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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 get to share their advice. It’s six questions in nine minutes. So let’s get to it. I’m just going to ask you to go ahead and in a few sentences, tell me who you are and what you do.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

I’m a licensed clinical social worker in California. I own a company called Senior Care Training, and we provide a range of clinical and compliance services to skilled nursing and residential care facilities throughout the western states. I’m also a Medicare provider for geriatric mental health.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Wow, it’s very nice. And of course, everybody could use a little more training, especially right now, we’re in a tough situation. And I got a chance to look at your website and I love the stuff that you’re going through with what you have available for your training. So what is the best thing about serving aging adults or maybe in your case, serving people who serve aging adults?

Tracy Greene Mintz:

Well, I like to tell a story that is before I became a social worker. I worked in film and television for 12 years, and I always tell people that I was getting a great training in mental illness, but I didn’t realize it at the time. One of the most perfect crossovers between my two careers is storytelling. So film and television is about stories. And the best thing about working with older adults is stories. I’ve learned so much every day about history, policy, strength and survival, perseverance, and of course aging. I learned about aging, how to do it, how not to do it. I love hearing stories, having come from the entertainment background and being a movie buff. Stories are great for learning, stories are great for teaching, stories are great for connecting with people. And I was thinking about it, we all have cases that we will remember forever, and that’s because something in that person’s story resonated with us at that particular moment. In clinical work we use the word cases, but in real life, we just use the word story.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That is really nice. Thank you. I didn’t know you had a background in television and film. That’s a great way for you to incorporate everything that you do into your current work. So that’s really nice. Thank you for sharing that with us. So I hear from other senior service providers that marketing online is challenging. It is confusing and it’s ever changing. I totally agree with that. What is your experience or thoughts? I see you do a lot of virtual work.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

Yes. Well, especially right now with COVID-19 restrictions, and we’re not allowed to go to our client’s sites. We developed something a few years ago to serve rural facilities, something called virtual consultant. And so if a facility has electronic health records, we can access those from the outside. So we have a whole virtual thing that we can do, but of course we prefer to be in the facility with the staff and with the residents. Online marketing let’s you reach a lot of people, a large number of people quickly, including people that you don’t know and who don’t know you, and that’s both a risk and a benefit of course, of online marketing.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

The difficulty in healthcare online marketing is that your risk is very high when you don’t know the person or the source offering you some information, offering you a service. It’s even more challenging when you’re a clinician like myself, because I have to be very careful. And the referral I make has to be pretty well vetted. I can’t just like get an email and forward it to somebody. That will not work. That’s more of the risk of from a clinical standpoint in the online marketing. It’s also just a really good lesson for all of us in consider the source and do a little research. I have to be really careful about that. There’s a trust component to any relationship, whether it’s business, personal and the anonymity of online marketing challenges that, stresses that trust. But you want to believe it’s there. That’s why it works. You want to believe this person has a genuine interest in learning about my service or helping me or whatever.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

That’s why I actually like LinkedIn so much, because you can see who you know in common and base some of your decisions on trust that you’ve already established in your network.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

True. Very true.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

I want to tell a quick story about that. One of my most successful business partnerships is from LinkedIn. This lady found me on LinkedIn. She’s in Southern California, I’m in Southern California, we met in person and the rest is history. We’ve worked together for years and they are on my online teaching platform and I’m one of their instructors. I absolutely love them, Career Smart Learning, love them.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Great. You know what? We’re doing a big webinar on LinkedIn today, and that’s how you and I met. I reached out to you-

Tracy Greene Mintz:

I know, I believe in it.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes, because you have years of experience and met the criteria of wisdom that we like to have on this show so-

Tracy Greene Mintz:

There’s a lot of wisdom on the top of [inaudible 00:06:13].

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So that’s who we like to hear from, because you can share great things with the rest of the world here. So we appreciate that. And yes, we like LinkedIn. So thanks for acknowledging that. What other successful leaders and you may have just mentioned one that you really like to work with in the senior care industry like yourself, would you like to acknowledge, or just give a shout out to? You mentioned someone you met on LinkedIn and that’s probably a great person to give a shout out to.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

Well, our motto here at Senior Care Training is elevating elder care through education and training. So I tend to seek out other people who value education and training. I just believe that we do better when we know better and all that. The good thing about healthcare and medicine is there’s always more to know. There’s always new research, there’s always new information, and I like that stuff. I’m a little nerdy that way. I like to read, I like to research, I like that stuff. So I look for people who share that philosophy, and so I want to give a shout out to Career Smart Learning. Their leadership shares my philosophy, that it’s really quality education. It’s very well researched, there’s always references, there’s always additional resources, they teach online and they teach in the classroom because when you work with adult learners, you realize people learn in different ways. And whereas kids in school don’t have much of a choice, adult learners have a choice.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, that’s true.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

I want to give another shout out to a really good friend of mine on LinkedIn who also works in Southern California, randomly. His name is Bernie Reifkind at Premier Search, and they are head hunters for the healthcare industry. And the thing about Bernie, why I love him so much, is that he always has a story. It’s usually a joke, which I also appreciate. He always has a great story for me, and he puts a lot of them on LinkedIn, but just when I’m feeling down or frustrated or whatever, Bernie has a great story. And I finally want to give a shout out to our clients who invest in education and training because collaborative learning is very fulfilling professionally. That’s what keeps us in this work that can be challenging.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Well, that is very nice. Thank you. I’m glad you gave a shout out to some people that mean a lot to you. We often are looking for good resources and there’s probably a lot of folks that are going to be looking for head hunters, especially in your local area. I mean, the world is changing a little bit right now, so going to be a lot of things happening. So that’s great. Thank you. What piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers? We leave this pretty open because whatever you want to say is fine.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

In my consultation work, this is what I do. I basically give advice to senior care providers. So I mean, I could keep you on the phone all day here with this one, but I want to say that the term we use in social work is the identified client. And when you work with seniors, you’re often working with their kids who are wonderful people and nice and good people, and we care about those kids, they’re adults. But you have to focus on who’s the identified client, which is the senior, the older person. And what happens is too much of our conversation avoids that person, just happens around that person, to the side of that person. You need to focus on the older adult that you’re working with. That is always my number one piece of advice when a colleague or someone will call me and say, “They said that this gentleman can’t go home.” And I will say, “Who’s they? And what did the gentlemen say?” “Oh, I don’t know.” “Did anyone ask him?” “No.”

Tracy Greene Mintz:

Okay. Well, most problems contain their own solution so work directly with the senior, talk to them like an adult. They see you as a peer, they see you as an equal, so don’t talk down to them, don’t talk over them, don’t talk around them, involve them in decisions. As I said earlier, when you work with seniors, you learn a lot. The answer often comes from the client. They know what to do, or they’re okay with what’s happening, but we don’t usually bother to ask them.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It’s true.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

One more thing I’ve been thinking of a lot right now during what’s happening in the world, my advice to senior care providers, this is a little bit random, but reach out to your elected representatives, connect with the people who represent us policy-wise. If there’s any silver lining to COVID-19, it’s that it has exposed the limitations in our elder care service delivery. I mean, they were there, but most people, most elected officials didn’t know. I’m stunned at how little my elected representatives know about nursing homes, about policies that affect seniors, just about the elder care industry in general. So I want to encourage everyone who works with seniors to at least connect, call their offices, know where their offices are and let them know your thoughts about Medicare, about social security, about assisted living. They love to hear from constituents and we need to advocate for our industry.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I totally agree with you. What’s funny about what you just said is every single elected representative either has a parent or is older themselves and looking down that spy glass at what’s coming. And I understand that researching nursing homes isn’t on anyone’s top priority list in life until they have to. I totally get that, but you’re right. It’s surprising to me that for the age range of our seasoned elected officials, that they haven’t experienced some of this themselves. And it’s okay, but you’re right, reaching out will help educate them. So thank you for mentioning.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

Yeah. It’s just on my mind a lot right now.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes, it’s on so many people’s minds. It has exposed a lot of our weaknesses here. Okay. So when you have a win in life or in business, how do you celebrate?

Tracy Greene Mintz:

This is the easiest answer of all. I celebrate absolutely everything with a vodka martini with three olives. And even when you don’t have a win, you can still have a vodka martini with three olives. It’s such a panacea. I do want to say that when I have a financial win and this is God’s honest truth, when I have a financial win, I pay it forward, and I will make a donation to something. Usually something that serves seniors or definitely something that serves medical research. I need to pay it forward. I’m a social worker and that’s just part of who we are.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. Vodka martini with three olives and pay it forward. I got it. I’ve got it.

Tracy Greene Mintz:

Or skip the martini.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So Tracy Greene Mintz, thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate it. And I will follow up with you and let you know when this [inaudible 00:13:43].

Tracy Greene Mintz:

Thank you. [inaudible 00:13:43] late.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Thank you. All right. We keep it short so it’s easy. So see you later. Bye bye. Thank you.