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Business Connecting with Kim Spencer

Business Development Manager Kim Spencer at Serengeti Care discusses business connecting. Those with senior loved ones should establish relationships ahead of time, up front, with certain businesses, in preparation for the future.

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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

This is a special presentation of answers for elders with Serengeti Care and welcome back to answers for elders radio everyone. I am here with Kim Spencer from Serengeti Care and Kim is the belt business development manager and she’s meeting with families all of the time here through greater Puget Sound. Kim, I’m so glad you’re back with the program thanks for having me. You know, Kim, we talk about a lot about our I do in our classes in the academy about I really believe that, whether you need it now or not, there’s a lot of services that people should establish relationships with upfront, and of course we definitely know that home care is part of that and we’ll get to that soon, but there’s a lot of different types of businesses that we should, you know, I guess first talk about and then we’ll really dive into what homecare can do. So what are some types of businesses that families should have established relationships and why? I think yard maintenance, somebody that does the landscaping and regular basis can come if the seniors has a home and has a big yard that needs right trimming seasonally, monthly, weekly, and why is that important to have that established in in advance? Well, at some point a seniors not going to be able to mow the yard, pick the weeds from the trees, from the bit bushes, and just for safety reasons. And it might be something that you know, you know you need to do something, but you’re not feeling well or you had a fall or something like that. And you know, I know that there’s a great deal of hazard when it comes to you know, if overgrown branches can produce a danger fault, you know, in as far as falls, if you have like vines or things in your garden that will over you know, overrun your garden, that can be a danger to your own health and safety. Correct. So what else? What kind of other kinds of businesses? I think handy man, you know, taking care of a house is a lot of work. It is it is and you never know, if there’s repairs, it need to happen right. So to be able to have a organization that you can trust, that you can pick up the phone and they can be there in a day to fix that, I think that’s really important for sure. And and what would should you look for in those types of businesses. I know there’s there’s a lot of you know, people will knock on your der and say hey, I’ll wash your windows for you. Miss know. So it’s so, is that the kind of person that you hire? Not Really. Okay, I want to recommend it. It could be shady and I would say somebody that’s been in business check them out. You know, go on a website, call the better business bureau, Chamber of Commerce, if maybe a neighbor has used somebody h well, I always say check their social media because if they you know, the beauty of today’s business is that it’s really hard for shady business to hide very long because once you know that starts happening, there’s all kinds of sites out there like yelp and like Angie’s list or different types of sites that you can get a lot of information on, and I think that that’s valuable that we use those and realize that nobody’s going to be perfect, because it might be a disgruntled employee going on there and and putting things or it might be a you know, a situation where, you know, sometimes people make mistakes but they’re they’re willing to correct them, and that’s really the most important, but a good, upstanding business will have a really good, strong, positive social media ranking for an extended period of time and I think that’s important. For sure, I would recommend not going on Craig’s list or right the corner. Yeah, unless you can see the business on craigslist, that they list the business, they take you to their website and then you can check their social media or their credentials, then that’s a little bit because I know sometimes businesses will do that. For sure, it helps to have somebody with a truck. You know, if you want to organize or get rid of things, Oh, good point, you can’t lift. They have all the tools and and the carts and different things. You know. Today, let’s say you’re downsizing, you’re cleaning out your closets or something like that, and you need to run to value village or or a thrift store something like that. You can have that individual available to you that has a truck. There’s also companies, movers, delivery guys. I know one in Bellevuew puget sound, delivery guys. They will do debris removal or if you just want to get rid of stuff and take it to goodwill, they’ll do that for you. Wow, that’s great. And if you have furniture that needs you want to pick up, they’ll even do that for you. So it helps to know people with the truck. It does, it absolutely does, and that’s you bring up. That a really valid point, because you don’t necessarily think about having somebody that. All you have to do is pick up the phone and have somebody that’s reliable. It can do for the that for you. So tell us now. First of all, we’re talking to Kim Spencer from Sara and Getty Care and I want to talk about obviously, the most obvious is establishing a relationship with a home care provider in advance, and everyone, I couldn’t be a more strong proponent of this. When it’s too late or when your parents really need care, it’s much more difficult to, you know, try people out and and figure out what you want to do. But if you’ve already talked to a home care agency and you’ve already, you know, kind of established that relationship, you’re already in the database, then it’s just a quick phone call and they’re there and it’s much easier and your parents. So tell me a little bit about what people would do to establish a home care agency up front like that. I would say give somebody a call, give a home and they would come do a free consultation visit and just really see how they operate, and and build that rapport with each other and really for us. We go and do a consultation, we see what we listen, we let the family and the senior tell us exactly what they’re going through, what their needs are. They might not need us now, but I think if you the best thing is to prepare for the future. I get so many calls weekly of the kind of the nine hundred and twenty one crisis call. Daughter, some on calls up. Mom’s getting discharged early tomorrow morning. I need a caregiver. She needs twenty four hour care right and you got it. There’s a lot of stuff that has to be done before. We have to do an assessment. We got to look at the care charts, at where they were at that we didn’t charge plans. Charge planner. We have to talk with the social worker and make all kinds of arrangements. We find have to schedule a caregiver and sometimes we can do that in hours, but most of the time it helps to have a little bit of wiggle room. Absolutely time. Well in the Nice thing about having that established relationship is daughters not on the phone calling a million different agencies and not really understanding if mom or dad is going to be happy with them. And you know, what I always talked about is take care of the difficult things up front. Now, one of the things that we as adult children do we kind of sit back and we don’t say too much and we don’t try to interfere with our parents. As long as they’re independent, I will argue that that’s the time when you should have these difficult conversations. Have The Times to say, you know, mom, I know you don’t need this right now, but it I think what would be really important is that we established these relationships right now so when the time comes, or if the time comes that you need help, all we have to do is pick up the phone and we don’t have to go through this process. And and I think this is something that you know you should look for. So what I know we’ve talked about this before, but what did you look for in a home care agency? Well, see how long they’ve been in business, check out their social media, check out the website, ask around. I think it’s important to look for somebody, a company that is local, not a franchise. It’s my personal belief. So it’s not just all about money and business. Look for a company that’s license bonded, ensured and has caregivers that have been properly trained, certified. They’ve gone through all the classes, adventure training, CPR, first aid, instead of just hiring somebody up the street or and it add you know that they had a thorough background check. I’ve heard so many stories of people that have been sued, people that have come in, they’ve let seniors have let somebody come into their home and they’ve stole from them. I mean a lot of different things can happen and it’s quite scary. So I think doing a little bit of a background on the company, get to know them, meet them facetoface and go really I always tell people go with your gut intuition, because your gut is good, if you have good feel for them, good energy well, and I think really if you listen to your heart, you know, the name of my book is the advocate’s heart. I do believe that you you can be that voice for your parent. You know you know if you’re if you are advocating for a senior loved one. One of the things I think that is so powerful is that you, like you’re talking about, listen to your heart. I think all of us sometimes tend to discount it because we want to do always the quote unquote protocol way of doing things. But you know, it’s also a gray area and I think that you understanding what’s important for your parent and in listening to that voice inside is even more powerful. Right. Yeah, so what in looking at that? So what happens when somebody likes, say, if they want to establish a relationship, they call you. What happens in that appointment? They would call me and I would go in meet them, listen to what they’re what they’re looking for. They might not need it now, but at least down the road they’re open. They’re open minded to because all it takes is just one fall or one visit to the hospital, or you wake up and you don’t feel good because you’re sick with the flu. Right, you might need a caregiver to come in and, you know, just help you, help you get dressed, help you get this, you know, take a shower because you’re not feeling well. Maybe you fell and sprained your ankle. You know, it’s not anything that’s serious, but you could use some help, maybe with some lighthouse keeping or some things like that, just extra things, you know, like we say, stuff happens, for sure, right, and you might just be lonely and need companion care. We do that for a lot of people. Absolutely so, Kim. How do we reach you? You can reach us at to zero, six, four, eight nine, five, one, two zero. We also have a website. You can check us out at We cover Pierce, King and Snohomish counties and we bring assisted living to you. I love that, Kim. Thank you so much for being on the program thanks for having me again. This has been a special presentation of answers for elders with Serengeti Care. For more information for Serengeti Care, go to That’s


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Originally published January 13, 2018

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