Kelley Smith, VP of sales and marketing at CarePartners Senior Living, talks at Discovery 2019, the 34th Annual Alzheimer’s Regional Conference. CarePartners operates seven dementia-dedicated senior care facilities in Washington. Sometimes intervention happens too soon — it has to be the right marriage of timing and where seniors are in their journey. The facilities, the Cottages, are four little cottages within a little village. There are certain core things people know, even if they can’t describe it: they know when they are being micromanaged and treated like children, so we make them feel needed. The smaller the environment, the better they do, giving them a sense of community and freedom.
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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.
The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio, and welcome everyone to answers for elders radio. And we are here at the Discovery Conference on Alzheimer’s and I just had to track down one of my favorite people in the world from care partners living, and that is Kelly Smith, the vice president of sales and marketing, and I am so glad. You know, we have such a great friendship anyway, and I love to talk to you because you guys are so committed to the Alzheimer’s Association and the work they do and you work hand in hand with families and you do so much. So first of all I want to say personally how much you do for families out there. Was your sponsorship. You guys are major sponsors of this event. Yes, and Kelly, just tell me a little bit about you know, your role in all of this. This is awesome. Well, we have we have twelve community, soon to be fourteen, in Washington state. Seven of those are dedicated specialized dementia communities. How do you tell these families that you support them and that you want to do what’s best for their family and then not support the number one thing in this nation that actually gives these people to help they need. True How do you? How do you do that? You can’t. So for us it makes sense that we’re going to support something that supports these families. And, in all honesty, yeah, we do dementia and we do it really well, but trust me, there’s enough other things to do that if they found a cure for this disease, we would be the first in line to celebrate that. Absolutely, and I think one of the things that you really keyt on is that you guys are so supportive, not only of the senior that’s there, but the family. You have to be Um. You know, we’ve had conversations before about caregivers, what family caregivers are dealing with, and they feel like they have to have it all on their shoulders, right and all of the things that happens. And yet you never know when that right time is to pick up the phone and you don’t know what is going to happen on the other end of the phone. And you know, that’s one of the things I love about care partners is because you guys are gonna it’s it’s not about selling them on your community. It’s about finding the right resources exactly, and I think that’s why we also love you guys so much. Your message to get out there to your listeners is all about finding what’s best for them, not promoting something just because there’s a there’s a possibility, there’s a dollar sign involved. Right. We like those kind of relationships because the truth of the matter is these are human beings. This is somebody’s love, right, and every time I meet with a family, I think what what I hope somebody would do for us if it was my mom? Yeah, I love my mother very much, and if she got dementia, thank God I’m in this industry and I know what to do to support her. However, what if we weren’t? And how many of these families are doing the best they can but they don’t know what resources are out there. They’re lost, they did, and scared sarily. Yeah, and they don’t know necessarily when the right time is to intervene, intervene exactly. oftentimes they wait till it’s too late. They do. But the thing that happens to Suzanne, it’s what we see quite a bit, is it? Sometimes it’s also too soon. Yeah, and when that kind of thing happens. We’re very honest with families and we tell them your mom’s not quite ready for this yet, because it really does have to be the right marriage of the timing and where they’re out in their journey. Right right. And you talked about you have seven communities that are just dedicated to yes, ma’am, and Alzheimer’s care and there, I know they’re called the cottages. Yes, ma’am, how many about the cottages, because I love to hear that story. They’re awesome. The cottages are for little cottages within a little village, and what we love is I believe there are certain core things that people believe they know, even if they can’t share that with you due to their their disease process. I think people know when they’re being micromanaged and they’re being treated like children. So there their dignity is very important to us. So a lot of our activities are around finding things that make them feel needed, make them feel useful. And the cottage concept is neat because they live in a little house, but there’s a little house over here, little how us over there, and then go visit their friends and they can sit outside. It’s like living in your own little how village. And the thing is with dementia, the smaller the environment, the better they do because they can navigate that and learn it cost so you got you know, they have a little family. Everybody looks out for each other. Foods all home cook kind of stuff they would have made for their kids are fane and you know, we don’t try to really hi. Let’s so dark allarage. Then what it’s that? No, that is the loaf, baby, let’s have meat loaf. So it’s about it’s about giving them a sense of community and we think that’s really important. But that cottage footprint works. The residents are happy, families are happy, the residents have freedom, all with the steep still being supervised, but not having someone on your shoulder all the time, and that’s so important. Yeah, and and I think the other thing is it’s peace of mind to the family because you’re not thinking of Mom and dad in a big place. You know when they’re going to get lost in the Holler, what’s going to happen? They’re in this like come environment and I designed specifically for people with dementia. The hallways and the acoustics are the way they’re supposed to be. I always tell the story, if you got a second, about a gentleman that we had that when the ED would hear him coming down the hall, HMM, she knew that was him because he had a very specific shuffle. Oh, I love that. But she could hear him the minute he came out of his room and she knew Mike’s up. So what I’m saying is is that you you get to where the way these things are set up also helps us learn our residents better, which is important. Yes, yes, and and, as far as you know, also working with the residents because it’s a smaller community, they have much more personal, you know, interaction. It’s not just mom has dementia. Here’s what I said before and I’ll say it again. demensions what MOM has. It’s not what she is. So how do we learn who she is? And let’s nurture that and that’s what we try to do. Yeah, so we are talking again to Kelly Smith, who is the vice president of sales and marketing for care partners senior living. And Kelly, I know you’re you’ve got all these amazing communities where you guys located, well, anywhere from Marysville down to lacy, our newest communities and Renton. If you’re out and about get a chance to see it, please look up our website open house. It was fantastic. I’ll throw a party just for you if you like. Deal. All done? All right. Well, have you come down? Well, I think that would be great. And and you know, the thing is, you do also, you know, you do great job and dementia, but you also do assisted living this, ma’am, and tell me about your assisted living communities. So to look living communities again, if you get a chance to check out the website. Twelve community strong, and we have assisted living independent living, but again it’s set up again for the resident to have a choice in how they live their life. We do the bonded parish program that’s actually trade marked, but the point of the bonded pairs just to keep people together. I think it’s pretty wrong for us to make that decision for people. So we’re set up to give people what they there shouldn’t be any fear, right. And so what you do is you take a look at why are people afraid to move, and then you get rid of those obstacles and and it is and talking about bonded pair, that’s huge. How many husbands don’t been want to be away from their wife if you know, if their wife is suffering from Alzheimer’s, and you know it’s tragic. And again, who do we think we are that we make that decision? So now they’re paying two rents. Mom’s wild in the streets. We’ve got a better idea. Want to leave mom and dad together and it saves some money, it also saves some heartache and it saves them a lot of the unknowns. There are no unknowns and we’ve been we are so excited that we’ve been able to help thirty five couples at our Mo out like terrorist community, stay together and sad. That’s so important. And then also, just what I also love is once you know, if mom or dad start to run a money out at it, you know after a few years being there, you guys will accept Medicaid. Every single resident and every single building can outlive their savings and never leave us. We’ve got the largest floating Medicaid license in the state and I’m very proud of that. That is amazing and and I don’t think anybody else does that out there. No, no, they don’t. So, you know, that’s why we’re so thrilled to have care partners on. Thank you. Answers for elders, because it’s really about taking care of families in the right way and doing things for the right reason with, you know, with the values that we have, and certainly, you know, having people like Kelly on. You know, I sometimes I have to grab you because I’m so glad when you come on because you’re so passionate about there and you and I are in the same page. Just me all about that of you know, making sure that your loved one is taking care of, you know, by people that have their hearts in the right place, and I think that’s just who you are. Well, thank you through well, that’s why we work so well with you, because you’re the same way. So we appreciate you so much. Thank you. You know, you guys are on our you know, your platinum sponsors on in your you are on our fourth week of every month and I love always the care partners week because I know you’re up front and we always can kind of set the pace of the show. Yeah, with your message and we’re just so thrilled to have you guys. You know, I keep going over and over again, but you know, having care partners is a real important part of answers for elders because you really emulates what we don’t think. You’ve been good to us and we’re very grateful and we love what you do. So she say thank you for being our friends. Oh well, that just goes without saying. So if just going back, how do we reach you? Care Partners Livingcom is our website and if you’re bored you want to call me at home. I’m sure Suzanne you call her. I’m sure she’ll give you my number. But the website also can. If you go to the administrative page, it’ll tell you all about all the different people who work for us and how to reach them. Yeah, and and the other good thing is is that Kelly is also really, really active with hey an amazing network of people around her. Sure, so a lot of the individuals that that you work with like, for example, with a little help and home care, and then also the foss home that’s up on the hill on Queen Anne or Greenwood area, and video. So there’s a lot of different types of, you know, companies that you can connect families to use what you bet and I see that one of your good friends, who’s also somebody we try to get families connecting with is walked in. Yes, I wonder if the Daphne Davis, she’s a part of our answer strong. Yep, she’s awesome. So we are so excited to have you guys and and you know, just to really be involved in the journey with families here is really an impartant piece. So thank you. Thank you very much for being on the thank you. The preceding podcast, which provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go to care partners livingcom
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.