During a podcast interview with Home Health 360, founder and CEO of Caring Senior Service, Jeff Salter, was deemed one of the most interesting individuals in the home care industry. Why? Because he rode nearly 10,000 miles on an electric bike to visit the company's locations nationwide and raise awareness of gaps in senior care. Jeff discusses his journey in the podcast and talks about the future of home care.
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Jeff Howell 00:00:01
Welcome to Home Health 360, a podcast presented by AlayaCare I’m your host Jeff Howell, and this is the show about learning from the best at home health. Care from around the globe.
Erin Vallier 00:00:18
Welcome to another episode of the. Home health 360 Podcast where we interview home care professionals from around the globe. I’m your guest host Erin Vallier US director of sales for AlayaCare software, and today I am joined by Jeff Salter. Who is definitely in the running for the title of most interesting? Man in home care. Jeff is the founder and CEO of Caring senior service. And non medical home care. Franchise he started this company when he was just 20 years old and has successfully grown the business to over 47 locations. In 18 states. Jeff has served on several advisory councils for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice or Mac. He has spoken numerous times at national conferences for Mac and the Home Care Association of America, and he’s an active participant in the International Franchise Association now, or it puts him in the running. For the most interesting man. In home care. Is the topic of our discussion. Today. I thought that everyone could use a healthy dose of inspiration as we approach the end of 2022 and we’re all thinking about our 2020 three goals and I believe Jeff Story. Fits the bill. Jeff launched in non profit in 2021 and get this to kickstart the foundation fund raising. He decided to ride his electric bike across the US, visiting each franchise and if you didn’t catch that it’s 47 locations in 18 states. Welcome to the show Jeff. I know it was 20. 21 but I have. To know, have your legs recovered yet.
Jeff Salter 00:02:01
Hi and thanks so much for having me. Yes, my legs are fully recovered. I get the question a lot. Do I still ride? And I definitely took some time off and we’ll get into kind of the adventure itself, but it took some time off and didn’t ride for about six months. But I started back up again recently, so.
Erin Vallier 00:02:22
I can imagine like needing at least six months off after that adventure. Now before we dive into talking about this bike. Right, I want the audience to get to know you. A little bit better. I know you’ve spent your. Entire career in home care. If you started the company when you were. 20 What drew you as a 20 year? Old to the. Home care space.
Jeff Salter 00:02:45
But yeah, you know I get that question. A lot people learn who I. Am learn about the company’s history and then then. Find out that I started when I was 20 and I tell people that actually I did not come to home care. Having a personal experience with a parent or a grandparent that was receiving these types of services, of course. In 1990 This industry didn’t really exist. There were a few individuals out there doing this on their own. They had maybe small companies, but it was really mom and pops across the country in pockets that were really doing the service. But I recognize that seniors were were struggling with the situation. Of being at home and alone and what you find in senior care and seniors in America in general is that it’s not just kids that move away from their parents. But increasingly in the in the early 90s and through today, seniors move away from the kids and they get themselves into situations where they do eventually need help and no one is able to be there locally to help out. And this was happening in Odessa, TX, and it was I was seeing that lots of individuals. We’re calling like I worked for a home health care company that didn’t provide that type of service. They just focused on the skilled service. So I would answer the phone at the front desk. I was an assistant secretary as my first role in healthcare and my job was to coordinate calls and people would call ask me for help and I would actually just give them a list of names of people that I had gathered that. Did the work. Independently and over time over a few weeks and months. I recognized that I kind of had a knack for helping to put the right people with the right clients, and it was kind of funny. ’cause it was a joke. Initially with the nurses that I worked with, there’s this 20 year old kids. Saying you know I. I started a business doing this. I’m giving these names away for free, but they keep calling me back ’cause the person didn’t work out for some reason or the day off. So I thought maybe I could coordinate this and help out and I just had a real good knack for matching people together and one day a call came in. And the client said I need someone to do with my mom at night. She’s getting out of hospital. And I said, you know, the company called. We don’t provide that service, but I have my own company and I’ll be happy to help you if you give me a few minutes, I’ll find out who I’ve got on my on my schedule and we can get someone started tonight and like that the company was started the now 31 years ago.
Erin Vallier 00:05:13
Wow, that’s impressive. It’s a. You’re a lot more mature as a 20 year old than I. Was I think for sure.
Jeff Salter 00:05:21
Yeah yeah, I get that a lot. I was. I was definitely at the early start of the business. I I would I was still attending college at the time. And I was having to go with my classes with a certain tile because the only thing I could do is a 20 year old to make myself look a little bit more professional was to dress the part so I had to. I was only a kid in my college classes wearing a certain time to school, ’cause I’d have to leave each day to go take care of. And work with my clients.
Erin Vallier 00:05:48
Well, you dressing up definitely worked for. You you’ve been. Quite successful when you first started your company. Did you have any aspiration of building your franchise from it? How did that evolution transpire?
Jeff Salter 00:06:03
Yeah, not at all. I I really didn’t like. You can imagine. A 20 year old kid starting a business. Didn’t necessarily know what he was doing in the 1st place and didn’t know what what it might become. I did though. Yeah, I talked about the fact that I didn’t have a a senior parent or a grandparent. I didn’t really have that that emotional tie. To the business and the success of the business wasn’t that way. But it came really quickly for me. I the first two clients that I cared for. I got very involved with and I recognized that I was doing these two wonderful things. When I was helping a family that was struggling with these challenges of how do I care for Mom when I’m Not there and. Then dealing with a senior that was. Grateful and thankful for the help and support. But then the second part was the ability to have a business that every time I got a new client I was going to put someone to work. And that job creation meant that someone was able to put food on the table roof over their head, help their kids through their school, whatever it happened to be. And that was a super impactful in my personal life to to know that that was having an impact in both sides. The clients were getting the help they needed and the individuals. They’re getting employment that they desperately need. So I recognized early that that was something that. Was needed, the business grew. Very quickly I was surprised by the success and and we were driven by the need. And I opened a second location in Midland, TX, which is only 20 miles away from Odessa. So that was a pretty simple step, but then the opportunity came. For me to open a location in McAllen, TX which Was a big leap from Odessa. It’s about 8 hours away on the very S tip of Texas near the border of Mexico and that then really got my eyes open to recognize that this service could be at that time. I was thinking Texas it could be throughout Texas and I then started location in corpus. And then finally I decided to move to San Antonio in 1996 and I wanted to test out the model to see if I could do this in a large metropolitan. City of over 1,000,000 people. And I I quickly found success there. And from that point I thought OK, what what do I want to go to next? How how do I want this to become a, uh? Larger business and then in 2002 I was lucky enough to run into a good friend of mine. That kind of inspired. Me to start the investigation of franchising and discovered. That that would be. A really good way to expand our business model. We had really found that individuals could easily learn how to do the business. We had a model because we were running multiple locations, so we had a really good system in place and it was an easy transition for us to then become a franchise or because people wanted to buy into a business that had a proven business model. Had done that for almost 10 years. At the time and be able to will plug into all of those systems and allow them to bring the needs and help the needs of seniors in their local communities. So that’s kind of how we how we got started and and became a franchise. Or in the process.
Erin Vallier 00:09:14
That’s interesting, so you you just sort of evolved over time, opened about five locations in Texas, and said, well now it’s time to grow after 10 years. That’s very cool.
Jeff Salter 00:09:28
Lot of musicians say they suddenly become popular and everyone thinks it’s an overnight success and they say, well, I’ve been playing in small venues for the last 10 years. So absolutely.
Erin Vallier 00:09:38
Right, I get. Yeah, there’s some parallels there. For sure now I know you’re heavily involved with Mac. Is there anything you want to share with the audience about your service to the association? Maybe why it’s important and what they’ve done for the industry?
Jeff Salter 00:10:02
It’s the the associations that exist too for our services for the non medical community. Is are very important. There’s the Home Care Association of America. And then there’s the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. I try to work with both of them. I’ve been heavily involved in the last 10 years with the National Association National Association for Home Health and Hospice. Home care and Hospice. Because I feel that they really have a direction for what they’re trying to see happen with the non medical care services, they’ve got a lot of history in being the the the group that is in front of legislators. And I think there’s a lot of need in our industry to really be in the driving seat. As a as in regards to regulations and where industry is going, not not that the Home Care Association of America is not. I think that both groups are doing a lot for our. For our industry. And I think it’s important that. They both exist actually. I just I. Just found that. Connects the well because our industry is so tide to the home. Health and Hospice side of services then I think it will make sense to be with that group to help align our services and show that we are part of that community. Sometimes I spent so many years in this industry being on the outside. Looking in it’s non medical services so oftentimes people would not consider us part of the health care continuum and that was pretty much the story for the 1st 20 years of this industry. I feel like and. We probably didn’t get the recognition we needed, and it’s also why you saw that the Home Care Association of America was formed because it wasn’t getting the attention it it it felt it deserved. And we we knew. We needed to, but as it’s transitioned dramatically in the last 10 years, we were recognized as part of the health community and I want to make sure that we’re. As aligned as closely as possible with those groups.
Erin Vallier 00:09:38
It makes a lot of sense, I think, for the listeners. The key take away there is get involved. You’re not non skilled, you services you. Are part of. That continuum and you. Are highly skilled if you’re out there caring for seniors.
Jeff Salter 00:09:55
Yeah, absolutely it it. It takes it takes all of us working together to make sure we get the outcomes we want. You know, seniors that are are going to. Be aging and staying at home where they want to be. They’re going to have challenges that are health related, and then they’re going to have challenges that are activities that are living related. You know cooking, cleaning some of the simple personal care things that we all take for granted as as adults become much more difficult as you age and someone has to be there to help and recognize that a lot of the challenges. Or due to some disease process or condition?
Erin Vallier 00:11:51
Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of need. It’s just continuing to grow. Absolutely, for sure now I wouldn’t get into the. Cheesy bits here to celebrate 30 years. Congratulations, by the way, 30 years. Is quite the accomplishment. You open a. Nonprofit foundation called close the Gap in senior care. And see, put the folks that on the line. Can’t see what I see, but you’ve got on the shirt. Looks really nice. Can you tell? Me about your foundation, its mission and how. Are you making an impact?
Jeff Salter 00:12:05
Yeah, well we started off just and I kind of have to go back to kind of tell you how we how we got started with the. With the, with the movement initially and then became a full nonprofit, we were planning our our 2021 event. We were going to be celebrating 30 years and started in 1991 and we’re trying to solve what we’re going to do is celebrate. 30 years and we didn’t want to, just. Be a company that was going out. And celebrating. That big accomplishment without a purpose behind it. We we always had purpose. We’re here to serve seniors and help deliver our brand and level of service across the country. That’s the the reason we exist, and what we’re trying to accomplish. But we also recognize that that in doing that there’s a bit of a self motivation. We are for profit companies. We’re trying to grow our businesses. And I want to do something that was a little bit different both in the approach of how we celebrated, but while we are celebrating for that entire year. We want to think of how we can give back to our communities in a real positive way. So we really got to thinking about what we’re trying to do as a company, what our mission is to help seniors remain healthy, happy and home. But then expand it. How can we get others involved in an indirect or direct way? So we really struck on this idea of. Closing the gap in senior care, it recognizes that that I’ve spent so many years trying to help this industry be recognized and be known because I didn’t. I didn’t want. I didn’t think that 30 years in I would still have conversations with people. That I that I’d met and told them what I do. And they say, wow, I didn’t. Know that service existed. I mean, 30 years later, I can’t imagine. I knew there was a problem in 91 through the 90s through the through the 2000s. But I didn’t think it would still be something existed now, and I recognize that there’s a lot of these challenges. That exist in local communities. So we. Want to try? And bring attention to the gaps that it. Exist at the local level, but we also didn’t. Want to be? Hubris in thinking that we knew what those gaps were, so the movements all about bringing together the different groups and discussing and understanding what those gaps are. And then working together to close those gaps. We kind of modeled it off of the. In the end, the decision was to do a bike ride and we’re going to get a little more into that in a few minutes, but but we thought about the bike ride. We thought about people working together in a bike race. And when you’re working together in a bike race, what you do is you come together in close proximity to each other because moving forward through the through the through the air, basically on the ground, but you were breaking the the air when you’re riding and you’ve seen it probably in races when they get close together, one person gets behind the other. And in doing that we work together like that. And you close the gap between each of the racers. You can go further with less energy. You can go faster along. The way and. We recognize that that that symbol of closing the gap was the same thing we’re trying to do in senior care. We’re trying to all work together to fill in these gaps that exist and and for us we wanted to try and focus on. The gaps that we recognize work of everywhere and we focus on fall prevention because falls are the leading cause of injury related death among seniors and 80% plus falls happen. In the back. So we decided to do a specific fund raising to provide grab bars to seniors that didn’t have the ability to pay for themselves. So we want to raise money on the only the anniversary events so that we could install grab bars for seniors in in in their home. Putting two grab bars in the bathroom help reduce some of those falls and hopefully save some lives.
Erin Vallier 00:17:04
That’s a really worthwhile cause. And I do like the. Parallel of draft. Thing you can do, the work is light. If you can get close enough and work together, you can go faster and work about 300% less. It’s the that’s very cool, so installing grab bars in bathrooms, I love it. I love that that initiative. Now tell me. What led you to decide to ride your bike 9400 miles to visit each of your franchises? There’s gotta be a good. Story behind that, I’m wondering. Did you lose a dare?
Jeff Salter 00:17:42
Yeah, yeah we we were trying to say exactly what we did at the 20 year anniversary. I we did events at locations each each location at one or two. I came out to the to that location. They celebrated the 20 year anniversary of our company and we had social events where I maybe we had dinners and we spoke to. The community about about what we were doing as a company. And we thought, well, that might be. Something we could do for? The 30 year celebration but. Then I thought you. Know that’s kind of been done before the CEO going on location is something that’s relatively normal. And when I was thinking about it, it was because we had 50 locations and I was thinking, man, I don’t. I don’t think I could travel. I don’t want to fly to all these locations. In hotel rooms for all that time, just to these, maybe I could drive to locations instead, ’cause I just didn’t feel like the the air travel was going to be worth it. You know the hassle that it can be, and then maybe I’ll drive to locations and. Then one of the guys. Had those or suggest you know you’ve been, you’ve been riding your bike. I I bought a electric bike many years ago, actually, and I I’d everyone want to ride it to the office and and back, and it’s about 20 miles each way. And that’s about the limit for my bike. I I’d I’d ride it to the office. I need to charge it to get back home so I charge it and get back home. And as a man you should ride your bike to all the locations that would be really cool. And I looked at him and. Said that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever. Heard who’s going to ride a?
Jeff Salter 00:19:11
Bike across the country on his location. That’s that’s that’s no way I would take forever. Well, I like a lot of a lot of crazy things that get get. Said I, I went. Home that night and started really thinking like great could I modify my bike? To where I could do it, I said there’s no way I’m going to ride a bike. A regular pedal bike. I’m I’m I’m not. I was not having cyclists, even though I was doing these 20 mile rides. They were occasionally and I didn’t do it very. Often I’d actually. Ridden a regular bike 20 miles of the office and back and it killed me and I’m like there’s no way I can ride across the country like that. For one it. I I did some research just to see and it takes up most of worse adventure cyclists who do this cross country riding make about 40 to 60 miles a day. Kind of an average to get beyond that requires a lot more time or just a ton more energy, so you can’t carry as much when you if you if you. If you want to go a lot further, at least, but without electric bike I could maybe, with the assistance of electric bike I can. I can make that happen. But no one makes an electric bike that goes those sort of distances and not not intended as intended for like trails in the city or or in the city itself. But I started my research and and and did some tinkering and found that if I modified my bike in some ways, bought a couple extra batteries and figured out a process, then I could get. Ignore distance out of the battery power and I could get my extensions to 80 to 120 miles in a day. I could figure out how to get that travel problem with electric bikes is if you add more battery and people. Things just have more better, no? Problem batteries are heavy. You add more weight that more. That this way it requires more battery. More battery requires more weight, so you have this law of diminishing returns that kicks in, so you can’t just pack it full of batteries and expect to go a lot further before you’ve got this unwieldy type of contraption that you’re trying to ride like a bike.
Erin Vallier 00:21:08
Right and then I imagine you have things that you have to take with you that’s weighing the bike down even more.
Jeff Salter 00:21:13
Yep, that’s the next thing you can do.
Erin Vallier 00:21:14
There’s a lot to consider.
Jeff Salter 00:21:16
Imagine for a second you’re going to leave your house and go on this adventurous bike ride and we did an unsupported trip. So it was we really had to. It took me about seven months to kind of figure everything out, but just after a couple months I I felt OK. I can do this. I think I can. I can figure out within a. This would have been. We decided this in in. I guess it was probably September of 2020, so we said, yeah, let’s do this. I gave myself till November 1st. To a go or no go, you can imagine like NASA launch a rocket, OK? Go go go. And I I came. I went on a trip in November. I I’d set up most of my configurations the way I thought I needed to and I went on a trip to where I had to ride for 100 miles for three days in a row. Just to see if my body could handle it. See if my bike could handle it. See if I could actually make it and I was able to do that and I finished a 3/3 day 300 mile trip and came back that Monday and told the team said guys we’re going to do this. Let’s start the plan to to to for me to ride to every location. Across the country. I then spent time action mapping it out. That alone took a tremendous amount of time. I I did a real rough draft. At first I just kind of went point to point, so let me draw, use Google Maps, go from San Antonio, TX down. To McAllen, TX. And OK, there’s that distance. OK, I can do that in two days and then go from McAllen to. Corpus corpus to Houston. Houston to Nashville, TN and Nashville to Wilmington, NC. So I just started doing those points to points and I learned very quickly. I said oh shoot this is going to take a lot longer than. When I finally got done after about 40 hours of kind of spending time on the computer, plotting each segment of each day and again four months, you can imagine that that’s a that’s a lot of configuration in the process. 120 stops if you will it. It was going to be over just under 10,000 miles. What that distance was going to be so? I had a, uh, a big gut check at that point and said, OK, this is going to be a lot more than I thought even and it was going to be four months it was going to take me four months to make this field trip, and that was a lot more time than I thought, so I had to go back into kind of a mode of cake. Then I then I get myself in something I can’t do but just persevere with the planning. And eventually felt OK. We’re going to do this. It’s going to happen.
Erin Vallier 00:23:53
That’s that’s pretty impressive and brave. There’s some definite definite lessons that are there, and Speaking of which, are all the way, I’m sure you learned a lot. Do you have any? Big lessons known. Do you want to share from your formats on the road?
Jeff Salter 00:24:11
But it was, it was. There’s a lot of. Moments in in a trip like that to go on that really. A little bit of soul searching because you know the. For one day of our trip, we decided to. Go on April. 1st of 2021 we picked April 1st of April Fools Day so I I told people at the launch. You know we picked April 1st ’cause only a fool would consider doing something like this and tell people I’m not. I’m that fool if you will. But you can imagine you’re going. To be leaving your house. Most of us, many of us people listening to this call right now think about the largest travel trip. You’ve gone on. We’ve all gone on business trips where we’re gone for two days. We’ve all gone on a trip where we go from one location to the next, and then maybe even a third location. Not too often people on. The road for four months though, and having to plan out stops and not. Many people have to worry about each day, the distance they’re going to go through. What that planning requires and you can’t carry the food you want to carry when you’re going on a trip like that because you have to stop and get along the way. Thankfully, I wasn’t in the wilderness, so it wasn’t like I was doing something across the great, the great tundra or something I I was going through towns and cities entire time so but we did a trip unsupported. I had a companion rider for about. Half of the distance in which some different guys would ride a companion bike, and but if either anything went wrong along the way, we had to figure out how to fix it. We didn’t have a truck following us or a car or following us. We had to. Just kind of figure. It out along the way, and. In that process, one of the lessons life lessons I learned as a as a founder of CEO of my company. I’m kind of a hard driven individual who thinks he could solve everything himself. I just my upbringing in general kind of led to that kind of attitude in general, but I found that that. People want to help and people want to give and that you need to just let them do that. I think we’ve all experienced that right? We we someone come up hey do you need? Any help with? That no, I’m fine. I’ve got it. And afterwards when that person leaves without, why did I say that I could have? Used their help. Right then and there. But we all had this general way of being and I had to learn to put that giving up. The control. And allowing people to help. Is as important for them as it is actually for you people want to help and we all like to give and we want to want to do our part and so along the way. And many people want to either give money to the cause or they want to help. Maybe give me a ride a little distance if I was not going to make where I need to be or they want to just. Help help give me some food, you know? People offer me food on the trip.
Erin Vallier 00:26:56
Right, you look recreationally homeless. Yeah, it’s exactly what it was I had.
Jeff Salter 00:27:02
510 stories instead. Just three days ago. Day two of my trip, I had, uh, I was stopped at a convenience store and getting getting a drink. And I was sitting down ’cause it was a hot day and I was resting before my next. You know, 2030 miles. I had to go and this little boy walked by me and he looked. At me really, really like. I I had a a second. Head almost and he looked at me. Are you homeless? You could imagine. That it was like, wow, I must almost. Look homeless right now and pretty much below the trip. I think people thought it might have been just some homeless dude riding across the country or something, so it was. It was pretty fun, but it was. It was there were lots of moments along the trip where it was. You know you get check time you do you keep going but the the first one started on the very first day. Though whenever I was I was about to I was getting to our headquarters here in San Antonio and gonna gonna launch from there. And just that morning you know, just it all hit me like, OK, you’re about to leave your house. You’re going to be gone for four months and you’ve got to figure out every solution. Every problem that comes up along the way and and and. Everyone is. Betting on you. Know whatever we planned events for for for four months along the route that I would ride. So I had to every day we had to make a certain distance. And if we did make that distance that day, we had to make it up and we had to book in advance all of our. We stated that we camped out about half the time, so we stayed at like state parks or RV parks. So we had to plan all those in advance, so I had to book them for an events. It was summer ish time for a lot of the trip, and those parks fill up quick. So you’ve got to be able to have a. Advanced reservation if you’re going to camp in the summer brunch anywhere in America. We stayed in hotels some of the time, so that was always our alternative. If we didn’t make our. Distance we could. Book a hotel room, but it was. It was a challenge to to get on that bike the first day and knowing I was going to be gone for four months. And you know, you’re you’re leaving there. All the creature comforts we all enjoy those. These trips are going for business or even vacation, and you’re going somewhere else, it’s. Going to be you’re gonna have a hotel. I get out of bed. You can predict most of what’s going to happen, but I was going on this trip that was didn’t have those type of predictions at all.
Erin Vallier 00:29:28
No, that’s a little scary. Definitely a lesson in. Bravery and some perseverance there. How did? The perseverance to push through. Day after day after day. How did that translate into your perseverance? To be successful. At the industry as a whole ’cause I’m imagining there’s a. Lot of parallels.
Jeff Salter 00:29:49
There yeah, I you know I. I think of you know my general upbringing and and I I was a track athlete in high school and college and I I definitely.
Jeff Salter 00:30:00
Took to train for something and to be prepared and also deal with disappointments. You know you you have losses and you have to either decide you’re going to work at it to get better or just quit and give up and give up. It’s not really in my vocabulary for for things, unfortunately. It’s sometimes this can be a advantage, but it can also be a disadvantage. At times, but. Something like this was it was a matter of just really understanding that you had to get the mileage in. You had to keep going forward. We hit rain. We hit wind lots and lots of wind across the country. Nothing worse than than than riding a full day of wind in your face. Most riders when they do a cross country trip. Most people do the southern route from California to Florida when they do. That because that’s the general direction of the wind. Not many people go the other route. Most people go South because it’s flat. If as you go further north in the country and try and go east to West, you’re facing headwinds. Yeah, but I didn’t have that option. ’cause I had. To make a full loop around the country so.
Jeff Salter 00:31:07
We didn’t really have a lot of options to avoid those days when the wind was blowing and if the rain was was coming. If there were storms going on, we had to ride through those each and each and every time. So so. That that type of. Perseverance is is important, but the good thing with the adventure like this, the fundraising piece and the message behind what we’re doing in going back to deciding on this, we decided that there’s going to be a cause behind what we’re doing. We’re going to be raising money to help seniors avoid falls in that. But I think it was. It was a very smart thing for us to do because I personally had two moments during the trip, two different times that I felt like quitting. I felt like no one cares about this. This is just you being stupid Jeff. Just get off the bike and go home. But because we had planned events, we were raising money and we had not hit our goals during any of those downtimes for. I mean. I I kept going. I knew that this was a there was a reason for it. In the end it would pay off. It would be absolutely worthwhile. So those things you you you almost if you go just like this, you’ve got to have something besides just a personal goal. I I feel like. Some people might be more driven than I am unable to keep it if. It’s just a personal goal, but. For me you do. 234 or five. Six weeks on the road and it gets kind of worrisome, you know, and they talk about this a lot. People that are our viewers maybe, and they go from location location. You do get very Rd weary because you’re never in the same place twice and you know there’s an adventure side to it, but that eventually eventually rolls off things aren’t that different from one place to the. Next, unless you can. Really kind of do some soul searching and find. Those things, but it’s. You wake up in the morning, you pack Europe. You get there on the bike and you ride for 8 hours. You get done. You unload the bike, you put up your camp, you cook your meal and you go to bed and then you get up in the morning and it just repeats all right over and over again. But, but thankfully, we had. Those events that we did and. Every I got this. Like this recharge about every five to 10 days in which we had an event, and at those events were were our caregivers. Our clients were their local community, people involved in senior care in some way, shape and form, and so those. I was lucky because I got this huge recharge. You know, people were asking me why? Why I was doing this and? We told people we’re doing this to inspire people we want. I wanted to inspire the future caregivers in this industry. People that could, if they saw me on a bike riding, carrying as much as I do about the industry, then maybe they might say, hey, senior care is something I want to get into. I want to inspire young individuals in technology to think about, you know, don’t. Don’t create the next video game. Create the next technology that’s going to help seniors age in place like they want to. How you’re going to enrich their lives. You know, focus your attention. There and then I was hoping to inspire entrepreneurs, people that want to maybe get into this business I. Didn’t yes, we’re a franchise company. I’d love to see more franchises come on board, but. I just want. People to be involved in senior care because we’re going. To need so. Many more people owning businesses in this industry and. You know those those things? Kept me recharged and kept me going and the perseverance came with knowing that that was going to have an impact on someone. I was going to be helping someone that would want to get. Involved in some way shape or.
Erin Vallier 00:34:42
Yeah there, I think the lesson there for me is, you know, if you have this big, hairy audacious goal, this mission, that is. Bigger than yourself. It can be quite difficult at times, but just look at what you can do if you just don’t quit. It’s like the Nike slogan just don’t quit and that’s what you did. Over this trip, you just didn’t quit and you were quite successful at raising $100,000 for your family. That’s that’s fantastic. So I have a silly question for you. What’s your next fundraiser going to be? Because I think it’s going to be hard to top that.
Jeff Salter 00:35:20
Yeah yeah, we raised in the end we raised $170,000 total so it was incredible to to see us get that. Get to that number. We're still in the right now in the in the phase of trying to to install grab bars in seniors homes. We’ve done about 120 grab Bar helped 120 families, so that’s about 240 grab bars installed, so we’re focused on that right now, we. We actually only, we’ve only. Done a not even 1/4 of what we’re planning to do. We’ve got enough funds to do nearly 600 grab bars and seniors homes, so we’re really trying to continue to build our network and help more seniors in our communities. And we’re trying to spin down some of those dollars before we do more fund raising, and before we focus on any other areas that we think there might be national gaps, you know, there’s definitely this grab bar. Challenge right now is is a it. Will be a. Focus through this year and probably through 2023, because we’re just trying to help as many families as we can with that and it’s turning out. There’s a. There’s a pretty big need. The challenge is getting the installs done. Having enough installers across building a network of installers. We’ll do this for us. It’s because we’re helping individuals who don’t have the means to do other things in their home they couldn’t afford grab bars, much less Mart, remodel the bathroom or something like that to make their home more accessible. Many of them need a ramp, probably, but there’s there’s not a ramp. I mean, he might need a shower. Take out the tub and put in a shower instead of a bath tub. But right now our dollars are focused on the grab bar piece because we want to impact that small piece first. But later on we’re going to be looking at other options or things we can do to help help those in need, because there’s a lot of individuals that are that. Are not getting the help. That they they need and getting the modifications to their homes that they need so they can age in place.
Erin Vallier 00:37:20
Yeah, it’s a real problem and. I’m curious how does one get their senior that they love involved here? Like how do, how do you choose? Who you’re going? To help. Is that for the franchises to look at their senses? How is? That yeah, right?
Jeff Salter 00:37:40
Now it’s which there are other aspects. We’re really our clients that are using caring, senior service for their service needs. Or maybe any of the other providers that are out there doing this type of service wouldn’t necessarily qualify for the free grab bar because they have means they could. They could probably pay for their own grab bar if they could find an installer and the company they’re working with wants to coordinate that. With them, our focus has been to find individuals of need in the community. We’re focusing, right? Now with all. Of our community partners in the cities that we currently have locations in. But we’re working with all of our Community partners, home health, Hospice rehab companies that have identified a senior that they think is maybe. So we’ve been primarily in. Working on referrals from them. We anticipate opening that up to more, but we’re trying to make sure we have the network built out properly so we can service people throughout the the US, and that’s right. Now is one of the biggest challenges I just got back from a. Uh, a conference that was dedicated to home modification companies and the issue we have is that home modification companies are so busy with with work that is is more profitable than installing grab bars. The grab bar work that they do is sometimes takes more time, minutes. For them to do, they’ve got to schedule. Do they schedule a grab bar installed with their guy or do they go do a whole home bathroom remodel with their guy? The same person does both tasks, so right now we’re just seeing that that’s continues to. Be a challenge. And also convincing them that this is a community give back type of thing. They’re not going to make a lot of money installing grab bars. For our clientele that we’re trying to help, so it’s just a challenge to try and get them to see that this is a way they can positively impact the community. It’s a little bit of a. Give back, but it’s hard to get business owners that legitimately are for profit to think like that when they don’t necessarily need to, because they’re doing well with their business sometimes. So it’s it’s my job right now to help people understand that this is where they call us. And they should get involved. And they want to get involved.
Erin Vallier 00:39:47
It’s going to be a certain type of business owner builder that gets involved there. Someone who’s dedicated to community service I. I feel certain there are. Plenty of folks out there and I’m excited to see how this all evolves over the next year. So I know we’re. Running close to time, I’m going to switch gears. I’ve got two more questions. For you but. Uhm, I’d like your opinion about what’s going on in the senior care space. Right now, what does? The future of senior killed look like and is there a role for technology in this space?
Jeff Salter 00:40:19
I think that there’s you know, I’ve been having a chance to speak this this this year, and I’ve been sharing some some stats, so if we can, those of those of us those are we listening right now to prepare for some numbers and may write these numbers down, but the last in the last decade. If you looked at 2000. 10 to 2000. 20 the growth? Of the 80. Plus population, and that’s why I like to look at the 80 plus population because that’s who typically starts needing these types of services, and that’s when the real challenges start. But the growth of that population. Was actually about 1.2 million people, so in the last 10 years only 1.2 million aids to the age of 80 plus. So it’s relatively. Small and it was actually a the growth rate was kind of flat from the previous decade, so but if you look at 2020 to 20. That goes to about 2.4 million people. So it’s almost a doubling of the size of the market that’s going to grow in 2020 to 2030, so we’re all experiencing that right now and then. If you look at 2030 to 2040. And and I hope to be involved in the business still through that decade. Can’t promise it, but I hope to be. But that decade, it’s 5.6 million people will age the age of 80, so that’s going to be a quadrupling of what we’re all experiencing today. And that’s kind of scary. For for me when I look at the numbers and the fact is technology has to be evolving to help provide the services for those people. ’cause there’s just not enough. Hands to put directly on seniors to help them. So we’re going to have to really be thinking about what technology looks like. The one advantage that we have that I’m hopeful for. Is that when you study the aging population, the group of people who become 80 in the next 20 years are the people that are 60 today and 60 year old. Words are individuals who are more accepting of the technology that they’re seeing today, and so they’ll be accepting of future technologies in a different way than the clients that we’ve been serving for the last 10 years. Not that they’re they’re afraid of technology, it’s just different to them, and they’re not sure. How it’s going to help them but? I think the future. Two decades that’s going to be easier for us all. To introduce technologies and to really trying to come up with some innovative solutions. So I’m I’m. Very hopeful in that sense. That that that that there’s gonna be a. Mind shift that will be happening. But it’s a little bit of an. Unknown and and. We don’t know what that technology is. Going to be. There’s a lot of cool things that are out. There, but we’re. Going to have to use technology to to keep seniors safe at home.
Erin Vallier 00:43:17
Yeah, you bring up a really fascinating point. I never. Thought about it but. I guess I have never thought. About what’s going to happen in 20 years. But you’re right, the seniors. These days they’re more acclimated to technology, and so it definitely makes sense to think that when they’re 80 and they need help, that they’re going to be fine. Using the you know. But telehealth or remote patient monitoring or interact with AI in some way that, like Alexa on steroids, kind of thing. It’s very cool to think about how we can leverage technology, because there’s just not enough hands like you mentioned to be in all places at all times.
Jeff Salter 00:43:58
Yeah, it’s hard. I mean I, I guess being involved. Three years, it means that I’ve I’ve had this long window of of seeing things, and of course I’m I’m a technology geek in so many ways and it’s always been frustrating when we’re trying to adopt new technologies and getting, you know, I’m on the. We look at. Anything was, uh, a bell curve that is the phase of adoption. You know, some people are at the very front end. They’re the people that will buy any new technology and try anything. That’s completely me. We’re the ones that end up, you know, I had a TiVo back in the old days before recording was even a thing. On on on from recording. Shows on TV and everyone thought that was crazy back then and now. Today it’s it’s commonplace. Everybody uses it so.
Erin Vallier 00:44:45
We’ll see the same.
Jeff Salter 00:44:45
Things happening with the I think technology as seniors and and that that many more people going to adopt it.
Erin Vallier 00:44:51
I think we will and it’s exciting to think about. I do have one final question for. You you know. If people aren’t inspired by what they’ve heard you. Say you know. Almost 10,000 miles on a bike just to raise money, and you raised $170,000. That is just quite the accomplishment and it is. It’s really important work that you’re doing. So if I. Want to get involved? If I I may not do any official fundraising, but if our listeners want to contribute in some way, how can they donate to your foundation?
Jeff Salter 00:45:30
Well, it’s our close. The gap in senior care we’ve we were were. Uh, official nonprofits so people can can go to closethegapinseniorcare.org. It’s kind of a long URL, but that’s the easy way to to find us. And we’re always accepting donations and people can reach out to me directly by me on LinkedIn Jeff Salt or caring. Senior service. As is the company that that I found in the CEO of but get engaged they can anyone can reach out to me directly. And my e-mail is Jeff at Karen Inc. Com and I’m sure you’ll be able to put that in some of the comments on the podcast itself, but anyone wants to reach out directly. I’m happy to talk to them I I love when people want to hear more about the bike ride. I share those stories and we covered a small snippet of things right now. But there was so much more on that trip and. Anything that that I can do to help? Then get involved in their local communities. We’re hoping that in the future we’ll start some local closing gap in senior care chapters so people can be focusing more officially. We start our first one in Essex, New Jersey. Our franchise owner there started with about six other people, so they’re starting to. Really focused locally on what those those gaps might be, so I’m encouraged by that early start. We hope to see more of those chapters started throughout the can. And you know, just just whatever whatever they feel would be the right way to get involved. We we need more money, we’re going to continue to raise money in the future. We’re happy to take donations now, and we’ll be working to make sure that we help as many seniors as possible.
Erin Vallier 00:47:16
Wonderful thank you for sharing how to get involved in your foundation and thank you for sharing your story with us this morning. It’s been a real pleasure speaking to you.
Jeff Salter 00:47:24
And so thanks so much for having me and let me let me show it it’s. Again, I wasn’t. Lucky to be able to do that, I had a great support team there so you know you do these things. You you see the guy on the bike but behind the guy on the bike where a lot of people help him. Make sure it happens so and and thank you for Cortana to tell the story. I appreciate so much to be here.
Erin Vallier 00:47:46
Absolutely, it does. Take a village, doesn’t it?
Jeff Salter 00:47:50
The times it does.
Jeff Howell 00:47:53
Home Health 360 is presented. By AlayaCare. First off, we thank our amazing guests and listeners to get more episodes. You can go to. AlayaCare.com/homehealth360. That’s spelled home health 360 or search home health 360 or any of your favorite. Podcasting platforms the easiest way to stay up to date on our new shows is to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify. Or wherever you get your podcasts. We also have a newsletter you can sign up for on a like here.com/home health 360 to get alerts for our new shows and more valuable content from AlayaCare right into your inbox. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.