just don’t think you’ll last. And I tell our recruiting staff too, when you’re looking at a caregiver, a potential caregiver, we can teach all the skills, but we can’t teach them to care. So to me, I’d rather take some beautiful person who really wants to do this and hasn’t done it yet because they’re don’t have experience and train them and get them those skills while we just let them spread their heart to our families. So heart, you need to have the heart.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep. That’s great advice, and it rings true over and over again. Also, because you need the place to come back to on those hard days, to remember why you got into this business to begin with, and if it wasn’t coming from your heart and you weren’t a compassionate, real passionate about it, then it’s hard to remember, why you got In this business the first place?

Terri Murphy:

Yeah. Certain days are tough.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Because there are some, yeah, there’s some hard days and it’s always good to come back to basics and say, Why am I doing this? What’s the end goal? And that should be to make sure our seniors have a quality, good life and you’re helping the families.

So anyway, you’re exactly right. That’s a great piece of advice is if it’s coming from the heart, you can win at this, and you can make a difference. All right, so let’s talk about wins for a second. When you have a great day or you know you’ve helped a family a lot, or maybe it’s just something your family is celebrating, how do you,

When you have a win in life, how do you like to celebrate? Pre-COVID or post-COVID.

Terri Murphy:

I mean, first of all, we all love to enjoy a glass of wine or whatever, a cup of coffee and just, this is us in the office and just celebrate a good day. But to us, success is that family being happy, knowing we went the extra mile that they just can’t say enough about our caregivers or our staff and getting that feedback from them because they had such a great experience that they needed to tell me or tell us that they were so thrilled with all we’d done.

Terri Murphy:

Oft, sometimes we end up at a memorial service and we go to many for clients, and it just brings tears to my eyes when I’m sitting there and at this very important family event, but they take a minute to thank our caregivers and to talk about the care that was provided, and yeah, we’re working it too behind the scenes, but that caregiver brought so much impact to their lives that at their Memorial service, they felt it was important enough to talk about.

And that letter’s great, and feedback’s great too, a phone call, but the impact we have on them, and the feedback we get is the win. And that’s a success for us. Really the celebration is just the feeling we all get, knowing that, gosh, we hit it. We hit a home run with that one, and we really did what we intended to do.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. The best feeling of all time is going into a day or going out of the day, knowing that some family feels better right now or some senior feels better that they have somebody with them. Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great way to celebrate. Just knowing everybody’s happy right now is a great feeling for sure. Well, I want to thank you for doing the show, for doing our interview.

This is all about sharing good advice and wisdom, which you certainly did, and we appreciate that. That’s what this is for, just to make sure that we can, in a time when it’s really hard for us all to connect, it’s a good time for us to share as much as we can of our wisdom and our passion for seniors. So thank you.

Terri Murphy:

Yeah. Thank you for having me.