"If you're here for real-talk, stick around.
I talk about my struggle with mental health; working parent anxiety, the importance of a flexible work schedule as a wife, mother, employee and volunteer.
I interviewed for one year after I left the stay-at-home-mom life.
What compelled me to join Matchwell?
Just as I am empowered with a flexible work schedule - we are changing the industry allowing clinicians to find the same.
Organizations are in a clinical staffing crisis.
As a technology company, we support clinical recruitment efforts – helping organizations reduce the need to rely on staffing agencies and overtime by providing a steady stream of PRN staff." - Rachel Nader
Hanh Brown: [00:00:00] Today, my guest is Rachel Nader. She is regional manager at match. Well, Rachel is empowered with a flexible work schedule and it matched well. They are changing the industry, allowing clinicians to work as a situation demands, or you only work when they need you. She is passionate about sharing her story on mental health, working parent anxiety desire for flexibility to help one succeed in life.
[00:01:39] Personally professionally organizations are in clinical staffing crisis and it matched well a technology company. They support clinical recruitment effort, helping organizations reduce the need to rely on staffing agencies and hire as the situation demands. Her wheelhouse and passion is senior living well.
[00:02:00] Hey, welcome, Rachel. So please tell the listeners about you and what you’ve been doing over the years and how it led you to senior living.
Rachel Nader: [00:02:08] I entered senior living very about 11 years ago. I think I was 21 was hired as a director of sales in a very large community in Boca, Raton, Florida. And I remember Kelly scarf, she’s now with Arbor company, but in my final interview with her, she says, I didn’t want to.
[00:02:26] To like you for this position, but I do like you and you don’t have senior living experience. You don’t have this kind of sales cycle experience. Let’s give it a shot. And I entered into this 500 resident community with independent living all the way to skilled nursing and day one jumped on the phones and had no idea what I was in for.
[00:02:47] And that snowballed now into 11 years, since senior living.
Hanh Brown: [00:02:50] So you probably had many stories, lessons learned and met some great people. And there are some of the greatest people in this industry.
Rachel Nader: [00:02:59] Yeah. Majority of my family, either professors or teachers, but my mom with kids. And I always said, I love kids.
[00:03:06] I’m going to have two kids of my own, but there’s something about sitting down with a senior 85 years old and asking them just a snippet of their story and seeing them fill with purpose. Ooh. Someone’s actually listening to me. And I found at a young age, working with them, I could learn so much from them.
[00:03:22] And I had such a high respect for what they had to say and their life lessons that I almost, it sounds jovial, but saw, like I have to put so much into kids from teaching, but if I’m working and I was in a sales capacity, so not necessarily teaching seniors, but I had the ability in independent living to get to know them and work with them for six to sometimes 12 months.
[00:03:43] And. What they were able to teach me and the value they were able to add to my life as a 21 year old with 85 years of experience, I found value, but I also saw them light up with purpose. Like somebody actually cared about their story.
Hanh Brown: [00:03:57] How bad. So now that you have kids, the stories that they share with you and their wisdom that they pass on to you, perhaps it may equip you, uh, in your parenting years.
Rachel Nader: [00:04:07] Yes. I have been told and I’ve embraced that. I like to. Try things my own way. People give advice and I’m like, okay, unless I really have a high respect and regard. And these seniors, I’m at my very first community, which snowballed into me going into operations at one point, because I said, you know what? I just want to spend more time with them.
[00:04:29] I want to go through life with them. And I really want them to add value. They taught me some life lessons, but most importantly, I was willing to listen to them because of their years of experience.
Hanh Brown: [00:04:39] That’s great, I wish kids that are in their twenties. Would have that kind of experience.
[00:04:42] look forward that kind of feedback and really embrace it because that kind of opportunity doesn’t exist unless you work at a senior community or volunteer the geriatric department.
[00:04:54] So that’s great. So how do the residents and senior living communities feel the impact of high leadership turnover?
Rachel Nader: [00:05:02] I am able to answer this question from a personal experience, being in sales and being an operations and knowing that senior living does have high turnover, the residents would confide in me in common right away.
[00:05:15] You have those residents that are, what did my residents say? Yen to tele Ventas. And Invoca they said the end to tell event is they know everything they’re in everyone’s business and they’d come to me and they’d say, Rachel, what’s happening. What’s coming down the pipeline. We know something’s coming.
[00:05:29] And it was like the sense of this fear. And a lot of residents started to look elsewhere. They would tell me, I’ve heard that person’s leaving. And we started to look at the different community. And I think the one thing we can all agree on is that as. As we age, and I’m only speaking from a 32 year olds perspective, but we desire consistency.
[00:05:53] As we age seniors who are going into their sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, they need consistency. So when there’s a change such as an executive director, or even a director of sales, which has high turnover in the industry, their world kind of shakes, they need a consistent environment. And back even into my.
[00:06:13] Days working with site level leadership and regional in a coaching capacity. I almost always saw correlation from high turnover and low census. You talk to some of those communities and they’ve had the tenure executive director of sales has been there for a long time resident services director, and you ask their census and almost every single time there was a direct correlation, tenure high sentences.
[00:06:37] Turnover and leadership low census,
Hanh Brown: [00:06:40] I guess, at any age in life, particularly when you are in the later years in, um, are under, I call it, it’s still an organization organization. That’s running communities under their care, right? Your whole wellbeing is dependent on their stability. Isn’t that true?
[00:06:59] Somebody is taking care of you day to day, your wellbeing, their stability will. Reflect on how they care for the residents. So when residents feel that kind of turnover or uncertainty, that creates a lot of problems for themselves and for their loved ones.
Rachel Nader: [00:07:18] actually, I’m not talking about any studies that I’ve done.
[00:07:20] I use my LinkedIn platform to do polls and really get my finger on the pulse in a larger scale. But. There are a lot of connections I still have in senior living that are executive directors of sales administrators, and their parents. Their kids are going to go to virtual school or hybrid schools and they have extra stressors.
[00:07:38] Their staff has extra stress on there. It’s a staffing nightmare right now. So then you add in the isolation factor for the residents, residents need. Consistency seniors need consistency sometimes when we’re at the top and we look at okay, turnover, it’s evolving cycle with leadership positions at the site level, you kind of lose perspective.
[00:08:02] Look at the first time somebody picks up the phone, they’re writing for senior living. They pick up the phone or the love and picks up the phone. They want to move their loved one into a community. It’s such an emotional experience going through selling a house, going through my personal items. So you’re going to a smaller apartment.
[00:08:19] You need to do all this downsizing. It’s dramatic. I know once they have their. Their safety net and their comfort. They really lean on those, which is really why I veered from director of sales to resident services director, because I love that they leaned on me. I love that they came to me and confided in me and they said, my son or my daughter is so busy, but I have you Rachel.
[00:08:43] And I’m like, yeah, but I gotta be selling an apartment. So when I finally went into the operation side and was really just about keeping the residents happy and closing the back door. So if they were dissatisfied, I made them happy and I was able to. Just to be with them all day every day. And it was a very interesting experience, challenging experience, but what that showed me is that as soon as they were in a routine, they say with the average adult, it’s 21 days to get into a routine, I would say with seniors, it’s more like 60 days.
[00:09:11] That’s 60 days. Every time there’s a change. So every single time, there is a turnover in a leadership position. It’s an entire ripple effect that the residents, they don’t feel a sense of security or peace of mind. And the one constant they knew and to them, leadership is their constant. It’s their new family.
Hanh Brown: [00:09:29] new family. There you go. And they’re reaching for the new stability, because what they’re leaving behind is 60 plus years of life.
Rachel Nader: [00:09:38] I have this resident in my, if you don’t mind me sharing a personal story, we’ll call him Joe. He was a very challenging residents who had outbursts. This is in my operations role in West Palm beach.
[00:09:50] And everyone kind of saying, I don’t think you’re going to be a fitness community, much longer. He has outbursts. Comes in and will threaten to throw his Walker at people. Okay. So I take this role. I sit down with him, I get into his, I always like to say in his journey, like where is he in his journey? So he told me that somebody was tapping into his phone line, he’s a veteran and was doing more code and they were around the corner and they were out to get them.
[00:10:14] And this was every morning. So I would just listen to him, get to know his story, get to know the patterns. And I remember on the second week I was like, you know what? He’s trusting me now. We’re little by little, third week, even more. But on that one month, Mark is every morning. At the same time, he’d start to come to my office.
[00:10:31] He tell me about the Morse. Cody, tell me about who’s coming to get, tell me about this. So I just felt convicted to go on that journey with him. And when I said show me. So we walked out of my office, we went around the corner to the pool. He pointed, he said, they’re there. And I said, okay, tell me more. And I followed him all the way to the apartment.
[00:10:48] I believe to his story. I was not lying because I was just. I understand completely tell me more. And finally he said, you know what? I feel safe to be in my apartment now. Thank you. 30 days free, no outbursts, no throwing of the walkers. He did have to pay for a phone that he damaged because he thought there was somebody that was attacking him, but he just wanted someone to be on that journey with him.
[00:11:10] He wanted someone to believe him. He wanted someone to make him feel safe and. That’s what gave him peace of mind and that took a while to create that trust. So just imagine when that trust is gone, that person’s gone. What happens to that safety?
Hanh Brown: [00:11:27] time for people to build that rapport, to give away a part of them because they’re giving away a part of that’s very vulnerable. That’s maybe even weak. They’re giving that away and sharing it with you and then you, we sit per case. So now you’re building that trust. And let me tell you that next time, if that person will open up again. Could be a very long time or never, right. Because the person that he trusted is no longer there.
Rachel Nader: [00:11:56] Exactly.
Hanh Brown: [00:11:57] It’s a sad time. It’s um, it’s very difficult for folks, older adults or even you and I, we, we talk about.
[00:12:06] Concerned about the older adults, the isolation and the ripple effects of it. I get that. That’s like first and foremost on my mind, especially when I have my mom in dementia care, who’s in a later stage, but I have to tell you as a past five, six months, I am concerned that plus the mental health of the younger kids, right.
[00:12:27] School aged kids, this and the ripple facts. It’s, it’s almost like a manageable. Where do you even. Get a grip on. I know we’re getting off on a segue that you’re describing is huge for we and do older adults. But then also that connection that we and have for our associates and our children, that’s also very important.
[00:12:54] And I believe there’s a disconnect there because of the isolation.
Rachel Nader: [00:12:56] because of the isolation. No, I think this is incredibly relevant because the one thing I’ve know continually. Seen been through a coach in a certain capacity and now in a different capacity, but still in senior living is site level leadership is screaming for help.
[00:13:13] They are screaming for less on their plate. We constantly put more and more on their plate. We see turnover, we see burnout. We see the need to flex the weekends and different things. Whether we’re talking clinical or not, there’s height, there’s burnout. I really miss moving into a regional capacity. Being with the residents.
[00:13:31] I have stories upon stories. I could tell you, Holocaust survivor, we’ll call her Barb, who just passed away at 101 years ago. And one of the nurses reached out to me from her community. I was her everyday person for an entire year. I heard her story of her family in the Holocaust every day. She brought me to tears, having my own OMA and OPA had their experience in the Holocaust.
[00:13:53] And I missed that. But I was burnt out in both capacities. I was burnt out. It was very demanding. And what you’re saying is relevant because let’s look at our environments today. It’s impossible. It’s isolation. You’re seeing things on LinkedIn where a wife is 80 years old and she’s getting a part-time position as a dishwasher.
[00:14:12] So she can be with her husband who lives in memory care. And you go, if I had. Two choices for my mom to stay out of state alone in her home, completely isolated, or to be in a community. But with a really caring staff that loved their positions were not burnt out. So they were excited to come in and pour everything into my mom, even though she’s in complete isolation from the outside world, what would I choose?
[00:14:38] Because the third option is not an option to have burnt out site level leadership, complete chaos in and out and isolated. Then I’d probably choose to leave her at home, but if she’s in a senior living community and although we still have isolation and, and honestly, I don’t know if this is going away. I don’t know if we have a date where we’re going to be able to have just complete flexibility coming in and out of buildings.
[00:15:00] I don’t know when that’s going to happen. So it’s looking at leaving your loved one at home. Is that an option? With a hundred percent isolation. So you can do your own research. Everyone knows the decline is rapid, but if you have that community that is not burned out, they have some flexibility. They know that their own kids.
[00:15:17] I was talking to a director of sales other day that said her 11 year old child had to stay home alone on the iPad because she had to be in the building five days a week and she was committed to it. She loves the building. She loves the residents that are 11 year olds sitting at home on an iPad because she has virtual school.
[00:15:33] They need flexibility. They need to be able to walk into that building. And NACO, I’m here another day. They need to walk into that building regardless of their capacity and a leadership position in the community and go, I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to be that one person that resident talks to today that gives them purpose because I feel like I want to be here.
[00:15:53] I’m not burnt out. Does that make sense?
Hanh Brown: [00:15:56] Yeah, absolutely.
[00:15:57] You have to care for yourself, right? Your own wellbeing is very important so that you can give more to others. And especially when you are in your community of the older folks who, you know, who perhaps are not in their best healthy cell, that they’re going to need you.
[00:16:14] So you need to come ready, equipped, and. Yeah, I, I got you. Yeah. It’s, it’s very important. So I think self care, not being burned out from work from family. And from this whole pandemic, you really got to look at taking care of yourself and have the support, the infrastructure from your employer to allow you to do that.
Rachel Nader: [00:16:36] Yeah. And it’s a ripple effect to the care staff too. They see their leadership come in with smiles and let’s get this. Everybody has a smile on their face. They see leadership come in, burnt out and Oh, just another day and all, and now we’ve got this and. The staff feels it. So it’s a complete ripple effect to everybody in the community.
Hanh Brown: [00:16:54] Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Let me ask you this. So with regard to traditional staffing model, what is that like for senior living communities and all other than the turnover?
[00:17:06] What do you see as the biggest problem with them? Traditional staffing
Rachel Nader: [00:17:10] model care, traditional staffing model. Assisted living memory care, whether it’s site level or regional level of recruitment, it’s staffing, not necessarily for demand because you’re not having the average assisted living memory care community may have anywhere from two to six movements per month.
[00:17:28] So it’s not a high volume like skilled, but you don’t have somebody just focused on clinical. So bringing that kind of from the sales side of things and looking at census. Pretty similar structure right now in the industry. As a director of sales, you get a phone call from a. Case manager, social worker who says, okay, Rachel, you’ve been coming in here and building a relationship with me while I have a referral for you.
[00:17:50] They can’t go home. They need to go to an assisted living. We need to get an assessment. We need to get paperwork, but it’s almost always a challenge to make sure we have the appropriate staff to bring them in immediately. Do we have the coverage? Do we need to call our regional, the regional calls, the VP, and it’s this chain of command versus having this on-demand pool of staff available to say, yup.
[00:18:15] As long as we get the 1823 and we have all the paperwork and the assessment, we can admit them tomorrow morning. So if reducing those roadblocks, which I’ve never seen a model exist in that capacity, And then for our, for CCRC. So life plan communities with skilled, where you have admissions and discharges way more it’s staffing on demand without using a staffing agency.
Hanh Brown: [00:18:38] My next question is, can you tell me and the listeners about Maxwell and what is Maxwell’s approach in solving this problem?
Rachel Nader: [00:18:46] It’s simple. It’s providing. It’s providing care staff and nurses to communities without using a staffing agency, it’s filling gaps through our technology platform versus flexing your leadership because they’re an RN.
[00:18:59] And then making them work the weekends, reducing over time, not calling a staffing agency. And I think that the best kind of story or picture I can paint for people and why this was really exciting for me to join match seven months ago, my mom was a teacher for 30 years. Okay. She’s retired. But she doesn’t want to sit around.
[00:19:18] She likes flexibility. So she said, you know what, Rachel, I need to sub and you to be a substitute teacher at least twice a week. That’s my goal. I want the money. I need the money, but I also want to travel and see you guys in the state. She lives in Canada. So it’s all about relationships. So she has a great relationship with a private school in the city of Calgary.
[00:19:38] Every single time. One of the teachers calls out something’s going on. Guess who they call it? My mom. So she’s ready every day at seven o’clock let’s stick on power suit on, and if she gets the call, she goes in. So that’s a consistent face. She’s their on-demand pool. Meaning we know Karen’s going to come in, we’re going to call her.
[00:19:56] She’s going to come in. And, and even the students know her. Now she goes direct to them. She’s not a contract. She doesn’t get third-party payroll and it’s a consistent face. That’s essentially the model that our CEO has created. Robert Crow, where communities no longer have to rely just on staffing agencies or overtime, which leads to leadership burnout.
[00:20:17] A big topic of today, saving money, obviously in overtime and agency, but familiar faces. So you think about that resident in the memory care community, right? It takes a long time to get to know a face or an assisted living. Call-outs are inevitable. Virtual schooling is inevitable right now there’s going to be turnover, et cetera.
[00:20:39] But if the same faces were the ones filling these gaps, the same kind of substitute teachers were the ones filling these gaps and getting to know these residents. Wouldn’t the consistency. Help them versus sporadic faces on an unknown schedule.
Hanh Brown: [00:20:56] It makes sense. And the other component is this individual is not burned out energized, ready to go lipstick right at her.
[00:21:07] That’s what we all need to follow suit because the older adults are looking for this strength. They’re looking for that strength, that, uh, energy to rub off on them. And if that individual isn’t burned out.
Rachel Nader: [00:21:21] it’s going to snowball. You just hit the nail on the head and coming from a mom of a two and a four year old who is working.
[00:21:28] But I have a very flexible position. I’m not burnt out. I actually enjoy going every single day. And so you hit the nail on the head. So, what we do now is shift our thinking is our traditional kind of staffing models. What can we do to provide flexibility, not only using a third party, like match wall to help us, but what can we do internally to really shift that?
[00:21:48] Recently, I did a poll on my LinkedIn 83% and majority were executive directors and directors of sales. 83% of them said their magic wand work. We could be four days a week. Now we know they’re doing five. We know they’re doing more than 40 hours, 83%. So their magic wand is four days. Meaning they have three days off, they come back and maybe they’re excited and they’re really, they’re not burnt out.
[00:22:18] And so. I just want to make sure that senior living we’ve been doing the same thing for so long, so long and census continues to decline. What can we do differently? What technology can we bring in to reduce the pain of our clinical staff in crisis? Right now we have a shortage of nurses. Shortage of CNH DNAs are going to Costco and Walmart making much more, having more flexibility than actually working 12 hour night shifts, eight hour night shifts.
Hanh Brown: [00:22:46]That breaks my heart. When you said that, I know it’s true. But the fact that you say that it just tells me that is so wrong. I don’t know if I want my loved one in a place like that, where people are motivated with 10 or 10 cents or a quarter more to go to Costco or McDonald’s, you know, that just breaks my heart to hear that.
Rachel Nader: [00:23:05] Well, and thinking of it from their perspective too, they can’t afford childcare on a certain salary, especially with the time that’s needed. So it’s just, we’re in a time right now we’re status quo has already failed. Status quo is not sustainable. So that gets me really excited to see. Kind of the innovators come out and go, okay, what can we do differently?
[00:23:26] Uh, some providers are saying they’re providing childcare, they’re getting the licensor to become a childcare center so that their staff can bring them. But if a lot of people are saying, we want flexibility. If natural has tapped in to the untapped stay-at-home moms that love being a mom, but. They can’t work five days a week, or they don’t want to work five days a week.
[00:23:44] The Karen’s my mom’s of the world that really do need and want to work. They’re not burnt out, but they can only do a few shifts per week. What about those people? And that’s what match will taps into, which is really exciting.
Hanh Brown: [00:23:57] It is will congratulation to you and the founder. I think that is definitely a technology that will solve a problem of burnout and Provide better, better care for the older adults. And it sounds like you are on this trajectory growth. So congratulations.
Rachel Nader: [00:24:17] Thank you.
Hanh Brown: [00:24:18] Now, do you have anything else that you would like to share with the listeners?
Rachel Nader: [00:24:22] The last thing I would want to share with anyone listening is. No matter what outlet, whether it’s the TV or it’s Facebook or it’s LinkedIn, there is this kind of negative narrative of senior living, and it needs to go away because there are so many hardworking, dedicated professionals that are pouring out everything to be there for the residents.
[00:24:43] And even today in today’s environment, I would still say. When I am at the age or my loved ones, senior living is still far superior and can increase the quality of life than sitting at home alone in front of a television, all alone. And so it’s a shout out. It’s a shadow to everybody in senior living who is showing up every single day and being who these residents need.
Hanh Brown: [00:25:05] I agree with you wholeheartedly. And thank you for saying that. Definitely. I think it needs to resonate. It needs to be more in the media and frankly, I just think that people that have published the bad press, they’re just not educated. They’re ill informed. And I understand it’s, it’s smeared many of the industry’s reputation and so forth, but I think we’re much stronger than that.
[00:25:29] We’re much stronger than dead.
Rachel Nader: [00:25:30] Those of us who believe in the positive narrative have to keep pushing it because it’s there. And if senior living was to go away and everyone was to go to the very old school model of sitting at home alone with their family far away, it’s not what’s best for them.
Hanh Brown: [00:25:45] No, you’re going to escalate loneliness, dementia, and many other illness that comes with aging.
[00:25:52] Thank you so much for that.
[00:25:54] It’s full of mixed emotions. You’re spot on. And I think it just needs to be amplified out there.
Rachel Nader: [00:26:02] Do I have 30 seconds to tell you one last story?
Hanh Brown: Absolutely.
Rachel Nader: [00:26:06] I had forgotten about, and I shared it on my LinkedIn. Maybe two weeks ago. It like hit me in the morning. I try to wake up 10 minutes before the kids and my husband and go have my alone time with my coffee and actually hear my own thoughts before the toddlers and dogs come running down.
[00:26:23] And I remember there was this resident and he declined rapidly, rapid decline. He was a brand new resident to his family. Had just found back to out of state. He was, they said, Rachel, you got to come to X hospital. He’s on hospice. So I grabbed my purse. I ran to the hospice. He’s sitting there at dentures out just.
[00:26:44] Dusk doesn’t look like there’s life left and he’s kinda mumbling and the nurse’s gone and he’s there. And I feel as his skin and he’s so cold. So I run outside and I say, well, he needs blankets. So I get him some warm blankets and it’s just him and I in this room together. And I called his daughter and she’s, I can’t get there till tomorrow.
[00:27:01] I will do everything I can, but I can’t get there. And the nurses 30 told me that he probably wasn’t gonna make it till tomorrow. Well, I shared that with her and I said, I’m going to stay here for a while with him. Um, just, I want, I don’t want him to be alone, so he’s mumbling and he’s looking up at me and I’m like, I don’t know what you’re saying.
[00:27:19] I’m so sorry. I don’t know what you’re saying. And he’s going like this. And he brings up the strength is shaking hand, bony white clammy shaking hand. And I’m like, is this guy asking for a kiss? Like he’s on his death bed on hospice, and he’s asking for a kiss and I was like, do you want a kiss? And he’s like, Where this dentures out and he’s just nodding his head.
[00:27:44] And I was like, this guy, I’m going to give him, um, he’s got to have his last kiss, like he has to. So I reached down and I give him my cheek and he kisses my cheek and I come up and it’s like his whole face. He just has this Wahaha Pathi smirk on his face. And I put my hand on his chest and I said, you are loved.
[00:28:04] And although your family can’t be here, I’m here. And it’s moments like that exist when. You know, family members who were isolated are allowed to be in an environment with others that love them. And he did pass away that day. I remember calling his daughter and telling him, sorry, telling her. And then when she came the next day to the community to take his belongings, I overheard her talking to her daughter and she told her daughter that she was the one who gave the kiss.
[00:28:33] And I winked at her. I’m like, you tell your daughter, whatever story your daughter needs to hear, but that memory will stay with me for a while. Uh, mainly because he was, he just wanted a kiss. I gave him the kiss. Um, but I was hopefully comfort in his last day.
Hanh Brown: [00:28:51] What a story, what an experience for you that you’ll take that to the very end and I’m sure you’ll pass it to your children.
[00:28:58] What a blessing. Thank you.
Rachel Nader: [00:29:00] Yeah. I just had to give that one little story in there.
Hanh Brown: [00:29:04] What a wonderful story. I think it just needs to, um, To amplify, it needs to be out there. So folks who are misled ill, educated as ill-informed just need to understand it. And I really believe that the industry is strong enough.
[00:29:18] This is something momentarily. And then we’ll. Over time, get over the hump and be even stronger and be in so much demand.
Rachel Nader: [00:29:28] I agree
Hanh Brown: [00:29:29] again, I thank you for your time. I know that you and I both are out on LinkedIn doing the best that we can for the older adults advocating and empowering them.
Rachel Nader: [00:29:40] God bless you. Thanks for this opportunity.