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I cannot wait for you to listen to this episode with Rebecca Edelman. It thought leader influencer. And founder of Edelman law firm and claims management. She is. A masterclass. Of expectations management. Of the guide path that she created to help communities in our senior living industry. Reduce the risk of lawsuit and litigation. For over 30 years, Rebecca has concentrated her practice in health care and insurance defense and business litigation. From provides claims management services to senior living insurance companies and created the prism proactive. Claims model focused on offensive strategies for claims and risk mitigation. In 2021, Ms. Edelman founded guide path. And an expectations and risk management certification program created for resident, family and provider engagement. To mitigate risk, improve quality of care and regulatory compliance. She is also fluid and French and an NBA certified player agent. Cannot begin to tell you. What a fun conversation this was. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did.Erin:
Today I have an amazing guest. Somebody that I am so honored and privileged to have on my podcast. And that is Rebecca Adelman of Adelman law firm. Thank you for being here. And as an Alabama fan, I need to say to you, go blue. Congratulations.Rebecca:
Thank you very much. for those of you who are not Michigan fans. I feel sorry for you, but for those of you who are Michigan fans, and I know there are a lot of them out there. hail to the victors. It was quite it's been quite a 26 year wait and we are very excited. I think I've I think I've told you I'm a 3rd generation Michigan Wolverine. for me, it's I've been waiting a long time for a championship. So that's very exciting.Erin:
Yes, they play. They play. So it seasons fair enough for sure. So I want to start. And we'll let you highlight your law firm of stuff, good knowledge and information that I think is important to dive into. And we talked a little bit about the Pareto Principle, and I post a question on my, for my LinkedIn audience. When you're looking at the 80 20 rule, the 20 80 rule, whatever, however you want to say it, where 20 percent of our actions and our energy we'll give us 80 percent of the results that we're looking for and with your experience and only serving the senior living industry for the majority, if not all of your career, I am sure you have a plethora of information for us. enlighten us with what you believe the 20%. Of energy and actions are executive directors should take inside of the community.Rebecca:
Aaron 1st of all, I can't tell you how happy I am to be here. And I have been looking forward to spending time with you on your journey. I'm just. I'm like a, I'm a big Michigan fan, but I'm a big bigger Aaron fan, just so I'm gonna have to know what your colors are and who your mascot is and all that stuff. I was, I was really, I really appreciated you reaching out to your LinkedIn family. To talk about this sort of this principle, because I think it's very important. I actually follow it in my own personal life and 8020 principle as well as my work life. And I, when I was giving some consideration to you, inviting us to, give answers, provide answers to that question. where should we focus to me in the senior living the whole ecosystem, and we'll. We'll talk more about that ecosystem. I think during our time together, but I think in that whole ecosystem, for me, in my experience as a lawyer and risk manager and claims manager and educator in senior living that focus, that attention resources, is really best spent. That 20 percent is really best spent in resident and family relationships. and what all that means, because even anywhere you show up in the ecosystem, whether it's as an administrator, or you're a caregiver, or you're a, the family member, or you're a resident, or you're an insurance provider, it doesn't really matter anywhere vendor anywhere in the ecosystem. You show up the real gains. In my opinion are. the connecting in on a level of feelings and needs with residents and families and that relationship probably falls under customer service. it falls under probably a multitude of enterprise risk management, domains. Financial operational, legal, there are all sorts of. Ways that there are impacts from the positive results that are gained from these. Strong relationships with residents and families and really trying to understand their, either unmet needs or expectations that are unmet or just speaking from that level. I think that to me would be time. Super well spent. I think the return on that investment is even probably more than 80%. We can't come out of 100. but I think it's. I think it's even more than 80%.Erin:
Yes. I have always unintentionally, but now I understand it more intentionally. Believe the fact that people do not want perfection. They want connection. Yeah. when we think about the leaders in our children's lives at the school, or the coach on the team, like we want them to connect with our loved ones. We want them to pull out of our loved ones something that maybe we can't or we haven't seen. and that's who we are as leaders inside of the community. Not everyone has a child, but everyone has a parent. And when you have to make that decision to move them into senior living, You want to be connected to that community. You want to know the leader. You want to know that, that leader caress. The tools don't matter. The aesthetics do matter, but they don't matter more than the connection, the human being connection. And I believe that's not taught as much. And with your experience, maybe you can verify that forRebecca:
me. I am going to verify that for you. And I can point to, I think just if you'll, if you'll indulge me for 1 2nd, because I think it will make your. the folks who are sharing this with your podcast, it might make more sense. So just by way of a very short background. So my experience, like, yours is in senior living. I started back gosh, I. I've been around even before Oprah, just for those of, skilled nursing, I've been around before HIPAA. I've seen 4 versions of HIPAA right before. We're just letting paper fly out the fly out of the building. And I've, I entered the world of senior living professionally, as an attorney representing senior living community. So defending them in lawsuits. on a risk spectrum, Aaron, I'm, the conflict has escalated to the point of a lawsuit and everyone is, in conflict about care issues and damages and all that kind of stuff. And lawyers are involved in the care community. Is my client, so that's the high end of the risk. And then the low end of the spectrum is where I also spend time. I spend time along the whole risk continuum. However, so that's 10, that's 910 risk, there's 0 risk or 1 risk. That's really where I feel that the most change for every stakeholder in the industry can happen. Is it that 01 risk? So I do a lot of work in that area also. So I still, we were talking, we had a great warm up before the, this podcast. And we were talking about court and trials, and which I still do, and I'm in court all the time. and, but that what I also am passionate about is hanging around in that 0, 1, 2 risk, and really proactively trying to mitigate risk or eliminate it. I'm, I try and fancy myself as a risk eliminator when it comes to senior living. In this point, circling it back around, To our conversation about the Pareto principle is that the risks really begin there at the unmet needs and the feelings and the needy to be understood and the confusion and the lack of education of these families and the residents at transitions of care. I think that's the ticket. And if we commit our time and attention, our energies, our policies. Our protocols, our education and training, and hopefully some regulatory support. Also, that if we focus there, then it really elevates, it elevates the community. It elevates the understandings and the connection so that all those risks that potentially. Come later that are driven by these feelings and these needs that no one's talks about the confusion, the education. Why am I here? I'm at a critical point in my, my, my life. And my mother, my father, some other loved one is transitioning care into a community. I don't even know what's happening. we forget, for example, we forget that when that transition happens, it's not just a transition for the resident. It's a transition for the whole family system. the whole family system undergoes a complete transformation, and I've seen, I've spent a lot of time in 35 years. With family members who are suing their nursing homes, their assisted living, their independent living, they're suing them for a reason. And what I have found is it is the drivers of all that go back to, no one told me I didn't understand. My life is so different. No one under, no one talked to me about what was going to happen. real simple feelings, needs. When they're being fulfilled, everyone's feeling better when they're not being fulfilled, there is that sense of conflict and confusion and, all the feelings that come and I'm actually looking at this chart. I'm going to send you my feelings and needs chart and I look at it often, feelings when needs are being fulfilled, compassionate, peaceful, engaged, thankful, hopeful. Those are feelings. And when they're being fulfilled, we feel serene. We feel carefree. We feel inspired. We feel interested. Our families and our residents are no different, right? And yeah, and the whole exactly in our team members. So I think that's, and I think it helps to, when you're asking me for some kind of verification of that, I can tell you from just the work I do on the legal side, when the risk is 9, 10, 8, 9, 10, and I show up and there's a lot at stake and there's. Damages and money and, all of those things, they're really driven back at the beginning and to, to connections. That's it. They feel disconnected.Erin:
There's so much there. Okay. So we briefly talked about versus feelings and phrase is really important. And I think where discernment comes for leaders and for human beings is. When can we know that should rule the day versus feelings rule the day, right? my internal dialogue is these are facts, Aaron. You stay focused on the facts. You don't let your feelings interfere with those facts. that's some of my inner dialogue talk with when I'm feeling the balance, the scale go a little bit to feelings instead of the facts. But then there's that time. Which is exactly what you're talking about. Where feelings blur the facts. They just blur them. And when they're not feeling supported, or they're not feeling heard, or the basic needs are unmet, all of a sudden the facts don't matter. Because the feelings are screaming at us.Rebecca:
you can't, you couldn't have identified the sort of the heart of some of these challenges we have in senior living as leaders and caregiver leaders and, administrative leaders and executive leadership and operational leadership is where is that? how do we train ourselves to understand? And I honestly, I was just getting some witnesses ready for deposition, some caregiver witnesses ready for depositions that are coming up next week. And I may prepare witnesses a little differently. You're hopefully we're going to get to this because I want to talk to you because you. Are actually an expert witness. Okay. So you're like, you have experience and what I'm talking about and, you got prepared, when you give a deposition or when you're reviewing your. So I spent some time this week, preparing our witnesses. And, of course, I go through all the facts, here's what happened and let's talk about what happened and here's your documentation or whatever it might be. But really, I focus when I'm getting them ready. I really do focus on how they feel about things. Okay. And, we discussed that, for example, feelings of anxiety, feelings of worry, it doesn't really change what we're going to be talking about in the facts. However, if I don't address it with them, if I don't listen, and that was going to be my point is that when I'm talking to them, I affirm. That taking a deposition, being in a deposition and giving testimony, it's less so about what you're saying than what you're hearing the key. Really? Great. Communication is really all about listening. It's I tell my son, whenever you go anywhere, son, and you have important meetings, talk less and listen more. That's it. Just listen, ask questions and listen. And I think that's where I think we, we can learn how to find that balance. Peace. By employing techniques and strategies like that, being in a situation and being able to, elevate our leadership to say, okay, these are the facts I have to do it. They're constant. They're really not changing much. However, I really need to understand how whoever I'm engaging with, or whoever's perceiving the facts, or who's ever involved in the creation of the conditions of the facts, whatever it might be. It's my responsibility to ask the right questions and then really listen, listen with here, like not listen here and listen here and listen here, but not, try not to listen too much in my head and, convince and change and, but just really be there to listen. And I think that's when we can have the most impact as leaders, to, to wherever. And it works everywhere. It doesn't matter where you are. It doesn't matter if you're at the grocery store, or it doesn't matter if you're getting an expert ready for deposition, it's all the same. If we spend more time listening, and we spend more time asking questions in order to explore what's underlying their perception of facts, I think is where we find the balance.Erin:
when you said. To acknowledge and really accept that you're feeling fear and anxiety because so long and some of us are guilty And I certainly have been guilty in my life the fear and the anxiety to take over and then it completely Just negates the facts because you are letting an emotion control you but when you accept it, I am nervous I am anxious and that's okay. Now, all of a sudden, you're just carrying it with you. You're not letting it stop you. That's an excellent exercise for you to do with your witnesses. It is.Rebecca:
and I go usually one step more. What do we need to do? what action can we take to nurture whatever you've got going on? it's, and when we do that personally, or we do that professionally, it's okay, you're really mad. I, we all go through it. Like I'm super mad. I really owe it to my witness, to myself, to my family, to my community, whatever, whoever I'm engaged with, whoever's counting on me, I owe the exercise of, okay, yeah, man, I'm like anxious, I'm mad, I'm resentful. And whatever it is, I'm like, I don't want to be here in the witness chair. I don't care what the facts are. I feel like I'm being attacked, whatever it is. And then once we can, agree that there's some underlying feeling and some need that needs, then we can actually have a whole array of choices. how do we help take care of that? how do we, what do you need from me? Do you need me to tell you this? Do you need more information? Can I help educate you more? Do you want to read some other depositions to get more comfortable? do you need me to whatever it is? then we have options on how to take care of ourselves and how to take care of the people we're caring for. And I think that's, why you're such a great leader. Is that, yeah. that's at the heart of your, that's at the heart of your philosophy. that, that is at the heart of how you treat people, how you show up. We were talking before the podcast, how you show up so authentically, you can't just do that without a high level of self awareness as a leader. and the strategies aren't that complicated, just taking a minute to just. Investigate what's happening and then finding what you need to do to nurture that for either yourself or someone else for the situation. And, but it takes practice like everything else. lots of practice, lots of experiments, lots of grace, lots of failures. Lots of success.Erin:
Yes. So you mentioned that I have done some expert witnessing and I have a review of cases and I have to say I do really enjoy the process of reading the depositions, the work that lawyers put into that, the reactions of the witnesses, the stories that they tell are for me fun to read and to piece together. I feel like. There is an undercurrent of a rhythm and a theme as to what leads every community to the point of litigation and depositions and lawsuits. And, I'm going to let you give me those 3 things that you think. And then I will chime in because you are the one that's been doing this for 35 years. I've done this for four cases, one court case that I thoroughly enjoyed. but you tell me, the top three things that you think is the recurring pattern.Rebecca:
Yeah, that drive risk that drive claims like that. Yes. yes, I can stand here with 100 percent confidence to tell you that it's number 1, unrealistic or on met expectations that get formed that are either unrealistic. And I think that's probably number 1, really not having realistic expectations. Number 2 is unmet needs sets of needs that haven't been expressed. And therefore, you find yourself in a whole new environment and those needs. Are never met, they don't, they can't get met because no one really knows about them and really understands them. It's taking the time to try and find out. Now, the 3rd, 1 is probably, there's probably 3 plus, right? Oh, yeah. Yeah. I think 3 plus, I think moving away from feelings and needs and unmet expectations and unmet needs is. truly, I think is I'm going to say, I'm going to stay with sort of our theme. Because we'll talk here about guide path in a minute, because I really do think we've got some solutions. there's the whole legal side of it would drive claims to billboards and plaintiff's attorneys and avarice and, all that stuff drives claims to. But I think on our end, it would be unrealistic expectations on met needs. and then our team members who need education and training in these areas. where the risk really lies, right? Training our teams and empathic leadership in, nonviolent communication and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, our entire team understanding what risk management really is. And expectations management, the role palliative care place, all of these ways that allow us to add to our. Our toolbox so that when we're communicating with residents and families and the most vulnerable times of their life, frankly, let's just get that's the reality of it.Erin:
there are different housing structures and senior living. You've got independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing. So each. Each housing vertical has its own set of needs, but when you get down to the beginning of life and the end of life, it's the basic needs. Everybody comes down to a few questions at the end of their life. And it has nothing to do with the size of the apartment that, did my community have a pool? It was I the best person that I could be? Was I the best mom that I can be? did I influence the world in a positive way? Those are the thing. Those are the connections. That's the dots. And if we provide people everything. And no connection. The things don't matter. The things just don't matter. So yes. And hopefully this leads us into the guide path because it does call to adventure. A lawyer took the call to adventure in creating the guide path. Yeah, it is a phenomenal resource to me in a, in an industry that is. Half real estate and half personal connection. And the majority of the training that we get is sales training. how do we increase this and how do we increase that and financial, pressures. but this guide path comes at the community's level of training and information and expectations from a purely different perspective. It is quite valuable. So tell us about your adventure and creating the guy.Rebecca:
you're so kind to give me an opportunity for this because I think it's really important. And, of course, we're doing. We're doing, we're all doing such important work out there and I think that the intersections of your work and our, all of it is just so is really what's going to is really what's going to make the change in senior living. you can't open up 1 of the. 1 of the, publications or 1 of the news media pieces about what they think is going to change and what we're looking for into the future and all that kind of stuff. And to me, I'll let the experts on that stuff on private equity and I'll let them worry about all that stuff. What I know is this. That, having some kind of a solution what so when I was younger, okay, in my practice, I started to see these habits and these patterns. Okay. I would depose these family members who themselves showed up on a whole continuum from the. From someone who is uneducated to someone who is highly educated, who understood what could be doctors, even, people who understood medicine to, different socioeconomic backgrounds. I've had the, really the privilege and, unfortunately it's in the context of a lawsuit, but, to really spend time thousands and thousands of hours in hundreds and hundreds of people sitting here talking to them about. Why are you suing our community? really, and I had this whole series of questions when I was a young lawyer, where I would ask them, why are you suing our community? I know I read in the complaint, but it's your lawyer who drafted the complaint. Why are you suing the community? what's your grievance? and I'm telling you, Aaron, over and over again, it was always the same thing. It didn't matter where they were from. It didn't matter what their educational background was. It didn't matter about race, religion, creed, nothing educational status. It was, I didn't really understand. That you fill in the blank. I didn't understand. My loved 1 could fall. I didn't understand. My loved 1 was going to decline. I didn't understand that. My loved 1 could lose weight. I didn't understand that. I could actually be a partner in care. I didn't know this. I didn't nobody told me. And so that's the facts. And my strategy was to go to the feelings. somebody not telling you about. your loved one declining or how these different medical conditions, your loved one's different clinical conditions, underlying health conditions, how, what's the, what was the trajectory of those, right? How did that make you feel? That's where I went. It wasn't just enough for me to know, yeah, even though your loved one's transitioning to a skilled community near the end of their life, 90 percent of the people say, I didn't expect my loved one to die. Like that, when I was younger, I'm like, wow, this is a, I have to look very deeply into this. Because this is what's driving people over and over again is the lack of knowledge that their loved one is actually going to die with at our community, which is a community that's literally designed and provides service and care and shelter and, a whole. Array of services to help somebody move, hopefully gracefully without suffering toward the end of their life. I'm like, so in my mind is, I'm 28 years old. I'm like, how does this person not know that their loved ones going to die at this? Like, how is that? What could that possibly be? that's where my naivete was. I'm like, but of course I wouldn't say that, but I'm sure they would have to look on my face, really, you don't know that. and then I started to realize like how they felt about it. They felt bribed of last minutes with their loved ones. They felt like they were, disrespected. They felt like angry. They felt guilty. That was a big one. They felt very guilty about everything. Okay. They felt confused. you name it. I can address, like, all of the human needs and the underlying feelings and expectations. I'm looking at my chart here as I look away that I'm going to send you and there isn't 1 deposition. I've taken 1 set of family members that I haven't met with that. Somewhere falls on. The scale of I had basic human needs that weren't met. I wanted to feel happy when my, I wanted to be with my mother when she died. If someone would have just told me, I would agree. I would have redesigned my life so that I could have spent more time with her. I didn't know that was good. So all of these, it all went back to the same thing. these were all. So then what I did is so back in my gosh, my late twenties and early thirties. And if you go back, it's hilarious. Like you go back to like my old PowerPoints, like from 19, 2001 or whatever, 2000, 19 somethings, 97. And it's just so funny. It's it's what was that game? You're too young, but the 1st ever video game was like, just this pong game and just a ballErin:
that's exactly what it was an Atari. my PowerPoints were like, the Atari. Yeah. Yeah, but they all and so I started to do presentations on this of the expectations management. Look, everybody, because the lawsuits were booming. If you remember, it was like, in Florida and Wilkes and McHugh and other, key plaintiffs attorneys started to capitalize on these regulations and resident rights and million dollar verdicts, multimillion dollar verdicts and. Nursing homes, literally capsizing on themselves, having to divest going bankrupt. And so I came into it then in the 90s and I'm like, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna go out there and explain what I'm seeing. And what I was saying is, if you really want to stop the risk at 9, 10, and, if you want to stop all of this bleeding, you really have to start way at the other end. And address what's driving the claim. It's not these people who are out there going, I want to sue. It's these people who are out there saying, I am sad. I am guilty. I am confused. I had unmet expectations and unmet needs. I put together programs on expectations management. I worked with staff. I did 1 on 1 training. We redid policies. We did redid admissions protocols. We started to bake expectations management training into the admissions process and then started to start to incorporate it into quality improvement processes and stuff like that. I was going 1, really 1 community at a time, 1 conference at a time and then what happened was. And it was very well received. I did a lot of it. I do a lot of that, like, when my training education and then what happened was. As a, a sandwich generation person in the sandwich generation, I was caring for my son and I also had, aging parents, and family and the quality of life and all that are that very key to the, to my family of origin. Many generations, my legacy of Michigan Wolverines, we were smart just so, you know, but my father started to die and, had Alzheimer's and, I'd spent my whole career around this world, but then all of a sudden, it was like, my immediate world, my immediate world right now, then revolved around caring for my father and he was in Michigan. Of course. So anyway, so he was back in Michigan and, this was right when COVID started and I knew that, I knew that he wouldn't make it up there by himself. So I moved him here so I could care for him here. I'm in Memphis is where we are. so I moved him to Memphis to be here and, and I cared for him until he passed and, went through the Alzheimer's journey with him and his crazy adventures. And, my mom's still living, she's an assisted living back in Michigan and, and it occurred to me while I was in this process myself. All the feelings and the needs that I had and all the expectations I had, I was like, recreating all these things that I knew, talking to administrators about why aren't you doing this? And I was becoming that person who had expectations and needs and feelings and all of that. I didn't know what to do with it. Yeah. I'm like, how could that be? You think of all the and so after my dad passed. again, we talked about the call to adventure, I, I got the call, from my higher self from what I believe to be a way to share my experiences of caring for my father and being in this senior living ecosystem is an influence or a thought leader. Whatever is, Is that I needed to scale this I needed to explore more this expectations management and actually bring this to life, and I, it's like this and, this area is that, every idea is out there. everything's out there. It's going to come in somehow. And it was calling to the call to me was. Hey, you need to take your experiences. You've been through with your dad and through your life and you need to start working on some solutions, some larger scale solutions. So I did just that. And I went about doing that and I spent the last I spent 1 solid year, gathering up subject matter experts in areas that I thought were really the most important areas for education. yeah. And created guide path and what guide path actually is, and you guys can go and visit the website and I know, Aaron, we've talked about it and actually do work around it. it's a at its heart. It's a certification program. communities who are interested and who are committed and want to demonstrate a level of excellence around. Risk management, expectations, management, quality of care, resident directed living, the program is designed. It's a 9 hour 9 module certification program. Okay. That's really at the heart of it. What guide path is you actually become guide path certified? and the 9 modules are. just the culture change in senior living. one of them is risk management, expectations management, empathic leadership, compassionate communication, trauma informed care. the subjects that we know are so important. Yet, we don't really have, we don't have an education program in place for this for our communities led by real, industry leaders. Carl Steinberg is delivering the goals of care. Carl's the president of American Medical Direct Association page. Hector's delivering the program on compassionate communication. And she. is a, literally a leader on nonviolent communication and senior living. B. J. Miller and Sonia Dolan are, primary, palliative care providers and have amazing platform for palliative care. They deliver that module. So I really went out into the world and said and found like what the folks that I thought to be the true experts in the subject matter. And ask them to contribute to it. and so the program has just is really we're wrapping up the pilot right now. And that's the major component of the program, but the other part of the program, the guide path program, so that's focused on our. on our communities, you've got a guide path team. It goes through the education modules and the key is, and you'll know this from your work and senior living. I have found over time that the real barriers to culture change the real barriers to doing the kind of work we're talking about, which is to focus on the resident directed living expectations management connections. the barriers are the implementation, but we can watch education and videos and, take assessments all day long. But unless we actually have a way to move that into the community to implement it. the guide path, I think what's so unique about it is That the guide path program includes for each module, a commitment plan that the community needs to complete. It's a very simple plan. It's individuated for them. They decide as a group, for example, compassionate communication. How do you want to implement compassionate communication in your community? What's your commitment? And they submit the commitment plan before they get a module completion. And so you can imagine one of the things we've been doing is we're creating a whole collective called the guide path collective. That's going to have a ton of resources for guide path certified communities. And 1 of the primary resources are going to be all of these commitment plans. some community in Birmingham, Alabama, who's guide path certified and completed 9 commitment plans in all these different areas can also see what a community in Maryland did. That's got past certified and we can start to build and create. A wealth of best practices that are focused on these key areas as a happenstance and is very, it will definitely reduce losses. It'll reduce complaints. It'll help the professional liability industry. it will help with regulatory compliance and reduce your, your citations and your fees and your price. But most importantly, what it'll do. Is it'll create the kind of communities and the kind of connectivity that you're talking about. and we really is, it's just magic and we. And then the other piece of it is, which is just super cool. That's actually out there in the marketplace now is we also have a corresponding education for families and residents. So we've got the 9 modules for the community, but on the resident and family side, what we've created is the super cool. I call it the resident and family insight survey. And what it is, it's a 25 question survey that either at the time of admission, or before admission, or sometime during the admission process. The survey is sent out to the family or the residents. Most of the time, this is a living depends on competency levels, but most of the time to the family and they fill out these 5 questions. These 25 questions in 5 key areas. And it's not an assessment. It's about 1 of the areas is spiritual and emotional health. 1 of the areas is goals of care. 1 of the areas is, communication, and, knowledge about medical conditions. So this questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to fill out. focuses on questions that are the same questions I would ask in depositions. What do you know about your loved one's medical condition? Nothing. I don't know. I just know they need more help that I can provide. So that survey then is scored and you get a risk rating. So I have a whole, of course, a program. And then the community gets to see high, medium, low risk based on the grading of the questions. So it becomes a roadmap. For us to be able to see where families needs are and where their expectations are set when they come to us. And then it has a whole suite of information and resources that the community can use to help manage all these risks and to start the connectivity and start the communication. And then I created in each of those five areas in the goals of care and communication, family systems and spiritual emotional health. I created a very short education video for families. Here's what to expect. Here's what you might expect. And so they're already like, at least getting information and being heard and the videos are super cool. I'll make sure you get a copy of them just so you've got them, but just short videos, about transitions of care. About the importance of speaking up and talking and sharing with your community, like encouraging them to be care partners. So that little video series is just amazingly helpful and starts to answer questions that they might not even know they have. the 2 parts of this, the 2 pathways of guide path, the resident and family and then the community. That's what makes up the whole program. And, and we just finished. We had a, a pilot. We ran on the survey back in March, wildly successful, got a lot of great feedback, tweak the survey a little bit. but it is actually out there in the marketplace to use. and then, the curriculum, the certification program, we are literally finishing up a three month pilot. We've already certified five communities and we've got two more communities who are in our pilot. And the feedback is, I can't, the feedback is just, you'll all, everyone will see it. But the feedback from the communities who are involved in this has been has far exceeded my expectations. just the training and the education and the actual, the engagement of your team to be thinking about how they can actually take the learnings and going into the community has created. It's like the creative process has been these commitment plans. Aaron are next level. 1, I'll give you an example. 1 of my amazing communities in Maryland. For nonviolent communication for compassionate communication module, their commitment plan included going into the community. And having, caregivers at different levels, CNAs, LPNs, nursing directors, administrators. And creating a, 15, 20, 30 second video of them engaging in compassionate communication with someone in the community. Wow. And that exercise then just, it changed, it literally changed some of the team members lives. Because we meet every Tuesday and we have office hours so they can come and tell us about their experiences during the pilot. And, 1 of my administrators, just I use that when I left the community and my family, I literally use these teachings and these learnings and things that in my family, it's helped my, it's helped my life. And so we don't know how connectivity can really impact. But, and I know that it's far reaching, we just don't even can't conceive of how far, so that's what we're doing. The we're about to finish the pilot. We're going to tweak the program a little bit. We'll be inviting our 1st, full curriculum group in March, probably middle of the March. I'm really excited. There's some folks I want to myself, reach out to and see if they want to join the 1st sort of consortium and cohort of, of communities, but that's what we're doing. I feel like it's a solution. It's a solution to a multitude of different problems. and that wherever you fall in the ecosystem, I think that the certification program and the survey and the whole collective that we will build, because once you have a guide path certified community, they'll become part of a collective and become a teacher for some other community. Does that make sense? That's my goal. My goal is we have guide path and they all want to do it. They all are so excited about then becoming the ambassador for other communities and explaining their experiences and helping them with commitment plans. And that's how you grow. That's how you create a whole movement. Aaron.Erin:
That's how youRebecca:
do it. One community at a time. One idea at a time.Erin:
Of course my ideas are not. They are very similar to that. And I am 100 percent just in you building a community, a guide path community of different communities and the support and the connection. That is just one thing that the industry as a whole is missing. We are all soldiers in healthcare. The war of healthcare. And the minefields of triggers that are out there. And when you bring people together and learn from their empowering and their embarrassment experiences. We create a space that allows creativity and that's what you're doing. You're eliminating the fear, you're eliminating the risk, and you're increasing the innovation and the creativity to build connection. That is aspiring for more. That, that, that inspiresRebecca:
me. Inspire, that inspires me. You inspire me and just, I can't even tell you, I'm just. I was talking to my guide path team and I just, it does take a whole village and, it just takes a whole village and I'm, of course, I'm always looking at what you have in your backgrounds, and daring to lead and overcoming and, but it just, the power of one is really just amazing. Just one person, just like you, Aaron, one person who goes on their own journey. For wanting to be their best and most authentic self in this senior living, ecosystem and, and then, being the lighthouse for everybody. That's really what it is. That was 1 of my holiday messages was the, the lighthouse, you are a lighthouse for somebody just know that and you're 1 for me for sure.Erin:
All right, so now that you have us inspired and giving us a whole new path to success, it's amazing. You and I, as we close this out, spoke about accepting the call you gave us, you gave three things and so to finish the inspiration and to give us the momentum to go in and change. and inspire and aspire for more. We can accept the call when we get the call to adventure. you did with guide path, right? You can choose to accept the call, postpone the call or refuse theRebecca:
completely and. And when we had this conversation, it was really, it really applies anywhere, in our personal lives, in our professional lives, in our community lives. And, it's wood that I, it, wrote the hero's journey. But that's really what it is. it's our own mono myth, right? Of. Something arises or something going on in our being in our life and our whatever it is, whatever sets of conditions. And we know that those sets of conditions are leading us somewhere. And at some point in time, we do get the call. You've had one. I've had multiple. You've probably had multiple. Lots of different calls. Calls to parenthood, calls to the work I'm doing in, calls into my community, calls to care for my father, whatever it might be. And we did talk about, accepting the call. Which is really what I try to promote and to encourage and to mentor toward is to accept the call and start that adventure and take that big leap of faith. you can postpone it. And in my experience, postponing it. Really, we can temporarily forget about it and we can temporarily say, I know the calls out there and I know that there's, I need to change. I know that I'm being invited into something greater out there to create something to be a different version. Whatever it might be. I'm going to postpone it watch out for postponing is all I can say, because what will happen is. There'll be all sorts of conditions that'll just start showing up reminding you that you've postponed it, right? oh, now's the time now. Wait. And then invariably, and sometimes it takes, being run over by an 18 wheeler to let go. I got it. Yes. And then refusing it completely really is catastrophic. And, typically will result in truly very unhappy outcomes for us when we don't accept the call. And I guess my point moving into 2024 is that and that was part of our conversation is when the call comes, you can feel it. You can hear it. You can see it on paper. Who knows how it comes to you, but it comes to everybody. It's that feeling of the transition transformation, whatever it is. Take to pick up the phone. Do it. Okay. And just say, yes, I'll accept the call because what you don't know what's going to happen on the other side, but you can be rest assured that whatever it is going to be working for you and working with you. I believe that. And you're a living example of that. You just embody that Aaron. Yes.Erin:
people don't accept the call because it's scary and they don't know how to do it. And, that's a lot easier than living with regrets and what might have been, what could have been, and then living with resentment and anger because you just ignored it. Yeah, yes, take the call to adventure to do something completely outside your comfort zone is not for the faint of heart, but it is 1 of the most amazing life transforming things when you actually put 100 percent of your effort into whatever that changes. Losing a hundred pounds, becoming the executive director, going back to nursing school when you have kids, becoming a lawyer, overcoming the odds, creating a guide path that literally will help communities and families and companies actually provide the connection that, that is needed to be successful, that is hard work, but so is staying in a lane that you no longerRebecca:
need. Thank you. And tell me if you don't, if you haven't found this to be true. And I think if all the great books and, I think support this. And all the great mythics and prophets and is that if you do accept the call, if you do accept the call doors open that you never would have expected to open people show up and help her show up that you never would have expected. by simply accepting the call, like, all of a sudden, and I think the most important thing to remember for everybody is little keys open big doors. Aaron, they do. It doesn't you don't have to, wake up 1 day and you don't have to, pick up the biggest phone in the world and roll. It's just small things. Little keys, it'll just open the big doors and so just start there. Start where you are. wherever you're seeing your living community is just start where you are. And I think that's what I think that's what's been 1 of the most. I think that's been 1 of the most, rewarding philosophies I've adopted in my life is just saying, yes.Erin:
And if you're feeling that little they are talking, we're talking to you, we're talking to you.Rebecca:
Okay. I'm listening.Erin:
I'm listening first step, yeah, exactly. Little keys open big doors for sure. This was a dream come true. Thank you. You really are very inspiring and are really opening up a big door, unlocking a big door that this big industry needs right now. So I'm excited for you for this and for the entire industry and you building this community of support, which I believe will help with burnout and all of it. This, just this. This building of a connection of community just in between leaders inside the industry is huge and giving us facts and feelings and laying out the top three. risks that you see inside and it all starts at the beginning. Make the beginning the best beginning with thinking with the end in mind. Yeah, is very important. So I appreciate your time. This was a masterclass. No, thisRebecca:
is just so it was just the perfect way to begin. Begin the start of the weekend Friday and just, thank you so much, Aaron, for your generosity of time and spirit and just all that you do for everyone. And again, you just you have impacts and I just want you to know that, you, your impact. You really are like the pebble and. Just creating all these waves. so I'm ever grateful for that. And so is everyone that I'm in my circle. So anyway, yeah, you bet terrificErin:
to my listeners aspire for.