Aaron Koelsch, the CEO and founder of Koelsch Communities, joins Suzanne this hour. In this segment, Mr. Koelsch talks about Koelsch’s niche, what makes it unique.
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The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider, hurt, on the answers for elders radio show. And welcome back everyone to answer for elders radio network. And we are here with Aaron Kelch CEO of Celch Communities, and that is senior living communities. And Aaron, you’ve given us such an amazing background of your organization and your values. Thank you so much for being with us this our we’re so honored to have you and my pleasure think I’m so you’re such a busy individual and to take time out to talk to us. We’re hopeful that that, you know, your expectations are being met, but also that our listeners are really getting the idea that this is a very special time for us to have them here, and so thank you saying I’m certainly interested because you know, there’s we talked to a lot of senior living communities and, like you said, they’re amazing, but each senior living organization that I talk to they kind of have their own, quote unquote, niche in the industry. You know, obviously there’s been evolutions and you’ve been in senior living for a long time. Tell us a little bit about what makes Kelch unique and a little bit about how you define your niche. I’ll do my very best if I can. I’m going to just say one thing to something yourself. That is it that you talked a lot of senior housing providers and and that they’re good. You found them generally be good people that they are. I just want to say that right out of the shoot. That’s some of the best people I know on the planet are people that are senior housing providers. You know, none of us is perfect, and I am at the top of that list, but I will tell you some of my very best friends and people that I admire are in the industry and seniors housing, and so I agree with that comment. Just yeah, some of the best people. I call you all of you angels, because you truly are. You have patients, you have respect, you are so dedicated to you know, ninety nine percent of you are the that kind of person, and I would include in many cases of those operate adult family homes as well. The heart that goes into this industry is not for the faint of heart. It’s like, yes, it takes an incredible commitment and it takes an incredible passion for seniors and the dignity and values that they hols and I think a great guys are definitely in that in that realm. So so maybe what makes keels unique in our eyes? I starts with the fact that we are truly family owned and operators. We have our own construction company. We build our own communities, with a rare exception of on occasion where we buy an existing community. Madison House in Kirk and Washwood. Yeah, be example that we did not build. That very proud to own it. But we do not build. But Ninety eight percent of our communities we’ve built ourselves, as we’ve talked about and touched on. My Wife to all of our interior design and we manage our own properties as well. So Talke to bottom. I have a now have the privilege of having two of my four children working in the organization and we’re just real proud to do so. Love working with them. And so it really is a family owned and operated organization. That does not make us perfect, that does not make us better than necessarily someone else, but it does make us unique. It’s not as common as it once was. So I think that is unique. And and and again our names on the front door. We’ve talked about that. We make my cell phone, our office phone over here, very prominent throughout become company. I get text from employees often. My favorite time the text and email is between about eleven o’clock at night and zero in the morning, because everybody’s asleep at my house and no, you know, no one wants to talk. So I you ever sleep? I do, but I don’t require a lot of sleep. That’s really I’m not aging quite as nicely as my wife, but nevertheless the other thing that I think makes us unique is that we are in our communities. We walk the floors of our communities, we make the effort to travel and get there and and not only know are people, but know if you rest as I have a note. I’m looking out my office window right now at a note on the wall for me resident who lives with this in Scottsdale, Arizona. She doesn’t he is living in one of our memory care communities, but she has no memory care challenges at all but lives there because our husband is there and and so when I’m there I make some time and we sit and have coffee, we visit for an hour or two and I just wrote her I responded to a note just the other day said I’ll I plan on being there on such a day and I’ll come see you. I don’t I don’t think I’m the only one that has ever done that, but do take the time to do it because, remember, the reason we’re here in the first place is her and her husband. So I don’t want to make if she would like to visit, I’m happy to visit. She’s a lovely lady. So I do think that makes us unique. I would say the other thing that you talked about, or touched on rather, is that we do tend to build memory care communities that are free standing. We like that very only one of our memory care components is within a larger structure. Every thing else that we have that is specifically to memory care is its own building. We like that because we want our management in that building, we want our employees in the building to say this is your family member, is the only reason that we are here. We’re not here for a little bit and then we have to go over here and then we have to go over here, and this is the only reason we’re here. In my opinion, it’s just an opinion and it’s one guy’s opinion. Oftentimes, not all the time, but oftentimes, memory care components that are within the larger community can often feel like the ugly stepchild or they they get short ship or get second ship. I want to be clear. I don’t think that’s all the time and there are exceptions to that, right, but I think too often that is the case. Where we’re where memory care is dedicated to its own issues and its own community, they the issues that memory care have and come up first priority and the only well and and there’s a feeling of not being locked in. I think sometimes, you know, if you’re in your own community and it’s all you can you know, I know that those that have Alzheimer’s, they need to wander, they need to walk, they need to express. That’s part of the process. So understanding that they have this whole space to themselves, because there’s feel like they’re in this little wing where they’re isolated, and I think that’s one of the things that’s really important and, as we talked about, equally important. Families don’t feel that way. You’re right, right, true, true, and so obviously you guys do memory care and you do assist a living. Now, remind me. I think you do do an independent in certain areas. Correct, we do. We are just opening up is just there on Monday this week in Elk Grove, California. We’re about ray to open ours seventh standing independent living community. Is freestanding, but it is right next door to a freestanding memory care community. Are Honesty campus. We don’t build our independent living by themselves in a market without any one of our other support communities either right next door or maybe a block away. And in fact these two are on the same campus. Yes, they’re beautiful, they’re hids. This one is filling up quickly, even though we haven’t technically opened our doors yet. We have a lot of prelise departments, which we are most grateful for and we loved in that. We’ve actually been doing pure independent living back maybe in the mid S. We just stopped doing it for a while until about five, you six years ago, we got got back in that right after the hund and nine. Kind of crash. Would happened during that period of time? Is Independent living really took a wash. People’s home values were determined on whether they could move to independent living. But unfortunately the demand for independent living kept going up, but the number being built just dropped off the planet. So we stepped in and and started doing that back in his twenty two, I think, we opened our first and many, many years and to eighteen. So to seventeen, to eighteen. So yeah, and obviously in when you build your own communities, that means that you can really innovate some new, you know, ways and doing things. Tell us what about that are yeah, I agree with that. We do like constructing our own communities because we do, we do get to do what we want to do in an example that is we were building our person quite some time back in seventeen and we were probably thirty or forty percent construction when I decided, know, we needed a pizza kitchen of it, you know, and so that was a two hundred fiftyzero call and change. But because we do our own and we do our own construction, we just did it. I didn’t have to get ton of approval, we just went and did it and that cost us a few dollars, but I am telling you, it was a great decision. I’m and we’ve done ever since. So we get to innovate with things that like tea rooms or we do a full woodworking shop, full of equipment for the men in the in the in the community, or a tea room for those that might want to take advantage of that, which we have a movie theater, which we may not have in a memory care community, but in our independent living environment we want a large movie theater for people together, etc. So any number of things that I that we get to do that because we build it ourselves. We just do it and so we love that. Yeah, and I did, of course, in everyone in sorry sus we have a place called Emmet’s garage where we feature an antique car and everyone we talked about that and Emmett was my father. He was the one that gave us the love of that is so cool and obviously you know that comes with the vitality of life, which means wellness, you know, nutritious food, etc. Would you just touch on that little bit? Yeah, I gu if I can. By way of example to your your question, I was just reading in Vancouver, Washington we have a new campus center construction called University village. Is Next to the Washington State University campus. So we call it university village. We’ve had some medication programs back and forth. We will have but I’m reading. Every person that to posess with us is asking a lot of questions. How did you choose this? What did you like? What you didn’t like? I would say in two thirds of the the preleases that we’ve taken so far, two thirds of the people are coming from other communities and the number one thing why they are moving are looking to move from there on the community number one quality of food. Yeah, while your food is terrible according to them, I don’t doubt it. Our food is outstanding. We have a consulting relationship with chef Darren McGrady, who is a chef to six presidents, Lady Diana and her two boys, and he since moved from England to Texas and he consults with us. He’s wonderful man, he’s a real friend and the quality of our food is outstanding and this is the reason many people move is just quality of food. Well, I’ve actually had the privilege of having lunch in a couple of your communities and I will testify to that that it’s in all. I didn’t know that. I’m out of here. That absolutely so. You have. You have very your community relations staff also, I will just say, your hospitality. In my personal experience has been, you know, amazing. So you know, with that alone, I’m I can testify to that. So, Aaron, how do we reach you? Absolutely our general office number is three hundred and sixty sir eight hundred and sixty seven nine zero, zero, and we will connect you wherever you need to go. Our website is wwwetlch Communitiescom Kelch, just felled, K OEL S H Communitiescom colch communitiescom perfect. And this the last hour. Aaron’s going to come back and we’re going to talk specifically on location, on types of you know, care and quality of life at Kelch and will be right back right after this answers for elders radio show with Suzanne Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, legal, health and wellness and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive promotional discounts and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for elders RADIOCOM. Now there is one place to find the answers for elders,
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman 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 Newman found herself 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. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, 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.
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