hi, and welcome back to the I Have Fallen and Need Some Help podcast and today I have my very first guest on my podcast and I'm so excited. I'm so honored to have Ms. Carlene Cadet Francois here with me today. She is an author, real estate investor and an assistant living coach. She retired early from the Broward Sheriff's Office as a sergeant, and today she is devoted to teaching people how to achieve financial freedom. By combining real estate investing with assisted living facilities and taking control of their lives by 2030, only seven years from now, the assisted living industry is projected to be generating 140 billion. That is staggering. Yeah, she is teaching the steps. She is teaching the step by steps to get started and educating families on how to help shape the field by raising the bar for assisted living facilities. You can find more free educational blogs and resources on her website at carlenecadetfrancois.com and a wealth of free information on her social media@CarleneCadetFrancois. Welcome. Thank you for being here. Thank you for having me, Erin. It is a pleasure to be with you today, Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Um, it's interesting, the staggering number, 140 billion expected to generate revenue to generate in the next coming years in our industry. I know. Or at least the past 10, 15 years, we've been hearing about the baby boomers. The baby boomers. The baby boomers. Well, we're here, right? All right. I believe the first wave is here. Mm-hmm. But we've got bigger waves coming. Yes. And how do you feel? where we are. Are we ready for that? Like as an industry, do you feel like we're ready for what is coming in the next three to five years? Yes, the wave is here and it's projected to be even bigger. So in the next three to five years, we're gonna have even more of a seniors into assisted living. Now, this is just for baby boomers. This is not even for people with medical issues, um, for people who need assisted living for other issues that they may have. This is by age baby boomers, and we have to get ready for our baby boomers., one of the thing I, uh, encourage families to do is to get involved because this wave is coming. Whether you get involved or not, get educated early. That's why me and Erin are here to give you some, uh, pro tips on what you can do to start preparing for this wave. And so one of the major educational points is to what to expect when going to look for a place for mom and dad. Mm-hmm. I believe we're all going to need assistive living at some point and setting the standards very early on helps every. Yes. I think one of my main goals with this podcast and with my company Aspire for more with Erin and And in what you're doing is changing the perception. Yes, we're all gonna need help. Yes, we're all gonna need help. And asking for help is okay. Yes, it's okay. It's okay. And I believe assisted living is one of the best ways. to get help. It can change your life. It can change your life. Mm-hmm. as a resident, it can change your life. Yeah. As a family member, um, in my own personal experience, it changed my grandmother's life, which therefore changed my life. of course, it's, and um, Yeah. I think changing the perception is important, and I think society has kind of done that. Mm-hmm. for these baby boomers, I'm not sure they're as afraid as their parents were, and I think the industry has changed and we're gonna continue to change to support. Yeah. But the baby boomer's idea of fun and care and all those things. Mm-hmm. versus. The World War II generation. Mm-hmm. yes. You know? Mm-hmm. I agree. All right. So what should residents families look for when they're looking and trying to find the best assisted living? And I want you to answer that question from, from, uh, uh, from your, like your type of community, right? The, the smaller communities. Mm-hmm. and then I'll answer that question from the bigger ones. And then let's talk about. what's the same? Yes. And then what's different? Uhhuh. Because I think that's an excellent exercise for education. Yes, it is. I agree. So go for it. What should families look like? Families should first calm down. Don't get high in the whole, it's a new facility I'm going to go see, come down and tap into their. because your senses are gonna speak to you and let you know whether this is the right place or not. But some signs that you can observe that will help you make a good decisions are what does the facility look like from a smaller setting? It should look like their staff. It should look like it's organiz. It should look like the residents look calm. No one is stressed. Um, the caretaker pay close attention to the caretaker. How they seem to you, do they seem anxious? Do they seem nervous? Do they seem stressed? Because you wanna pay attention to the environ. because when you walk away, this is the environment your loved one is gonna live at. Mm-hmm. So you wanna make sure the environment seems to be as calm as possible. The environment seems to be as, um, organized as possible, and the person in charge. Seem to be someone who's respected. Um, if people respect the leader, that means the leader is doing a good job when no one is there. So you wanna make sure you pay attention to these factors. Mm-hmm. there are more that we can get into, but those are the major points that you want to at least make sure you pay attention to that. Yes, and I agree with that 100%. I mean, on a, on a bigger scale, um, you're gonna have more associates, more staff members to observe mm-hmm. because, you know, at my communities that I've worked in, in the past, you could have as many as 35, 50 people working at a day versus at a community your size, it may be mm-hmm. two to five, three. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So I think certainly the soft skills, I think a good community. the sign of a good to great community is in those soft skills. Yes. It's in the senses. Mm-hmm. it's in, how do you feel when you walk in? Mm-hmm. And how do you feel when you walk out? Yeah. And you're gonna, people are gonna have a bad day, and I feel like if you're a good executive director or if you're a good administrator, you're bringing your team in to be a. anytime a family comes to tour your community. Yes. And the more involved that your team is in welcoming new people, the better community it is and the more residents you're gonna get to move in. Yes. And they get used to it and they feel like they're a part of the team. Absolutely. Absolutely. And so if you're a family member and you're walking into a community, whether it's a small, individually owned community or if it's a big one, if you have involvement, From everyone. Mm-hmm. even if it's just one person. Yes, it'd be great if it's more, but even if it's just one person, I think it's, it's worth putting that on one of the, the top list when you choose. Mm-hmm. I, I do think because a sign of a good team is a sign of good care. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I think Maya Angelou said it correct, right? Yes. Yeah. I mean, like, if you go into a community with her quote and what people always remember how you made them feel. Mm-hmm. and the salesperson, if they're good. Mm-hmm. can make you feel really good. Mm-hmm. but it's everybody else that you want to have that mindset with. Did that caregiver make you feel good? Did that server, if you have one, or did that, um, custodial person in maintenance or did they make you feel. That to me is the sign of a great community and how you should keep it on your shortlist. Absolutely. Yes. Absolutely. Would you say, what about surveys? That's an interesting topic, right? You know, can't, you can't always judge a community by their last survey. Yes. I would say that is a very much correct statement, um, because. people have different perspectives and people, people act differently under different circumstances. So let's say for example, a community received a very bad survey or very bad review, and I wouldn't say to go by that. Take a trip to the community. Better yet, ask the residents when you walk in, what is it like living here? You know, and, um, see what they say and pay attention to what we talked about earlier, what you should, what you should be able to observe. The environment and then make your decisions from there. Because people have different reasons why they give good or bad reviews. And so reviews are meant to be honest, sound, um, you know, feedbacks. But over time, sometimes it can become too overly emotional and one person can abuse. The, the review and it, it becomes unfair. And so we want to pay attention to the review, but don't let the review be the, the last trigger as to which option you choose. Use the review as, let me prove this right or wrong. Um, mm-hmm. to, to go that way when it comes to the review. And I believe giving the community an opportunity to discuss that review. Mm-hmm. I have been, I have had some interesting reviews put on online about me from, um, an associate that made some really bad decisions. Yes, yes. And so there is no merit. Yes. And although we can't necessarily discuss all the things mm-hmm. we certainly can say, here's a broad under understanding of the incident and mm-hmm. and I think also acceptance from the community. Yeah. We made a mistake in this particular situation and here's what we did to fix it. Mm-hmm. Yeah. People love that. Yeah. You accept the wrong, it showed what we did to fix it. Mm-hmm. and if a community can tell you that, no matter the size who owns it, I think that that's certainly in the win column too. Yes, absolutely. I agree a hundred percent. Accept. not a lot of people can do that. So when you find somebody who can do it, I think you've got yourself a winner. It shows integrity. Mm-hmm. Yes, absolutely. Okay, so what can, let's give the spotlight to the smaller communities. Mm-hmm. okay. Mm-hmm. Um, what is points of differences? why would you say to choose a smaller community? Like how many residents do you have in your community? What's your capacity? So my capacity is four. So we're like the average family size in the us. Okay. So I'll let you finish the question, but so you tell me and everybody listening, why would you choose. community, your size, or maybe even bigger, 16 or less. We'll just say mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Okay. Um, why would a family choose that size community over a bigger community? Let's just say sixty, ninety, a hundred twenty? Mm-hmm. So for my size of a community, um, you get more one-on-one care. It's like a family. The average size families nowadays is about four. And so you get more of a right here, right now type of help. Um, in the bigger communities, I have heard that is one of the areas that they lack, um, because of staffing, um, but in a smaller setting. like if you have your mom and dad that needs more help, um, that needs more assistance than others, you would want to bring her to a smaller facility because when she asks for help, there will be someone available the whole time to help her. Versus the bigger communities, it may be. Mm-hmm. And so the smaller setting is more intimate, more one-on-one, more so. Okay. We're a family with the residents. With the residents family, everybody know each other. We're a very small team, very intimate. And, um, we make sure that the family unit is good, including the staff members. Mm-hmm. And so it is a whole, a whole more of. Tighter group that we are here. We are one family to care for your loved one, and it's, you get more out of the care that mom and dad may need. Mm-hmm. And you are still licensed in your state? Correct. Yes. Still licensed? The facility is still equipped with everything that needs to be. We equipped a generator. It is more safe than my home. If we, we had a hurricane, I'd be going up there with my family. Just, you know, because we have everything generator. Um, reserved gas system. it's fully equipped. Fire alarm, fire sprinkler system, um, safe sound, and a good home because the staff are good people. Um, yeah. Yeah. And I think that's important to note, you know? Mm-hmm. and I think it's important to ask if you're a family member and you're looking for assisted living and you're looking at both market types, the smaller company this and the, the larger companies. I think it's important to ask. Yeah. Are you licensed? Mm-hmm. do you go by the same rules? Yes. Do you have the insurance? Yes. You know, all those things. Yes. Because that is important. That gives you peace. Yes. Yes. We're licensed, we're in the same standards as a big 50 bed, A l F. Mm-hmm. the same standards. the same sets of rules, uh, applies to whatever size that you choose to have. It's the same sets of rules. The only difference is the level of care. We are able to provide more care because we're smaller. Mm-hmm. we are able to provide the more one-on-one intimate care because we're smaller. That is the only difference. Mm-hmm. and that's a powerful difference. It's a powerful difference. All right, so let's talk about ways to, I think this goes for small communities and large communities for family members to build relationships with your team and to ensure, not no one can ensure right, but to do whatever they can to. make sure their loved ones get the best care. Yeah. And I tell family members all the time, choose where you can go the quickest and make sure that you communicate and care for the people caring for your loved one. Because I have seen where some of my associates worked harder for certain family members than they did for others. How would you tell family members to create relationships with the caregivers who are caring for their loved ones? Because I think relationships and communication matters to the people who are caring for your loved ones, and not every family comes in knowing that. Mm-hmm. So what would be your advice Yes. To a family member on how to initiate that relationship and how to stay? Connected in that relationship. I would say treat everyone with respect, dignity, and to always think of what that person might have going on. Because sometimes some families walk in and you have a very peaceful staff member. You know that staff member. Yet they may have a complaint because of how they behaved. The family member. Mm-hmm. So if you're having a bad day, um, and you're just frustrated, you probably should not visit mom and dad today, because when you show up, your vibe is going to be different and. The caregivers, a lot of'em are like people who really value the work that they do, and they love what they do and they want the family members to see that. Mm-hmm. so when the family members show up, and you're, you have a, the family member have a lot going on and, and they're just in a different vibe and you're not sending good vibe. You're not opening that gateway for that positive relationship building because the staff who is looking at you in the way that you behave, they don't know what's going on with you. And you may find the. Having a rough day too, and you don't know what's going on with them. So I would. Come in with a positive attitude. Um, observe the staff and see if they're in a positive mindset. And how you doing today goes a long way. You can ask, how are you today? How's mom doing today? Um, have you observed anything different about mom? You open up that communication gateway to let the. know. Like, hey, we're in the same team here to make sure mom is okay. And another suggestions that I have is if you make the staff member feel like staff feel like they are on your side, like. For example, some families bring gifts, some families have little small conversations with the staff member. They ask them how your family is doing, where you're from. You open up that communication. You tell them about your own family. You tell them some of the traditions. You find ways to communicate and connect because it goes a long way because now this caregiver know. oh, this is why, um, Mrs. Spalding do that little thing that she does now, I understand the background behind it, you get what I'm saying. But it takes someone to, uh, tell that staff member the background of, of that whatever trigger that may have been, and now they have a general understanding of what's really going on. And it helps the situation. It helps everyone. Yes. I believe making the connection and communicating and reading the room. Mm-hmm. you know, I think this can really tie into the scarcity mindset and the cultural awareness aspect of caregiving. Mm-hmm. um, people can go in. automatically, assuming the expectations that you have as a family member. Yes, I'm the family member and I'm walking in, I'm automatically assuming that you understand and know what I want. Mm-hmm. but if I don't communicate that to anybody, Then all of a sudden we've got a complete disconnect. Yes. And I'm walking in expecting my grandmother to be wearing her favorite outfit that she wears every Tuesday. Mm-hmm. And you have on a Friday outfit. Yes. How dare you have on a Friday outfit? Yes. Tuesday. You know that could be Yes. But I didn't communicate that. She wears this outfit on Monday and this outfit on Tuesday. And if you are coming at a group of people, in a very negative way without understanding mm-hmm. that group of people's mindset. Mm-hmm. you're gonna get a reaction that you're not necessarily prepared for. Right. And that is just that I believe sometimes is where the disconnect is. Mm-hmm. and, and. It can be simple If we just communicate, Hey, I've labeled, um, you know, my grandmother's clothes, this is what she likes to wear on each day. It's very important to me that she continues to do that. It brings me some peace. Yes. And then if you actually follow through with that mm-hmm. As a community mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. you have brought the family peace. Yes. You know? Yeah. But if me as a family member doesn't communicate, I come in and I'm expecting that, and then I react in a way. Mm-hmm. that takes a group of people. who are not capable of understanding why you're so upset because mm-hmm. she has clothes on. Yes. And they think they're doing something wrong. Right. Yeah. And they really thought they were succeeding for the day. Yes. You know? Mm-hmm. And that's why I think it's important for communities to be able to ask the question, what does success look like to you? To each family member. Mm-hmm. Yes. And then for the family member to give grace, to extend grace out sometimes. Mm-hmm. Yes. And understand. for the most part, it's women who are caregivers. Mm-hmm. who may not have been treated very nicely. Mm-hmm. their entire life. Yes. And they have this group of women mm-hmm. wherever. Mm-hmm. um, have had struggles that maybe most of us have not had. Yes. And so we have to honor things that we don't know and we need to. Yes. And we need to respect people. We can disagree. Mm-hmm. without being disrespectful. And um, it goes both ways. Also, Erin, because some of the families members may be going through a lot. Mm-hmm. But as you said earlier, if we just come in and communicate our expectations, let's say that outfit for example that you show up and you see she's not wearing that outfit. could you kindly ask that? You know, we put the outfit on her. Most of us would not mind. A good community would not mind. Yes. We'll get it done. And right then and there, the problem is solved nobody's feelings are hurt. Mm-hmm. Yeah, absolutely. I think communication is by far the number one tool to ensure that your loved one gets the care that you expect. Yes. And then acceptance. From a family member is just to accept that you cannot control everything. Everything. And that maybe wearing a Thursday outfit on Tuesday, it's okay. Yes. And maybe mom didn't wanna wear it. I have had that happened. I have had that happen. I had a family member, it was in memory care. It was many years ago. where this particular family member was so irate, that we were not using the proper hangers for their loved one. I mean, like I mean bad. I didn't, I didn't even know how to manage the situation. I mean, like I understand the concept of I. these hangers, where are these hangers? Mm-hmm. I even labeled them. Mm-hmm. I, I mean, I understand the frustration of that. Mm-hmm. but to take it to the level that it went was too much shocking. It was shocking. Wow. You know, because her loved one was being taken care. Phenomenal, and that's all that matters. Yeah. That's all that matters as long as your loved one is you are in a licensed facility. Your staff are trained. Your loved one is safe, they're being cared for. Everything else is just. it matters, but it don't matter. Right? Because the reason you brought mom and dad here was for mom and dad to be cared for. Mm-hmm. all the little smaller stuff. We can work to make that happen, but if you show up, those little small things are not done. Maybe you can just ask why is it not done? There's a reason behind it. Yes. And I think going to the administrator, or the director of nursing or the manager of that department, depending on what size of community that you're in. Mm-hmm. I think that's the the first step. Mm-hmm. because they can communicate the process to the team the way they know the team can receive it the best. Yes. But if you have a good relationship with your caregivers that are caring for your loved ones, that line of communication should be open. Yes. You know, it should be. It should be fine. Yeah. And you don't have to bring expensive gifts or No. Anything like that. I mean mm-hmm. I used to tell people, um, donuts, I used to have family members bring fried chicken every Sunday. Mm-hmm. Every Sunday. Oh, some coffee, some orange juice. Yes. Some Dr. Pepper. Yes. Um, you know, whatever it is that they like to drink. I mean, just something that simple. Mm-hmm. shows people appreciation. Yes. It's, it's, it's more of the gesture than the gift itself. Mm-hmm. even a Thank you. even a thank you note, a pack of gum, you know? Mm-hmm. uh, it shows that you, you see that I do a good job taking care of your mom and that I do, um, that I love your mom and you see my hard work. And oftentimes that's all our caregivers care about is for someone to observe and to acknowledge that they do a good job and they do the best that they can. Yep. Yeah. Yep. And in healthcare, we don't get it enough In healthcare. Being seen and heard and being appreciated, um, is not as consistent as maybe some others or may, or maybe that's just the world we live in today. So it's more powerful the smaller it is. Yes. And with that scarcity mindset of potentially the group of women and men, Caring for your loved ones, the smallest things to maybe some of us are really big. Oh yes. Other people. Yes. And we cannot lose sight of that. Like to me, we cannot lose sight. we cannot lose sight of how important. the small things, it's the details that make greatness. It is not the, the, the big things. Yes, it is the details. Mm-hmm. I agree a hundred percent. And small communities can be great just like the big communities. Mm-hmm. And I'm glad that you were here to teach us that. Yes. Um, is there anything else that you want to. to say, as a representative of the smaller communities of the market, I would say a lot of family don't know about the smaller communities. Mm-hmm. um, because the smaller communities don't have the funds to go out in market like the big facilities. So a lot of people believe because of what's showing that the only way to assistive living is a big facility. Um, but that is not true. The smaller settings, um, give the utmost better care that I've seen. Um, and it's not because I own and operate one, it's because when I go into the big facilities, I see the signs. Um, you know, you walk in and. Ms. Jodi is in the front. She's distressed. Everyone is passing her by and is heartbreaking to see that. And the smaller settings, it's more one-on-one. We sit down and speak to, to our residents. We know what's going on with them. We can tell the doctor or she doesn't look good today, something is going on. You could sense something is wrong because you have that more intimate care. And I think. If mom and dad is more active, they may be, be a better fit for a bigger setting because they won't need that much care. They're just there for someone to, to just be in the building and if they go missing, to know that they went missing. But if you really want a family type of setting, the smaller setting is better. 16 beds or. It's better and when you go smaller and smaller it becomes even more and more, um, important for mom and dad because they can get that one-on-one. I want my medication now. I get it now. Type of care. Mm-hmm. Okay. Thank you so much. You made a powerful point, I appreciate it. Thank you for having me, Erin. You're welcome.