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EP 143 SCI NETCAST: BRIAN CHELMINIAK- CAAVO AND AUFDERWORLD

https://www.asnmarketingplan.com/sci-netcast-brian-chelminiak/

Valerie VanBooven:

Hi, this is Valerie VanBooten with the Senior Care Industry Netcast, where leaders with three or more years of experience in the senior care market share their advice. So let’s get to it. In a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.

Brian Chelminiak:

My name is Brian Chelminiak. I’m a technology enthusiast, and I run a company that helps aging adults and adult communities navigate the challenges of technology. So, we advise people on phone, internet, television, a lot of the common areas, spaces in these communities that boost the engagement for the active adults and stuff like that. So, that about sums it up.

Valerie VanBooven:

Nice. Well, I’m a technology geek, even though I don’t understand most of it, but I love new shiny objects and techie, geeky things for the house, so this will be a great conversation. You serve the facilities and the seniors that are living in those facilities, so tell us what is the best thing about serving aging adults?

Brian Chelminiak:

Oh, the impact stories. When we deliver something that gives these residents, staves off isolation first off, and it involves them more, not only in the communities, but with their families, it’s, I … Sorry, I’m stumbling here. You can edit that out, but you … it’s really great hearing the impact stories and what this technology can do to enrich the lives of the seniors and like take Caavo, for example, one of the technologies that we’ve been doing a lot of recently. That’s CAAVO. I encourage you to go to their website. This thing is really well thought out. What it does is, for the seniors, it helps them navigate challenges in operating their television systems. So, it adds voice control to everything. It makes it super simple.

Brian Chelminiak:

If they pick up a remote, it switches the input for them. That kind of stuff, because what’s the biggest thing that everybody gets called for. I can’t find my baseball game, that sort of stuff. So, they, this thing just takes care of it for them, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It also allows their families to call them on their television.

Valerie VanBooven:

Nice.

Brian Chelminiak:

So, there’s yeah, so the children can use their mobile device and go to their grandkid’s baseball game or dance recital, and broadcast that live directly to their televisions.

Valerie VanBooven:

Very nice. Yeah.

Brian Chelminiak:

So, it’s really incredible. Then, of course, that technology also has built in a lot of tools for the community as well, that they can form groups. They can exchange photos. They can send alerts to certain groups, like if the church services on. This device can actually send content directly to their televisions for the church service, without any intervention from the resident. So, if there’s people with challenges with vision or dexterity, this thing can automatically put on what they want. If we know they watch The Price Is Right every day at 10:00 AM, this device can direct it, or it can do it with a prompt as well. But it also does wellness checks. So, right now people are walking around and having to knock on the doors, and that takes a lot of staff time to do that.

Brian Chelminiak:

This thing allows one person to do it for everybody in a fraction of the time that it normally takes to walk around. You just have to send the alert out, say, “Hey, are you okay?’ If they touch a button on their remote and respond, the alert registers in the system. So, there’s a log kept as well that says this person was okay at this time. And obviously just lots of great stuff like that. This technology, in fact, we were doing a demonstration of this technology the other day for a vice president of business developer development for a larger organization.

Brian Chelminiak:

She said, she looked at us and literally said, “You guys do realize this is going to revolutionize our industry, right?” And, we said, “We hope so.” We just hope it helps people, because that really is the best part about it is hearing that I got to see my granddaughter’s dance recital, and I didn’t have to have the COVID risk. So, the engagement, without the health challenge, health risks, that’s a super important thing and why we’re really excited about it. But, when you hear that … the other day, we had a lady who was feeling very isolated. Nobody was talking to her. We went and we put this system in and we do check-ins with people afterwards, because obviously it’s really easy. We can go directly to their television, which is another thing. You can actually support their television from where you are. The families can turn on a channel for them if they want to.

Valerie VanBooven:

Nice.

Brian Chelminiak:

But, yeah, hearing this lady come out of her shell and she’s like, “I can’t believe that people aren’t, my kids are calling me now. I feel so great,” and she cleaned up her apartment. She had moved in and literally still had boxes sitting around. It had been a year.

Valerie VanBooven:

Wow.

Brian Chelminiak:

Yeah, and we introduced this technology as a way to kind of bring the families and the facilities, the communities closer together, so everybody could communicate a little better, and it seems to be working. But when you hear that stuff and you come back to her apartment next time and the boxes are put away and she’s happy and engaged, that’s incredible. I mean, that is, that’s incredible.

Valerie VanBooven:

So, I would imagine that you’ve heard this before, but in, during COVID and now, I mean, we’re still dealing with stuff and some states are more open than others, but one of the things that most of us in the senior industry have talked about and have muddled about in our minds is all of the things that need to change with senior care, specialty facility type care and home care as well. But, facility care took a big hit, and not necessarily their fault, but what it also brought to the forefront was things that we need to change about how we care for our seniors, especially when they’re on the nursing home-

Brian Chelminiak:

Oh, yes.

Valerie VanBooven:

And when their final [inaudible 00:06:34] there, but even assisted living. I mean, there has to be better ways, and to me, the, one of those ways, there are many others, but one of those ways is advanced technology like this, because I’ll tell you, my father was in a nursing home. I talk about him on this podcast all the time, but he was in a nursing home for the first eight months of COVID. His wife finally yanked him out. I’m not even sure if she was going to be able to care for him at home. Turns out he’s doing great, much better than he was. We could see even with FaceTime, once they’re in a nursing home, I mean, he could not use a phone by himself and you’re right.

Valerie VanBooven:

He could also not deal with the remote. No matter what we did, no matter how many times we showed him. He would try. But he had just enough dementia that there was no way he was, he’s not full on stage four. I mean, he’s, he could, he understood what you were saying, but it wouldn’t stick with him long enough for him to be able to do it again.

Brian Chelminiak:

The retention, sure.

Valerie VanBooven:

So, being able to choose a channel or watch the same, another show that he liked, or even have a choice in what show came on. It’s not to say that the facility staff wouldn’t help him. They would, but they were also very busy, so stopping to help David change the channel on his TV, wasn’t a big priority. So, yes, I would totally agree. If I had an app and I could talk to my dad and say, “Okay, what channel do you want to watch? And, beep, beep, help him change it. “Is this what you want? Is this what you want? “That would be amazing. So, he’s not in that position anymore, but coming firsthand from an adult child, I can absolutely tell you that what’s on the TV doesn’t have to be the same blaring, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all day long.

Valerie VanBooven:

Maybe I want to watch a Western. Maybe I’d want to watch a true crime show. Maybe, for the folks who still have it together, it’s a much better option to be able to change the channel, at least change the channel. Then, in the group setting, in the common area, of course, having the baseball game on was always great for the guys. So, anyway, I see where you’re going with this and it’s amazing, and so nice.

Brian Chelminiak:

It really is. I mean, we even have, so internally, obviously, we tested this product before we even put it out on the market. Our national sales director, his wife’s mother lives down in Iowa. We’re in Minnesota. So to, and we put one in for her right away. My wife’s grandparents, we put one in for right away just to see how this thing would deliver. And it just, it’s incredible. It’s incredible. It’s so easy, just because there is little to no intervention on the part of the senior, because let’s face it, seniors, technology is scary. It’s challenging, but we still want to give them the benefit without the obstacles. You know?

Brian Chelminiak:

So, that’s really how Caavo approached this, and it’s really fantastic, because they’ve been doing this a long time, as far as the remote control stuff in the consumer space. And, what they were finding is that people were putting their box in for their aging parents, so it was really natural for them. Then, I happened to find them at a trade show, and we started talking, and I said, “Have you ever considered senior housing?” They said, “Absolutely, that’s kind of the direction we’re going,” so that was a natural pairing for both of us.

Valerie VanBooven:

Nice. So, it can be installed in a home, in a private home or in a large facility?

Brian Chelminiak:

Absolutely, yeah. Obviously, the benefits are different, because this thing does so much, Caavo really looked at it as how do we add value to not only the families and the residents, but the communities as well?

Valerie VanBooven:

Yes.

Brian Chelminiak:

So, building in those time-saving features for the communities is, was a big focus for us. We did a ton of focus group work and just, this product was developed by administrators and activity directors and corporate operations people for these organizations. We’ve been polling them a long time and saying, “What do you need this thing to do?”

Valerie VanBooven:

Yeah.

Brian Chelminiak:

So it’s really [inaudible 00:10:58]

Valerie VanBooven:

So, the real benefit on the larger scale is at the assisted living facility, or even independent living, where everybody has their own apartment, everybody has their own TV, their own stuff. You can, it can be included in the rent or the whatever, the fees.

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Jeffrey Rabinowitz