Senior Living on the Suncoast

In the Know ft. Justin Willis

September 28, 2020 Steve Bennet-Martin, Justin Willis Season 1 Episode 30
Senior Living on the Suncoast
In the Know ft. Justin Willis
Show Notes Transcript

Steve learns about more resources in the south half of the Suncoast than ever before thanks to guest expert, Justin Willis. As the lead host of In the Know, a radio show on WKDW 97.5 FM that focuses on senior care, Justin shares the experience he's accrued over a career of working with seniors, caregivers, and training over 7,000 Nursing Assistants. 

For more details on the Positivity Wall- https://www.mysuncoast.com/2020/09/27/venice-residents-share-uplifting-messages-positivity-walls/?fbclid=IwAR30jCsfj0p5U2kIU5QOer2O-OfF7ThP2zQe8IaTmAVbHdXc7QEAGbxU4c0

Contact Justin today:
Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/justinwillisnp/
Call him at 941-564-5813

Contact Steve today:
www.happylifepod.com
[email protected]
https://www.facebook.com/SLotSCpod

Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/happylifepod)

Steve:

hello there, everyone. And welcome to senior living on the Suncoast. I'm your host, Steve Bennet-Martin. And I'm happy to bring you the only senior centered podcast to assist us all. As we navigate the complex systems of aging together. Up and down the Suncoast to Florida. My mission with this podcast is to help make sure that the rest of your life is the best of your life, which means today we'll be talking with Justin Willis from In the Know Radio, our guest expert. Justin is a North port native who has spent his career working with seniors in our community. Now at cure patrol, he's also trained over 7,000 nursing assistants in our area. As well as experience owning a nurse registry for physical therapy centers and a CNA training center. In addition to all of that, he has a radio show w K E w healthcare and the note, welcome to the show, Justin.

Justin:

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Steve:

Yes. And I would say for, especially a peer at such a young age, you have done quite a lot in your, your short career.

Justin:

I have it is. I've lived an interesting life for sure.

Steve:

Yeah. Well, how did you find yourself working in this senior living industry?

Justin:

you know, honestly, whenever I very first stepped into the health industry, I was working as a CNA, had waited tables long before that. but when, in, when I'm working as a certified nursing assistant and whenever I went through my training program, the program that I went through, this wasn't right. And I had accidentally got an email from ed Klopfer, talking about his business and some needs that he had. And I went in for a meeting and sat down with them and said, look, I can make you a bunch of money. Let's talk about this idea that I have, and it kind of grew from there. So I've got into this industry completely on accident. It's kind of morphed from that position over the years from fell into the nurse registry, just because I love working with people, ended up, ending, ended up owning it. For physical therapy centers for a couple of years, sold everything off in 2014 and moved away for a bit and realized that I just had to come back home and go back to work in the medical industry.

Steve:

Yes. Well, welcome back. We're glad that you didn't leave us forever. Yeah. And how did you come to have your own radio show?

Justin:

so it, it it's RJ boy, he runs WKDW radio and North port it's real community radio all the time. And his dream was to provide the, provide radio from the community for the community and he made it happen. So one day I was in talking to him and he was like, sure, you can have a show. See how it goes. And it kind of went from there in the beginning. I had two different shows that I ran. I did, healthcare in the know, which is all healthcare focused issues. And then I had another one called, what was that show called? Know your city and know your city was an amazing show. It was probably my funnest one that I've ever done. we did about 30. Clean recordings for that one before I ended up not doing it anymore, just because the person who I did it with left me, but I did the show with one of my best friends. And it was, it was amazing. We talked about everything focused. We talked about events. We talked about the history of North port. We talked about the good. The bad, the ugly. We talked about how the roads got to be the way that they are. We talked about the fact that the city of North port literally came out of a swamp, which most people don't realize is North port was pretty much swell, bland, just like it was down in, down in alligator alley, down there in that area of the Everglades. North port was very much like that area and has ended up developing into the city that it is today.

Steve:

That is very interesting. I'll have to it's it's interesting that you have one about, you know, your local city as well as one about healthcare, because that very much mirrors my two podcasts, one about senior living and one about the Suncoast, but like Sarasota in particular, focusing on happiness, but it was very much community-based. So I will have to pick your mind on the North port history for that one sometime.

Justin:

Absolutely.

Steve:

Yes. And speaking of happiness, what's been keeping you happy recently.

Justin:

Well, I have five children. School is back in session. So we spend a lot of time with our kids. We spend a lot of time at the beach and on top of that, I've got four dogs, two French Bulldogs, a English bulldog, and a Wiener dog. So, all

Steve:

busy home, huh?

Justin:

Yes we do. Yes, we do.

Steve:

When was the last time that you remember having like an hour of quiet?

Justin:

actually that is, that is time of the day that we are in all of my kids are dropped off and from about eight 30, until about 10, 10, o'clock it's normally all those silent eerily silent. When you have five kids, it's not often that you just listened to quietness. So it is something that you enjoy when you find that moment.

Steve:

Yes. Well, finding those moments are really great at overall happiness. And speaking of happiness, have you heard of the happiness walls that are going up all over Venice?

Justin:

No,

Steve:

they are positivity walls. Sorry, but they are walls that were inspired, by another community. But the, Kathy laner, president CEO of the Venice chamber of commerce, brought the idea where throughout five different locations from the sky family YMC on center road to the Laurel civic center in Tacomas. And a whole bunch of other locations on include in the show notes, but they have these like wooden walls that they've built up where people are posting things like positivity, messages, desperation, you know, be positive, keep going or stay the course, or we will get better and different things like that that are, you know, up where anyone can come and leave something positive. What

Justin:

a cool idea.

Steve:

Yeah. And then, I mean, I understand that being sheets of paper, they can't be out forever. So I also love that once this is done, the five locations are going to be up until mid December. And after that they'll be collected and an artist will create an art piece, showcasing all those messages so that they'll be able to like live on afterwards as well.

Justin:

Oh, that's awesome.

Steve:

Yeah. So if anyone in that area wants to swing by one of these locations, check out the show notes and I will link over this article, but you can leave your little positivity message in Venice. Very cool.

Justin:

Yeah. And it's down there to leave a message.

Steve:

Yeah. And while we're talking about events and things going on in the community, do you have anything going up that you want to bring up for our listeners?

Justin:

So the city of North port canceled their annual Halloween event. So for the last 14 years, the city of North port has done a Halloween event inside of city hall. It goes through the three stories. There's anywhere between four to 7,000 people that show up throughout the day, they make their way through city hall. Unfortunately, because of COVID that has been canceled. one of my best friends, Elaine and Elaine Allen Emirate, she is the, Community news editor for the Inglewood sun news, but she lives here in North port. She's been here for almost 30 years. Her and I have decided that we are going to hijack Halloween from the city of North port, because they are telling people to stay home, canceled, truck retreat. All of these things, we have found a safe alternative for. Trick or treat well, we're going to be doing as a trunk or treat from two to seven o'clock. It'll be out in the estates of North, down off of, a stage drive and the backside of, of the estates. There will be information available on Facebook. Just look up on. Hijacked Halloween, North port, and you'll be able to find it on there, but it'll be a lot of fun. We hope to have about 400 trunks participating. And then in the evenings, starting at eight o'clock down at the American Legion in the States, we will be doing our drive through style haunted house. So definitely look forward to that. Halloween's going to have a full moon and it'll be a great day to just get out there and have a little bit of safe, fun.

Steve:

Excellent. I will certainly be looking forward to it and listeners for something that's coming up a little bit sooner, stay tuned this Thursday for a bonus episode of this podcast for more details. But the nominations for the 2020 Suncoast senior care awards are going live. So that will be your opportunity to vote for your favorite companies, caregivers, and individuals. That are making a difference for the seniors in our area. And so make sure you stay tuned for that episode for all the additional details on how you can nominate, vote and get involved. That is awesome. Yes. And so getting more back to you though, how do you work your radio show into your day job and how have they kind of crossed over?

Justin:

So luckily it's. With WKDW at this point of time, I'm able to record my shows from home so that my recording time has started shifting, shifting throughout the day. Like if somebody needs Monday morning, I can do Monday morning. If somebody needs Friday, I can do Friday. We air on Mondays on 97.5 FM. I believe air's at 11 o'clock right now. They are reworking me back in because of COVID. I did take two months off air and we'll have. Gone back on air as of three weeks ago. I'm kind of fitting in into some of the different time slots until we figure out exactly which time slot they want me back in.

Steve:

Excellent. And do you have a website or a social media page or a way that people can get information about how the schedule might change or when they can listen to you?

Justin:

Absolutely. If you find me on Facebook, Justin Cody Willis, you can find my, public page or you can find my personal page. Either one of them pop on there. You'll be able to find the schedule. I try to put it out a few days in advance, so that way people know when it's going to be airing on Facebook and they can catch it.

Steve:

All right. Excellent. Perfect. And so how long have you been doing this show then?

Justin:

So I've been doing this about, I think if we just had a little over a year, it's a, it's a lot of fun. I love talking to the different people throughout the medical industry and hearing their stories. And one of the questions that I asked quite a bit is tell me about one of the favorite cases or one of your favorite patients that you've worked with and listening to their reason of why they do their job.

Steve:

Yeah. Yeah, the, I mean, that's certainly a great question. I know that that's going to actually very similar to the question without task you, which is, you know, looking back at the past year, what are one or what are a couple of your favorite guest interviews that you've done?

Justin:

So I'm going to give you an answer for both. I think I did a special episode of a show called citizens journal, and that's one of our, one of our shows that we have on WKDW that we get to rotate. It's true. And I got to interview a lady named Maggie. She was 106 years old and I had her on just to talk about, you know, like some of the things that she went through in her life. And it was just, she was super cute. She was a little bit nervous to be on the show and, you know, she, the whole show, the main thing she wanted to do, talk about as what she wanted to do after the show, which was, I had to take her to old world restaurant in North. Or buy her a beer and a cheeseburger to celebrate her birthday. So that was, that was her biggest focus throughout the entire show, but it was, it was cool to hear some of the things that kept her young, the fact that this woman at 106 years old does not wear glasses has never dyed her hair and has. The most beautiful Brown hair you'll ever see, you know, the most important thing that she said that every woman should take from that show listening to her is don't forget to put on your lipstick. apparently that's very, very important wearing lipstick. And then the other thing was love your family, love your family unconditionally. And I asked her what's, what's the secret? What's the trick. And she said, look for happiness and find joy in your life. And if that's what gets you to 106 years old, sign me up all day. Yes. Well, I

Steve:

mean, that is a much better takeaway than what I got from it. Cause when you were first going into like the secret to living a happy life until 106 is beer and cheeseburgers.

Justin:

Yeah, that was, that was horrible. Another thing is be consistent with beer and cheeseburgers, for sure. She said that you should drink beer every day. I'm not a beer drinker. So I, you know, I might be out a little bit on this one, but you know, it was, she was a hoot. She was, she was a blast. And then my favorite healthcare related show. I love interviewing Shannon from elder law. Oh, I love her. She is a wealth of information. She is always energetic. She's always excited to be on the show. She just, she makes me feel good about myself whenever I leave interviewing her. So anytime I get to have her on the air, I try and get her on there.

Steve:

Yeah, I can imagine. I've heard her talk on VA in an Aiden attendance benefits so many times now she must think I'm stuck. Told her. I'm like, yeah, it was six months ago, but I could use a refresher cause she just is so engaging.

Justin:

Absolutely that and the information she gives on Medicaid is amazing. Most people don't realize how the process works for getting longterm care, Medicaid and Shannon, and the attorneys that the attorney that she works with Kevin, they are just so fantastic that they make it easy to get through it from beginning to end.

Steve:

Yeah. And that is so important, especially when you're talking about information. That's so dense.

Justin:

Exactly exactly when they come on Shannon it's Shannon is one of those people that I interview and my producer often laughs at me and says, Justin, I think you said 15 words today. You know, are you speechless? And no, it's just, Shannon comes with so much information that once she starts talking, I normally take notes based off of what she saying, because it pertains to my clients. So I'm sitting here trying to take notes, remember to ask more questions and I'm like, wait a minute, can you go back for one second? She's she'll just laugh at me. Like really? We can get that note after the show. And I'm like, okay. All right.

Steve:

Yeah. And I mean, resources like that are important because things like Medicaid and VA aid and attendance benefits changed so much in our industry on a regular basis. I mean, having been doing this for so long, how have you overall seen senior living evolve over your career?

Justin:

What a different world. it is, is definitely different. It's, it's interesting. We can talk from so many different perspectives because I've sat in the healthcare industry and so many different areas that you look at the caregiver pool that you have today. We have one of the. Lowest counts of caregiver pools that we have had in probably the last 15 years. You have companies that are finally paying realistic rates for CNA as again, which is fantastic, which means that the people within the industry that are getting the care are getting a better level of care because people are a little bit more serious going into it. When I started my CNA training business back in 2009, it was. At the height of the recession. And I ran my business all the way through until the recession ended. And it was, it was an interesting field even within that, because the people who we had in the very beginning, they were the wives of attorneys and doctors, and they were high end professionals with high-end degrees that were totally changing their career. And they would come and be a CNA going into the field to become a nurse, to become an AR NP or whatever it was that they. Aspire to be, but it's, it's just so crazy the difference. And then you look at senior living, senior living is so different than what it used to be when we thought of, I mean, think about it 10 years ago, whenever you thought of

Steve:

a nursing home

Justin:

hiring, you thought of a nursing home, you thought of, you know, being in a bed and not getting up and not moving around. You just looking like a

Steve:

hospital.

Justin:

Right you look at some of our buildings in the area, like village place, where it's excitement of retirement. It's not a place that you go just to give up the rest of your life. It's a place where you go now to enjoy the rest of your life. And most people still in their mind think of it in that. That nursing home. You're a prisoner. You lay in bed all day long, and it's not that anymore. It's I tell people all the time in my industry start making a plan, start making a plan for 70 to 75 to move into a community where you're getting taken care of. You're getting the housekeeping. You're getting your home taken care of. It's everything you need is ready to go in. At a finger at a dial away. So it's such an amazing opportunity now, whatever you start to discuss, what is senior care? 2020.

Steve:

Yeah. It's it certainly has changed so much, but I feel like it's changing for the better, at least rather than the worst. Now, just like me, our shows don't pay our bills. So with all your experience, tell us the audience a little bit more about what your day job is at care patrol.

Justin:

Absolutely. So I worked for a company called care patrol care patrol in Southwest Florida. We cover Charlotte County Lee County, just Soto County, a portion of Sarasota County, which is the North port area. what we do is I tell people to kind of think of us like a real, real estate service. We help seniors find assisted living, independent living and memory care services. But more importantly than that, We connect them with everything that they need to be able to achieve that. So let's say a call from Susie and she's like, Hey Justin, I only have $1,600 in income and I needed assisted living. Could you help me out? Absolutely. Let's figure out where we can get you the additional income that you need. We help connect them with VA services. We help connect them with attorneys to apply for Medicaid. We help connect them with. Doctors, if they need that doctor services, whatever it is, we connect them directly to it. And we're a free service to anybody that uses us.

Steve:

Yes. Well, that is an excellent resource. I know that we've talked with other senior care advisors before on the show and it is such an important resource for our community as more and more communities keep on popping up.

Justin:

Absolutely.

Steve:

Yes. Now, speaking of, senior care, what is one misconception about senior care that you'd like to help dispel for our listeners?

Justin:

When you move into assisted living and independent living, you are not a prisoner. It is your home. It is your world. You just have people there to help you get through it. And it's. Senior living is what you make it is. So if you want walk in with the mentality that you're going to be a prisoner and that you're never going to be able to leave, and you're not going to enjoy yourself, you're going to have a terrible time in senior living. But if you walk into a what's the company, this is to make your life easier and to make your life better. It is only going to be great. So don't think of senior living as a sentence. Think of it as an extension to your retirement.

Steve:

Wonderful advice. And what is one piece of advice you would give to a new caregiver?

Justin:

Love the people you take care of and know that it's not about you. One of, as somebody who has taught over 7,000 people in this industry, it is, it is amazing. To watch somebody come out of a class and be able to go take care of someone. And there's nothing better than somebody does it than somebody that does it for no reason, then to be able to take care of somebody else. So love the person that you're taking care of. It's not about you. It's about them and leave your baggage at the door. Don't take it in the door with

Steve:

you. Yes. Well, that is important advice as well for our caregivers. Thank you. And bringing it back to your radio show healthcare in the know we are blessed not only to have great people, the centers of kids who are caregivers or seniors themselves, but we also have a lot of professionals who listen. So if they are listening and feel like they're going to be great for your show, can you kinda describe your ideal guest and how that ideal guests might contact you?

Justin:

Absolutely. So anybody that works in that healthcare industry or anybody who has something that they want to talk about healthcare related, whether you're a massage therapist, whether you're a doctor, I'm a marketing person for a home health company, whether you're in holistic medicine or whatever it is. If you've got a message that you want to get out there to somebody give me a call. My cell phone number is (941) 237-7907. That's nine 41. Two three seven seven nine zero seven. And just let me know what it is you want to talk about and we'll work in.

Steve:

And I'm sure that that same number can be used if someone needs her help from a caregiver or senior perspective as well. Correct.

Justin:

Absolutely. If you're interested in finding out more information about assisted living about independent living about just building up a plan, even if it's 10 years out and you think that it's completely unnecessary having that conversation to come up with a plan early is the best way to go. So give me a call. You can call me on my work cell phone, which is nine 41. Five six four five eight one three. Or you can call me on my personal cell phone, which is (941) 237-7907. Perfect.

Steve:

Well, thank you so much, Justin. It's been a pleasure.

Justin:

Absolutely. Thanks for having me on.

Steve:

Yes. And for listeners, you can find more information about this podcast as well as my sister podcast, a lifetime of happiness on the Suncoast on her website, www.happylifepod.com. Or you can contact [email protected] Thank you.