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Episode 25 of the Senior Care Industry Netcast is live!

About This Episode:

Ep 25: The Senior Care Industry Netcast with Dr. Joe Casciani -Livingto100.Club 2
Dr. Joe Casciani, Livingto100.Club

We were fortunate enough to have Dr. Joe Casciani with Livingto100.Club on our show and he offered some great insight and #advice for other #seniorcare and #healthcare providers.

Dr. Joseph Casciani has a 30-year history in long term care as a psychologist and manager of mental health practices. He was awarded the first contracts from the California Department of Aging in 1982 to develop mental health training for the state’s nursing homes. For 16 years, he was the clinical lead for a large mental health practice where he oversaw mental health programs to patients in hundreds of nursing homes, in eight states.

Visit the website for radio show information and recordings of broadcasts: Livingto100.Club

He formerly managed psychology group practices for nursing homes, and is now a consultant, public speaker, and trainer. Concept Healthcare (also known as CoHealth) were his multi-state practices, named to emphasize the importance of behavioral health concepts in the care of older adults.

In 2018, he extended his professional interest in aging into a new venture, the Living to 100 Club. The website, www.Livingto100.Club offers a collection of articles and resources on successful aging. He also hosts a live internet radio show on the Voice America network, Health and Wellness channel, every Friday at 2pm Pacific time, where guests from a range of professions in health care, law, gerontology, and related fields share their expertise, recommendations, and positive views about aging every week. The goal of the Living to 100 Club is to help members live longer, healthier, and happier lives, and if this is not in the cards, to stay positive while trying.

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.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Sure, I’d be happy to. Thank you for inviting me on your show, Valerie. I’m Joe Casciani. I’m a psychologist, semi-retired psychologist, with a specialty in gero-psych. I worked for years managing psychology practices, working in nursing homes.

                And since I’ve sold that practice, I’ve been developing my website called Living to 100 Club. So it’s for seniors, people 50 and over, looking at strategies on successful aging, longevity, and most importantly, making it over the hurdles. As we all know, there’s more than just a smooth paved highway ahead. We want to make sure we can get over those potholes and not get thrown by them.

                I also have a new book that just came out on Amazon, published on Amazon. It’s called Living Longer is the New Normal. It’s a paperback and also available on e-book, on Kindle. A short, quick read, uplifting read, I think, about staying positive, making it over the hurdles.

                Also I host a weekly radio show on Voice America. It’s on Friday afternoons at 2:00 PM Pacific time, and we have different guests on from mental health, physical, gerontology, law, holistic health. And we just enjoy talking about successful aging and living longer, living with a positive outlook.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Very nice, that’s a lot.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Yeah. So semi-retired, but doing the fun things, doing things that I’ve always enjoyed. And lastly, I really do some training and consulting with senior organizations. So that’s a critical package for me.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That is pretty full. So I don’t know about semi-retired, but you’re doing a lot, but we’ll make sure that when this broadcasts, we have a link to your website and all the things that you’re doing, your book, your podcasts, and all those things. So people can join up and listen and learn a lot from you and the guests that you have on. So that’s awesome.

                My grandfather is going to be 93 this year, completely 100% independent. And he’s amazing. Still delivers Meals on Wheels to other seniors who are probably 20 years younger than him.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Good for him. We’re living longer, we’re living longer-

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Doing great, doing great. The social isolation issue you’ve had recently has been hard for everyone, including him. I think he likes to be around people. He likes to go to church. He likes to do Meals on Wheels and been a little bit rough for… Whether you’re in a nursing home or you’re at home, and if you’re by yourself, it’s hard not to see your family and your friends.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Sure, sure. Takes its toll, takes its toll on everyone.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It does. The good news is we’re going to get to see him soon.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Good. That’s good. Well, good for him.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, he’s doing well. And I’m sure he’ll enjoy your book. We’ll make sure he gets a copy.

All right.

So what’s the best thing about serving aging adults?

Dr. Joe Casciani:

As I mentioned, I’ve worked in nursing homes and worked alongside other mental health professionals all these years. And I’ve always found that there’s always that internal strength or passion or energy that we all have inside of us, and time and again, I would have to look for that and tap into it for people who had some physical setback, maybe a stroke or an amputation.

And that fire, sometimes it’s blocked.

Sometimes it’s kind of locked away, but it’s always there. And if you can find out how to tap that, you can really unleash a lot of that drive and motivation and creative spirit that we all need to keep moving forward. So to me, that’s always, that’s the fun part.

That’s the enjoyable part of working with older adults and helping them see that they also have that internal drive and inner strength inside.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. That’s really fascinating if everybody has that will, in some regard, there’s some passion they have for something, no matter how old they are, whether it’s for their family or their children or doing something they love. And that’s neat that you get to unlock that and help people remember what they love to do and what makes them tick. That’s awesome.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

No, that’s exactly right. So many times we just throw our hands up in the air. We can’t drive anymore. Maybe a spouse has passed away after 30 or 40 or 50 years of marriage. And we say, “What’s the use? Why should I go on?” So we’re always, I call, starting new chapters and we’re writing the script now. So let’s write the script that’s going to be meaningful for us. Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep, that’s a great way to approach those big life changes, especially. Absolutely.

How do you approach online marketing for your organization?

We’re going to switch gears just a little bit and talk about online marketing. Now, it sounds to me like you do quite a bit of online marketing in different ways. I hear from other senior service providers that it can be challenging, confusing, and I know it’s ever-changing. What has been your experience and your thoughts? I guess you reach out quite a bit online through your podcast and other ways.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

I do. I’m still learning. I’m still learning, but I think there is the whole notion of having a niche is the key here because you can’t put a fishing line in the ocean and expect a big catch. You have to have one area of specialty and one target group and one area of focus and one solution. So we have to, I think, we become a problem solver or a pain reliever.

                Good marketing is focused on solving the customer’s problems. So what we have to do is find out what we’re good at. “Here’s the problem,” we say, “Here’s our solution. And here’s some proof that what I’m doing or what my company is doing makes a difference.”

So it’s kind of that elevator speech, sort of, but it’s really more than that. It’s being able to articulate what the advantages…

When Apple came out with their iPod years ago, they didn’t talk about, well, here’s a device that has five gigabytes of memory. They talked about, “Here’s a device that’ll hold a thousand songs in your shirt pocket,” right? So it’s here’s a problem and here’s how we’re going to solve it.

Now, we’re not going to solve everybody’s problems. And we know that, but we have to narrow our audience and narrow our target group. So look for the pain points in your industry and become the source of relief for your customers.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Solving the problem is the whole gig, or at least the problem that you can solve, articulating that well. And I think that our 30-second elevator speech that you mentioned has translated into a three-second. You have three seconds to capture someone’s attention on your website or wherever you’re advertising.

So that 30-second elevator speech is still very important. It’s also just important to articulate that quickly online. So you’re right. That’s still very, very applicable since we can’t be in person with each other as much anymore, at least not [inaudible 00:08:25] articulate that quickly.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

I’ve spent years learning that. And I think it’s finally sinking in. To me, it’s like, “Well, gee, I want to work with older adults.” I want to provide them on health or support or lifestyle strategies, but you just can’t try to reach all the fish in the ocean.

You can’t try to reach everybody who’s over age 50. It’s not going to work. So it’s a tough lesson. I’m not quite there, but I’m closer to learning.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, it’s hard because I think if we’re helpers or in a helping profession, we want to be able to solve everybody’s… Anybody who comes to us, we want to be able to help them. And it’s not always our area of expertise. So you’re right, you’ve just got to kind of narrow it down a little bit.

Who has been an inspiration or mentor to you in the senior care industry?

All right. So we’re going to go back to your wisdom on the senior population a little bit. So there are probably other successful leaders in the senior care industry like yourself that maybe have meant a lot to you in your career or your life, or have been inspirational to you, or just great organizations that you’ve enjoyed working with. Is there anybody you’d like to talk about or say hi to, or just mention that are really important in general?

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Yeah. Yeah. I’ve had a number of people on our radio show who I really respect and bring a lot to the industry. And one person I’ve been trying to get and he’s really up there and pretty busy, but Ken Dychtwald, to me, Age Wave has always been at the forefront of talking about kind of removing all those stereotypes about aging that we used to have. I saw Ken give a presentation years ago and he talked about our retirement is not going to be a single straight line anymore. We’re going to change careers maybe two or three times, or we’re going to have cycles in our life patterns and give up a lot of those kind of traditional, formal, rigid patterns about aging. So Ken is, he’s still doing the Age Wave and he does great work and he’s written great work and they do great consulting.

                Aside from Ken, I’ve had a number of guests on my show. Helen Dennis, she was a faculty member at University of Southern California for many years. And now she’s an author and she hosts a weekly column on aging, retirement, successful aging.

                I had Ken Druck on my show who’s a bestselling author, and he’s written a lot about healing after loss. He’s written a book on courageous aging and now his latest book is, raising an Aging Parent. So Ken Druck.

                I had Joaquin Anguera, gerontologist. He’s well-known in California. Has been on the California Commission on Aging. And he’s really, really been at the forefront of kind of promoting this positive thinking about aging and removing the age-ist stereotypes. I’ve got a list of people.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So many.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Faye Girsh, an old friend of mine. She’s a psychologist and she was the former head of the Hemlock Society. And her thing is living a good life and dying a good death. And we have to remember that there are people that really need that freedom of choice on how to end their lives when it’s over. And we can’t win every battle.

We know that. So let’s make for a peaceful death. And of all the recordings I have on my show, I’ve had probably over 20,000 downloads of these different episodes and Faye Girsh’s How to Die a Peaceful Death is at the top of the list. So she’s had far more downloads than any-

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Isn’t that interesting? I think the death questions and the questions that surround that and our thoughts about that have always been… They’re always a mystery until you’re faced with it, I think. And then, so it’s probably something that really peaks all of our interest is to know how do we have a peaceful death? How does that work? It’s hard to imagine or hard to understand until you’re in that position.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. So that’s great though.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

It’s an important topic. No, we had… I’m sorry, go ahead.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

It sounds to me like people really need to investigate your podcast and your website, and really take a look at some of this stuff and subscribe so that they can hear all these amazing people that you’re mentioning.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Yeah. It’s a lot of fun. The recordings are all on my website and all the past shows. I had Nick Beuttner on of the Blue Zones. Nick and his brother, Dan, have created this massive undertaking, understanding the traits and characteristics of people who are living a hundred and over, and there’s these blue zones around the world. And Nick was on the show.

                I’ve had other psychologists talking about their work with seniors. So it’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoy the radio show. So I continue to do it, every Friday, 2:00 PM.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. That is really cool. Thank you so much for cluing us in on all that. And I’ll make sure that everybody who sees this knows how to reach you and all of your stuff. So that’s amazing. Thank you for that. All right-

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Yeah. Just to add, can I just add quickly? If people want to get on our mailing list, we send out updates, announcements every week about who’s on the show for today, and just go to our website at the very bottom of the main page. There’s a sign-up option. Just put your name in and select a box and we’ll add you to our mail list. Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Great. I’m signing up because I want to hear, so that’s awesome. I have to add that to my list of shows I like to listen to. All right.

               

Okay. So back to advice and wisdom,

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

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Yeah. Well, first of all, to really be tenacious and persevering in this work because it’s tough. There are not a lot of rewards, at least, in my experience, there are rewards, but there’re also a lot of demands and difficult opportunities. And the settings in long-term care or assisted living can be very difficult. And for people seen providing home health and home care, that’s challenging as well. So it’s that tenacity and perseverance.

                Secondly, I think, caregivers, people working with this population, really need to take time to focus on the strengths, what I call the residual strengths of their clients, because their clients see a lot of decline and failures and losses, sensory losses and functional losses. So let’s take time to point out those strengths that are still there, still the positive things. It’s very easy. And I talk about this in my book, when we’re depressed, all we see is what’s wrong. All we see is what’s in front of us. It’s like we have these blinkers on. We can’t see the whole picture. So we want to help people take off those blinkers or blinder so they can see some of the good things and not just everything that’s going wrong. And to me, that’s one of the keys to being a successful caregiver and helping people understand that we have to start new chapters.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s a great way to explain it.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

What comes in our life where things are different, doesn’t mean the life is over. It means we’re starting a new chapter, like I said earlier, we’re writing the script. I used to talk to clients about being the captain of their ship. And I had this one client who had a stroke and she was bedridden and she was actually able to start getting up. And I saw her one week and I said, “Well, Captain, how was your week?” She said, “Well, my ship ran aground. I fell. I was trying to walk and I fell.” And I said, “Okay. So we’ve got to get back up and keep driving that car, steering the ship and we’re in charge. We’re in charge.” That’s the important message to keep giving to our clients. I think, they’re in charge, they are not their bodies. They still have the me, the I in there that can take charge. The bodies don’t always cooperate, but there’s the being.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s for sure.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s my two cents of advice. Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. I think, a lot of our folks have… What you’re saying is absolutely the truth. And I think taking the time to listen, and I know you probably are really good at this, that act of listening, and let them tell you their story and know who they were and are today. But what got them here is an important part. So I know that you’ve probably heard some really great histories and stories and lifetimes of achievements and marriages and kids and all kinds of things. We have a lot to learn, from our [crosstalk 00:18:08].

Dr. Joe Casciani:

I think you’re right, Valerie. It is helping, really listening and helping that person express, talk about themselves. And at times, all they see is what’s wrong. So Robert Butler, a gerontologist, talked about life review and helping people see there have been past achievements. There have been past accomplishments and successes. So let’s balance out what’s wrong with some of the good things and how we’ve accomplish so much in our past.

                One other point that’s really important I think is be careful of the way we misinterpret events because the glass is half-full or half-empty and it’s the same glass, it’s the same four ounces of water in an eight-ounce glass. So it sounds simple, maybe simplistic, but we have to be careful about misinterpreting events around us. There was a Roman philosopher named Epictetus, who was actually a slave. And then they freed him and he was a philosopher. And he said, “We are not disturbed by events, but by the views that we take of these events.” So it’s the way we explain something going on that can trouble us or weigh us down or worry us. So we have to be careful about misinterpreting. Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And I think that we can get locked down in some gloom and doom, if we misinterpret events that are happening to us. That’s great advice. Yeah.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

[inaudible 00:19:39]. Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

When You Have a Win in Life or In Business, How Do You Like To Celebrate?

Okay. My last question is sometimes people say, this is the hardest one, but it’s my fun question. So when you have a win, whether it’s in life, and by a win, I mean, something really nice happens, whether it’s for a client or maybe it’s on your radio show, how do you celebrate? And maybe it’s just something with family.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Yeah. That’s a good question. Because we really need to take these times to be good to ourselves and to take time to kind of reward ourselves or reward those that we love or close to us.

                I used to love to ride my motorcycle. I had it for years. It was a big, beautiful BMW, fast and quiet. And I loved it. I had to sell it. I had a medical event about six months ago and the doctor said, “You just want to be careful about that.” So I sold that motorcycle.

                And during this coronavirus, the wife and I used to go out to eat and celebrate, things like that. And so, that’s not happening so much anymore. We used to travel a lot and that’s not happening. Although I can say, we just celebrated, the wife and I celebrated, our 49th anniversary. So I guess that’s a big celebration. Next June, it’ll be five-oh, the big five-oh.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Wow, nice. Happy anniversary and hope for many, many more. And you have another, you have to live well past a hundred.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Yeah, I think so. And again, it’s not just a goal. I think it’s that mindset that making the right choices and having that outlook that we want to live longer, and what do we need to do today to make that happen? I think you’re doing a great job with these interviews. I’ve watched a few of them. I think it’s great to talk to people, people who are immersed in this field and get their insights and get their recommendations and their experiences so kudos to you for doing [crosstalk 00:21:43].

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Well, thank you. And thank you for all that you do. We have interviewed young people, older people, and everybody has had at least three or four years of experience, and some many, many, many years. And it is amazing to me, these people that have dedicated their life to, or their careers to, helping our senior population, for the most part, just have so much good news to share and have a way of helping families, not just the senior themselves, but also the whole family, get through some of these chapters that you’re talking about, where life changes. We need those people and we’re going to continue to need all the folks that help us get through these different chapters of our lives as we do age and live longer. So I think these folks are really important.

                I appreciate you being on the show. I know a lot of folks, including my parents and my grandfather, who will definitely would love to listen to what you have to say and what your guests have say. So that’s really cool.

Dr. Joe Casciani:

Great.