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Making Informed Decisions for Senior Living

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Summary

Chance Becnel and Matt Lillie discuss their experiences in treating the elderly in senior care centers.

  • Hear about their work and how they give care to those with Alzheimer’s
  • Learn about the Clear Mind Center
  • Explore how Matt Lille and Chance Becnel provide amazing care for residents with dementia
  • Learn about how they allow their residents to live their best possible life
Transcript
Heather Sandison, ND

Welcome to this episode of the Reverse Alzheimer’s Summit. And so delighted to have the opportunity to introduce you to my friends. Chance Becnel and Matt Lillie, they are partnered with us at Miramar and they are helping us to forage and pioneer this new space of really healthy, optimized senior living. And so we are working together and we’ve opened the Clear Minds Center in Wichita, Kansas, just recently. And so I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to both of them and also to just share what our experience has been in the senior living industry and creating these spaces, these homes, these communities for people to thrive as they age. So welcome Chance, welcome Matt.

 

Matt Lillie

Hey, thank you so much for having us on.

 

Chance Becnel

We appreciate it. Look forward to the discussion.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Yeah, well, with you guys, it’s always fun and always collaborative, always creative. And it’s been you know, I’ve told you guys over and over and over that I’ve heard from people in the senior living industry and other naturopathic doctors, health coaches that they have wanted to open something like Marama, like the Marama that we have in California. And with you guys, I was so impressed by your integrity, your follow through, your just like your dedication that you live this Chance in particular, like you’re in ketosis a lot of the time. Matt, you had already heard of Dr. Bredesen and had sort of had this idea as well, just wanted to be able to implement in a more seamless way. And so this really ideal collaboration and partnership and I just can’t wait for everybody to learn why it was you guys that we are working with. So. Chance, would you mind telling everyone a little bit about your history and your experience in the senior living industry?

 

Chance Becnel

Yes, I’d be happy to. Well, I have been in the senior health care space for about the last 30 years. I’m a licensed nursing home administrator by trade, and my career has afforded me the opportunity to work in about a dozen states throughout the country. And I’ve had the privilege of working with dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of senior health care properties across the country. It’s something I am deeply passionate about. I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana, and we back there have huge families. And so growing up visiting family and friends, including in senior health care facilities, was something that was pretty common for us. And I was always touched by the amount of care and compassion that the vast majority of senior health care facilities across the country provide for these precious, precious human beings. And, you know, it’s one thing to try to connect with an individual, but it’s remarkably difficult when one of those individuals is one of your family members. And so I’ve had multiple family members and senior health care facilities. My late grandmother was in one for a number of years. And so I’m always been touched by the profession and it’s always called me. And it’s been a great pleasure to serve in this amazing profession for the last 30 years.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

So many of our listeners will know that I am brand new, essentially to the senior living industry, that I came at this from a really different perspective from being a doctor and watching my patients get better, kind of sort of understand that in traditional, conventional senior living, it wasn’t really set up to promote brain health, the diet, the exercise, a lot of the pieces, although people who work in those facilities and who create those facilities, they care so much, they want to do the right thing, but they’re kind of default is well, they worked so hard. They’ve done you know, they’ve lived their lives. Let’s just let them enjoy their cake and ice cream. And you and I both agree, like, hey, maybe there’s a better way to do this. And a big, huge part of why I chose to partner with you guys is exactly what you just said. 30 years of experience in this world. It’s just I feel like it’s this perfect marriage of a tons of experience with my, like, kind of harebrained ideas of like, oh, well, let’s try this and let’s try that. And maybe we could do that and people would be healthier. And so I just so appreciate your professionalism, Chance and also your, your get it done attitude, like just plowing through it, making it happen, and then all of that wisdom and experience that comes with so much time spent in this industry.

 

Chance Becnel

You know, what’s interesting is there are five senior executives in our company, Axiom Healthcare Services, that have the pleasure or maybe the pain of reporting directly to me. And between the six of us, we have over 200 years of experience in the profession and we have over 100 years experience with our company. And so our senior leadership teams, average tenure is about seven and a half years, which is truly remarkable in this day and age of constant turnover. So we’re really, really blessed with having a really stable senior executive team. And I attribute that more than anything else, tied to whatever success our company has had. It’s in great part because of the passion, the commitment and the tenure of our senior executive team.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Yeah, the dedication. Really, really impressive. So that would you mind sharing a little bit about your background?

 

Matt Lillie

Well, I got started in senior care when I was four because I the story goes, I don’t remember this, but the story goes that one day my mom looked around and of course, this was a while back, many decades. So it was a little different culture then. But my mom looked around and I wasn’t in the house and I wasn’t in the yard. And she started to freak out a little bit. And eventually she walks across the street and there’s a nursing home across the street. And lo and behold, at four years old, I’m entertaining residents. I’m like in there talking and telling them stories and they think it’s great, great fun. So that’s where I started my connection with senior care. But, and that imagine that, right? But then, you know, about in 2006, 27, I met or I had a family physician and we had a kind of a person that was in our sphere of influence who ran a nursing home. And so the three of us formed a company to start building senior care facilities. And that was we’ve opened the first one in March of 28, and we’ve been kind of doing that ever since. And so we built many nursing homes that were different, especially when we started building them. They were very cutting edge as far as putting residents in kind of homes versus hallways and having kitchens in all those homes. 

Like we’d put four homes together and then each would have their own kitchen, each would have their own staff. So we were very dedicated to providing a very personal experience on a person, you know, a caregiver to resident patient, because we do a lot of rehab as well. But ratio so that you don’t have, you know, a nurse coming in and working on a wing and then the next day be wing and then see, because you really can’t build those relationships. You build relationships by having, you know, proximity. It’s that constant access to people. That’s how we build all of our relationships in our lives. And so we wanted to bring that same caring and that same relationship building, but do it with an actual facility, with an actual structure. So it doesn’t it’s really hard in some of these older facilities to have that work that way. And so we were able to start building these nursing homes and then eventually assisted living and some other medical buildings. But we designed them so that they would cause relationships to happen and lasting relationships. And then we had great reviews from that because families had great experience and we just continue to grow and grow and grow. And so I don’t know what Chance would be able to add more color, but I think we take care of around between 405 hundred residents each day I think are in our facilities now. Chance, is that accurate?

 

Chance Becnel

Yeah, I think our last count is around 4754.

 

Matt Lillie

Hundred 75. So we’re taking care of 475 seniors day in and day out. I came from a real estate background and kind of was the developer and put the pieces and parts together. But I really remember falling in love with the industry because of the amount of care. I remember touring my dad through the first building that we were just under construction and I was so like, explain to him how it worked different. We were walking through. I think they were still putting carpet down and paint. You know, this is this and this is why it works in this kitchen. And probably one of the proudest moments of my life. My dad turned to me and he just looked at me in the face and he said, and my grandparents are past his parents. And he looked at me and he said, Your grandparents would be so proud of you, son. And he gave me a big hug. Right. And that like not only set in that I was supposed to be doing this on purpose, but then also fueled that passion that we need to do more of this. And we need to be diligent about taking care of people. And then, yeah, I had read Dr. Bresson’s book about probably six years, six or seven years ago now, and, and we were just scratching my head, how do we actually do this? Because I saw the disconnect, right. That I saw what you referenced in the very beginning of this interview was here you have this industry that loves people, cares for people, provides food and nutrition and medical care and, you know, helps with toileting and like physical care, I mean, all this stuff. But yet there was a disconnect when it came to this Alzheimer’s thing and there still is in our society. Right. A huge disconnect. And so I thought so I wanted to figure out some way. And then you would come on a podcast that I hosted and we just happened to talk post-show. And then all of a sudden it was like, Hey, wait, the thing that I want to do you’re doing, how do we do that in our buildings? How do we. I got excited, right?

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Yeah. And you know, your buildings, it was kind of like this perfect. But so many things have to come together with a venture like this. And it was just this perfect timing of sort of post-COVID. You guys didn’t have quite as many residents. You actually had one of those houses, if you will, that was free and available. And so it just made so much sense. And I want to share with our audience here that I had the privilege of going and training some of the new staff in Wichita and just seeing their care and dedication and just how fired up they are to help and serve in this way was so heartwarming and really inspiring for me. And also the whole time I was there, I kept turning around each corner and going, This place is so well designed. It is so brilliantly designed to create community. It has that dedicated kitchen so we can make sure it’s 100% Quito or it’s 100% organic. And it’s really you can just feel when you walk in there, the way it’s laid out, that it is just set up so brilliantly to support the health and wellbeing of the people who live there. And so really, really fun and exciting. And my family also is like, hey, did you save a room for me if I there?

 

Matt Lillie

Right. Yeah.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

And that is so nice to hear when people that you care about see the value in what you’re doing and can kind of see themselves there. Right. I aimed to design something where like, I wouldn’t be sad about living there. No one wants to move into senior living right? No one would choose that. You want to stay home in your own house, you want to stick to your family, you want to stay engaged in your own community. You don’t want to have to move into a place that isn’t your own with strangers. And yet there are so many people where that is the best option.

 

Matt Lillie

Right.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

And so we want to make that best option, really a good option right there, health and well-being. And I think that we were succeeding. Well, we’re doing it.

 

Matt Lillie

Yeah. And I was just curious, you know, and I know we’ve talked a little bit, but what actually, you know, so I read the book. I know you’ve studied with Dr. Breslin, know him? He’s a friend of yours. But what kind of inspired you to do the first the Marama House, right. What was that? Or how did that even happen? How did that come about?

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Yeah, it was a wild experience. I had gone on maternity leave and it was the first day back after I had taken time off to have my baby. And so this was in 2019, the beginning of 2019. And that day I went back to work and my first patient I saw that day, she was in a senior living as a real estate agent and consultant. So she was in that industry a little bit. And I had before I had gone on maternity leave, I had been working with dementia patients for a couple of years and developed a reputation in the community. So she knew that I was seeing dementia patients and Alzheimer’s and she said, Hey, have you ever thought about giving a talk in a senior living facility? And I immediately I was like, No, there’s no way I’m doing that. They don’t have access to the right food. They’re not supported to exercise. I had actually given a couple of those talks and people were sitting in their wheelchairs like dozing off during the talk. I think that sounds like just about the would be satisfying thing that I could do and spend my time doing it. And so I totally pooh poohed her idea and politely as possible. And then just a few minutes later, she’s checking out at my front desk and I can still kind of see her out of my peripheral vision. And I get an email from another patient that says, Hey, my uncle has dementia. He was just diagnosed. I’ve read the Bredesen book. 

I know that you’re doing this and I want him to have access to this, but I can’t do it myself. I have kids, I’ve got a full time job. I got my marriage to keep together in my house, to manage like I want my uncle to have this. I love him so much, but where can I send him? So in my lunch break I start looking for where I might be able to send people. And this all happened in one day. It was so wild on my first day back after not working for a couple of months. So at lunch I start looking for a place and there’s something kind of doing it. And I was somebody else in Arizona kind of doing it, but not really. And it wasn’t fully immersive. It meant that it looked like you could maybe get a ketogenic diet, but you’d be sitting next to somebody who was being served cupcakes for dessert, I think pretty easy, particularly if you have Alzheimer’s. So I’m kind of scratching my head thinking all day, Oh, how hard would this be? Like, could I pull this out? Like, should I create something like this? And that afternoon, my last patient, a gentleman named Gregg, came in and he was in commercial real estate. He is in commercial real estate. And I asked him, hey, like, what do you think? Like, do you think that I should do this? He I knew that his mother in law had Alzheimer’s. So he was very familiar with reticence, work and got the concept. And immediately he said, Heather, consider it funded, go find a house and I’ve got your back. And so it all happened like literally a matter of like six or 7 hours. I this idea and then had someone who was there who could really support me in a meaningful way to make it manifest. And then we had closed on the facility. We got control of the facility that we have in San Diego County. So we were able to start getting that renovated open within about nine months after having that conversation.

 

Matt Lillie

Well.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

It all happened really quickly. I went immediately and got my administrator certificate that Chance has so that I could be running that. And yeah, the rest kind of fell into place. There were of course, bumps along the way, but I felt very guided to do this because so many things that don’t typically line up so easily did and so quickly.

 

Matt Lillie

Yeah. And I think that was what really sparked my interest in and working with you was just that I also saw that reading the book, it was complex, right? There’s complexities to it. And I had tried and been on ketogenic diet a couple of times throughout the years, and for me it was very challenging to stay on that diet and to stay in that space and the corporate because you have a life to live, right? There’s the bills and there’s the kids and there’s the dinner parties and there’s that. They write all of the stuff. Right. And I’d like to say I have a strong will, but I typically no, I don’t. So I surround myself with things that are good. Try to surround my things that are good for me. And so when when I really saw you doing it successfully at Marama House in the inpatient setting, it was just like, yeah, in fact, you know, as you were, you came out for the training I set through the training that you gave that, you know, when you came out to Wichita and it was like, how do we do this for not only seniors, how do we do it for like, you know, people let’s let’s call us. Let’s call 50 ish. I’ll just say 50. Yeah, sure. How do we do it for how do we like what kind of resort type setting could provide this type of diet? Right. So that’s next. By the way, I just planted the seed. So Marama Marama, the residential thing got planted today.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Thought the rubber is the right.

 

Matt Lillie

I like it. Marama resort, in fact, that we may have to talk about that later, but.

 

Chance Becnel

Here we go.

 

Matt Lillie

Yeah, exactly. The Marama resort, because I thought, you know, it makes so much sense. I know it works and the protocols, but especially with seniors, you know, there’s you know, there’s a lot you know, there’s a lot of challenges that they’re having, especially if they have dementia with memory and everything else. They can’t do this on their own. I can’t do it on my own. Right. And I don’t. I’m not having those same challenges. So I think it’s just amazing what you’ve been able to do there.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Well, I think part of the magic is just getting people in an immersive environment. Right. And intense. You know, you and I were chatting a little bit about this before we hit recordings around communication and how important it is to communicate with people that someone with dementia, just because they don’t have a great short term memory doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings or they don’t understand that they’re moving and that they’re going to be in a new environment. And there can be it can be really challenging, especially those first few weeks that they’re getting settled in and so intense. Maybe you can speak to this a little bit, especially with your decades of experience of that transition for people as they move into assisted living.

 

Chance Becnel

Yeah, well, we know that making the senior health care decision is almost always gut wrenching, even though in most cases it’s the most appropriate, proper, best decision the loved one can do for their mom or their dad, for sure. And that’s why we advocate as much transparency between the in most cases, the children who are making the decision, or maybe it’s in some cases it’s the spouse to be as transparent with the potential customer as possible. About as much of the details as as far as why, what are the potential benefits for moving into a senior health care facility? And because the benefits of moving into a marama or a clear mind center facility, it is so heads and shoulders above virtually anything else on the market. We think being transparent would lead to having the best experience possible for the actual customer who will be coming into the unit.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

And we really have worked hard to make sure that, you know, people are supported through that process and that, you know, we anticipate it, right? We know that it’s going to be bumpy those first few weeks. It’s so emotional for everyone involved. Right. And there are feelings of guilt that caregivers have there are feelings of abandonment, potentially, that the resident has. And yet what we see over and over and over again, in fact, we just had a resident who is moving out her her son actually wants her to be closer to him. And even though he doesn’t have bandwidth to take care of her culturally, there’s a lot of pressure on him to have his mom living with him. And she was left kicking and screaming. In fact, I think they delayed her move out because she did not want to go. She had to. We’re recording today is May 1st. And so she was supposed to take off this weekend and I think she was kicking and screaming so effectively about not wanting to leave Marama that they’re extended for, I think another month as long as they can until we have another person who’s lined up to move in the event. But she was fully able to articulate how supported she felt by the staff, how wonderful the food was, how she had made all these great friends who she was looking forward to experiencing things with in the future. You know, they’re looking forward to celebrating a birthday or some new people. 

She was looking forward to somebody else moving in who we’d told her about. And so people sort of form relationships and they feel better. They noticeably feel better. Their joints aren’t as stiff, they feel more energy. Their mood is more stable. They’re sleeping better at night. And this is really just comes down to those day to day things that they’re doing. They’re getting the exercise and they’re getting that anti-inflammatory, ketogenic, organic diet, and their sleep is supported. There’s not a lot of loud bells and whistles all night long and people knocking on doors and interrupting them. And there’s you know, we are mindful of the amount of light in their bedrooms. We’re taking each of these pieces the diet, the exercise, the activities, the environment, and also the caregiving. That type of caregiving that’s really supportive and also that expects them to get better are caregivers are trained to expect residents to get better, not to get worse. And that makes a big difference. And so all of those pieces and really thoroughly thinking through them allows these residents to really thrive.

 

Chance Becnel

You know, it’s also interesting, Dr. Sandison, is that you’re becoming quite known in this space now, and rightfully so. And my sense is that there is an enormous amount of trust that the communities are placing in your care. And we believe trust is foundational because without trust there can be no peace of mind. And we know at the heart, customers, patients, what they’re looking for is trust and confidence that if I admit mother or father into this place, that they’re going to get the absolute best care possible. And there’s no question you are your beginning to build that reputation of trust. It makes sense on why you spent such a long time vetting potential partners because you wanted to make sure that something so precious to you were in the hands of people who also could be trustworthy. And last point on this note of trustworthiness, it’s interesting that the name of our company is Axiom, which stands for a proverbial truth. And so we know that at the core of all of these relationships it has to be built on trust. So I want to thank you for trusting us in our partnership. And I want to let all the people watching and listening know that if you ever decide to use any one of the facilities in the Marama experience, you can trust that mom or dad will be very well taken care of if they were our very own.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Thank you so much, Chance. That means so much. And you guys have this phenomenal tagline around improving lives and exceeding expectations. And I think that it’s really like you live that and watching you live that and getting to know you because it’s been I mean, we’ve been talking about this since last summer, you know, for nearly a year now. And so it’s been this opportunity to create these relationships and see how people show up again and again, day in, day out and watching you live that you do, you improve lives, the lives around you, and you exceed expectations every single time. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for showing up in this way.

 

Chance Becnel

You’re very lucky.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

I wanted to also chat a bit about the training specifically. So we got to do this together. What I came out to which is how would you mind just kind of taking us through what we went through and what that looks like so the people know how the caregivers are trained. That will be taking care of their loved ones.

 

Matt Lillie

Yeah. And, and I’d like to kick off the training as you kicked off the training, which was saying why what you designed and what we’re implementing with your guidance and supervision is so important because you told the story. And I think I know most of the people in the room had tears in their eyes. I think you had tears in your eyes. And so do you remember kind of how you framed that day? Before we get started with any training? It was really the framing of what we are actually delivering, what right what’s and Chance what you’re speaking about as well. You know, the fact that we’re trusted to take care of this loved one. But what we’re actually doing, because that’s the miraculous miracle of Marama, is that we’re not just taking care of somebody until they die. This isn’t a place to park your parent until they die. Right. And I think that’s a lot of time I’m saying it specifically that way, because that’s a lot of times I even heard a friend of mine was talking about, well, she’s just going to live. And this other facility that we have until she die, I was like, Well, that’s one way to look at it, but it’s probably not the best way to look at it, right? Because people can have a very full life in any center. But but but but specifically, you talk to us, do you remember kind of that, what you talked to us about?

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Well, thanks for telling everybody. I cry all the time. Stories are just so intense. You know, there’s so much emotion. And for like I said, for everyone, I think I don’t know if this was the only time I cried or not, but the I was at about how I’d been at that funeral, huh? Yep. Yeah. So I had been at a funeral that was very eye opening for me. A friend of mine’s husband passed away. It was super tragic. It was in a car accident, way too young with a daughter who’s I think she’s 12 now and just super heartbreaking. And his brother was delivering a beautiful eulogy that day. And he said something that really struck me. He mentioned his brother’s text messages and he had given he was always sending these really hysterical text messages. And they were really they’re very his personality shown through them. And they were long and they were complex and they were like just these funny text messages and what his brother his brother was describing them and then said, what I would give I would give anything to get one more of those text messages. And at Miramar, our goal is for you to have that one more anniversary, that one more summer, that one more birthday, where grandma or grandpa or mom or dad remembers who you are and can remember the event and look forward to the event. Enjoy the event and then share in and remembering it. And so that it’s really the hope and promise I think of Marama is that we this is that anything this is that anything that I would do that I would give to have one more season with my parent or loved one. And we see that this is the return. This is what we get is that people remember their grandchildren’s names again and they are able to write letters again. They’re able to carry on conversations with their family members that are meaningful and they’re really present. And that is the goal.

 

Matt Lillie

And so and thank you so much for sharing that because yeah, I think that’s at the heart of why I wanted to work with you and why Chance and I partnered to work with you. Right, because ultimately it’s not, you know, we can build another nursing home, we can own another assisted living, we can do that. And we love taking care of those patients. But this is just the next level of we’re actually seeing people reverse symptoms and reverse signs of a very just it’s a horrible disease. Yeah. Debilitating horrible disease. Right. And we’ve watched it, I think why it matters so much to Chance and it’s because we see it every day. We’re in this business, we see it every day where people just get worse and worse and worse and there’s more strife and there’s more conflict within the family members that yeah, they didn’t remember, you know, they don’t remember me. And there’s not, you know, there aren’t meaningful conversations happening and, you know, all of this stuff. 

And with your, you know, with what you designed, we’re giving people back memory, giving people memories. It’s not we’re giving them back memories. We’re giving people memories. So it isn’t a thing where their quality of life is just maintained. Right? At best. If we do our job perfectly in every other area of this industry, we can maintain a level of existence that’s comparable to what their experienced before they came in. But this is actually improving that level of experience to where when they and to your point, when they leave, a lot of times people leave the program to go right, because it’s more like rehabilitation. We’re rehabilitating the brain. And once they leave, their quality of life is so much better than what they came in. And obviously, you know, that’s even better than us because we’ve only been open for a month now and you’ve been open for several years. But the difference in the quality of life is night and day. I mean, just like even if it’s small things, it’s still night and day. And you’ve given us just tons of examples of real life stories of people that have come through Miramar.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Yeah, it’s such a privilege to be able to watch, and I’m excited for you guys to, to have that privilege, to have that experience of watching people get better. And to be fair, you know, this isn’t all unicorns and rainbows, right? Oppenheimer is to your point, it’s devastating. It is emotionally taxing. It is sometimes financially extremely taxing. It is a hard, hard road. And yet there’s so much we can do to reduce the suffering associated with it. And we know enough. That’s what I think is a little bit frustrating to me in this world, is that people are still sometimes told that there’s nothing you can do, just move into senior living and expect a downhill decline and will measure how things are in 6 to 12 months. And it’s like, no, there is so much that we can do to make sure that you can communicate that you’re hot or cold or hungry or tired or, you know, whatever is going on. Make sure that you recognize your grandkids and your kids and that that’s possible. That not only is it possible, but like we know so much about what we can do to make it happen. And yes, it’s hard, but that’s hence why we’ve created this race to make you of course.

 

Matt Lillie

Yeah. Definitely easier.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Oh, go ahead.

 

Matt Lillie

Well in your asking Chance right about of what the training was. So we started with the kind of the foundation. Right, but I’ll let Chante speak to kind of the rest of the training that we did that day.

 

Chance Becnel

Yeah. So I’ll be brief and I’ll tie in some of the comments that have already been made. So Matt, you had mentioned that, you know, not your average person can necessarily read the Dr. Bredesen book and fully comprehend all the steps and processes and systems. It could be incredibly overwhelming for someone trying to apply those principles in their own individual personal life. Same thing applies if you’re a caregiver trying to apply those principles to your loved one at home. And I know, Dr. Santos and you also are working on Marama at home. I don’t know if you want to touch on that at some point, which is similar to but quite substantially different than the experience in the Marama unit. And so what Dr. Sandison has done is reduced the complexity of Dr. Bredesen science and research into a handful of key foundational pillars. And then, Dr. Bredesen, maybe you can list what those pillars are. And then during the training, what we did is we took those pillars one, one at a time. And through the last several years of iteration with Dr. Sandison and her team’s experience with the pillars, they have fine tuned these standard codes of practice. 

I mean, just a book of one standard in practice after the other, so that it helps take the guesswork out of the individual responsible for the care delivery of all of these different aspects of the overall Marama experience. And so I quite enjoyed going through all of those SLPs. I know the team here in Wichita was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to roll up their sleeves. And so it was, it was pretty methodical and very logistical. And it’s all about applying the science in a way that creates the best customer experience possible, while also making sure that there is there’s the least amount of friction and difficulty for the customer to actually follow the program. And so we spent an entire day start to finish going through all of these nuances and standards of practice all around these key fundamental pillars. And Dr. Sandison, maybe you can cover that quickly for the audience in the event that they are not up to speed on that.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Yeah, absolutely. So the four pillars of Marama are the kitchen, the diet. So getting that organic ketogenic diet and then it’s activities, brain engaging activities as well as exercise. So it’s physical and cognitive activities and exercise that keep us engaged. And on that edge of where we’re challenged enough that we’re engaged and we’re creating those new neurons and firing those synapses and those neurons and getting the connections right. It’s like if you don’t use it, you lose it. So we want to keep engaging the brain and the body, so we take caregivers through also an approach to care. And my mantra these days is connection, overcorrection. So it’s not about correcting people who don’t remember, it’s about meeting them where they are understanding that they sometimes end up in their own world. We just meet them there and support them in the ways we can. We also need to know how to you put the meds and the supplements to work and make sure that we’re doing that right. And so it’s all about this sort of pragmatic approach to like just getting the protocol right. 

And then the fourth one is the environment. It’s a nontoxic living environment where we’ve chosen to use all organic linens and mattresses and our low VOC paints are Novichok paints. We’ve chosen to set up the environment. You know, you guys have already done a lot of that in terms of the design of the building and the layout. But we’re setting up the environment so that it enhances community building. So it doesn’t put people at the end of a hall right where they’re isolated and it’s potentially hard for them to get up and down stairs or anything like that. We’ve got them all around kind of a central living area, and there’s too one that’s more low key and quiet for meditation, and then the other that is a little bit more interactive and game oriented. And then there’s that area that’s built for exercise. And so these together, these four pillars of the diet, the engagement, the activities, both physical and mental, that the trained caregivers that are focused on connection, overcorrection, and then that environment together, those help us create this immersive experience. And then Chance you had referred to Marama at home. So we have people who reach out to us all the time. We’re going to have a facility just isn’t feasible. They either don’t want to move to Wichita or San Diego, or maybe it’s out of their price range, whatever it is, or they’re not advanced enough to justify that move. So they want to be able to do this at home. 

And so we’ve taken the I’ve taken the training that we offer our caregivers at Miramar, and then I’ve adapted that for people who are at home. And so there are you’ll you’ll be getting emails about it just because you’re attending the summit. So if you’re interested in learning more about that, we’ll have webinars and things like that coming up where you can learn more. I do want to chat a little bit about this collaboration between the facilities and the medical providers. So this came up as we were looking at opening in the Wichita location that we’re going to need a doctor who gets it right. There are lots of doctors out there, lots of neurologists out there who see Alzheimer’s patients who have never even heard of doctor reticence. And the last thing that we wanted to do was have a bunch of Alzheimer’s patients showing up at this neurologist’s office and have like, no, no, that doesn’t work. It’s quackery. There’s not enough science, whatever pooh poohing it. When we know that it works, we see it over and over again. And sure enough, there is science that supports it. So we want doctors who are aligned with that. So to your point, you know, it has to be pragmatic. This has to be doable and pragmatic, and there needs to be a flow to everything so that there’s good communication between the facilities and the doctors. And we’re essentially implementing the Bredesen protocol in the Marama and Clear Mind Center facilities, but with the supervision and support of a doctor. Right. So this is all really safely done. All done with that oversight of a medical provider who understands your health. So, Matt, you were the one who introduced us to Dr. Jeff Davis. So would you kind of talk through how he came up with that partnership and what it looks like?

 

Matt Lillie

Yeah. So, you know, he’s local to our market here in Wichita. He lives here. He’s lived here his whole life. And so I knew him from just, you know, Wichita and being here and as a very proactive, he has a practice that specializes in more holistic care, more naturopathic type care. He’s an M.D. by degree, but ended up going naturally more naturopathic because of health issues in his family. And so he and I had talked at great length about kind of a reticence protocol and, you know, how he’s ketogenic himself and why. And so, you know, and we’re about the same age. So, you know, I bounced off of him like, you know, anytime I think I have a cold or sniffle, I would text him and make sure I wasn’t dying. And so, in fact, I just asked him last week about some stuff and so as soon as you were like, we have to have, you know, somebody, you know, it’s better if we have somebody who’s familiar at least with get it ketogenic. I was like, Oh, he’s our guy, right? 

And so yeah, I just literally reached out to him and we had a great conversation and he was, you know, he said yes before I got like the third sentence out, I think because he gets it because he sees it in his practice, just like you do. He saw it in his practice. He treats patients with Alzheimer’s. And so he understands how challenging it is to do it on their own right, to just basically do the tests and then go home. And, you know, you know, when they’re used to eating, you know, like I think my stepdad eats Twinkies or something before bed. I mean, when so when they get into a certain mindset, right? They’re not it’s just hard to do the protocol if you haven’t been trained in it, especially if you haven’t, like been immersed in it. And so yeah, he’s certainly got it and then jumped on, jumped on board and has been with us from day one and in our experience here.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

It was so fun talking to him the first time because he was sharing his experience with me that he had been trained by Dr. Bettison, read the book, you know, had tried to kind of get it going and then stopped because he felt so frustrated that we weren’t able to do it. And he was like, This is the missing link. Again have a fully immersive experience for people. Then they don’t. It takes the guesswork out of it. It’s already done for them then. Yes, I love to follow the labs and see what’s going on and support this process. So it was a really fun conversation to have with him. We’ll have to have him on the summit.

 

Matt Lillie

Oh, yeah, I totally he’d love that.

 

Chance Becnel

One thing I found is interesting is that when you take a look at the key provider groups for customers in one of these units, you know, you have the functional medicine doctors who really gets all of this new cutting edge stuff in partnership with your traditional medical doctors working in tandem. And then those two groups are giving direction to the clinicians in the facility who are doing a lot of the bedside care. Also, you throw in a physical therapist for all the physical and mental activities. It’s a really powerful set of experience that I can’t wait to see what unfolds in the next several months. And our unit to see all of these professionals working together for the sole purpose of helping our patients improve their overall cognition.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Yeah, it’s so exciting. It’s, you know, to have this team collaborating and supporting that patients. It’s kind of a blessing and a curse. Right. And that’s part of what I was so impressed with with Dr. Davis and his team that they were like, okay, so what’s your excuse? Show us how we do this so that we don’t start tripping over each other. We know whose responsibility is what, and we know what the communication looks like. And they were just they realize how critically important that communication and collaboration is in order for it to be effective for the patients. And they’ve I mean, I’m excited to see how it all plays out. And everybody knows that there’s little hurdles and things that come up, but they’re so committed to making sure that patients are getting really, really good care. And then on your team also, Dr. Boozer and the whole team that I met, they were just so even though they’re conventionally trained and aren’t as familiar with the bedside protocol, they were so supportive of what our mission is. And they’re really are ready aligned with reducing the amount of medications people are on. They understand the risks of polypharmacy in the elderly. And they were just very, very collaborative and warm and welcoming. And it was another confirmation that like partnering with you guys is just was absolutely the right thing to do and that patients are going to be really, really well supported there.

 

Chance Becnel

And not only do we have all of that expertize, we also have this Dr. Sandison lady that’s also on the team helping support everything. So I want to thank you for your role in supporting us at the Clear Mind Center as well. So thank you.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Oh, my gosh. It’s such a pleasure. It’s just a privilege and a pleasure to be working with you guys and to be creating this co-creating all of this together. It’s really, really fun and exciting. And I want to encourage everyone to. Do you have a what’s the website? I should know? So what’s the best website? Is it maramaexperience.com? Is that still the best website for Clear Mind Center? So if you have any inquiries, Cory is on my team, on our team, and she is the one who Fields calls and there’s an application. So it really helps us if we have information from you about the level of care that you need and what your experience kind of implementing the Bredesen protocol has been at home so far gives us a sense of what’s going on for you. And so fill out that application again. It’s Marama. Maramaexperience.com so maramaexperience.com and you’ll see an apply now button hit that send in your application form and then carry carrier and we’ll will be in touch right away and we’ll see if it’s a good fit for everyone. We always want to make sure, just like our collaboration, you know, we’re collaborating with families. We’re partnering with families to take really good care of our residents. And it always needs to be a good fit. We never want to take on someone who we don’t think is going to get a ton of benefit. And we’re also curating men and women and making sure that we have a really great dynamic at the facilities. So shoot us an email through there or give us a call or fill out that application page and our team will be in touch and we can’t wait to hear from you. Thank you so much, you guys, for joining us. Any parting wisdom for our listeners?

 

Matt Lillie

I would just say there is there is hope more than hope. There is actually a process and a protocol to help your loved one improve their cognitive health and literally reverse the signs of Alzheimer’s. Right. I mean, that’s incredible. I’ve just never a chance and a Chance has been around the business longer than I have. But there’s nothing else out there we know. We see it right. There is literally nothing else. So if you know, I’m just blown away and amazed and so thankful that we met you.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

Such a privilege.

 

Chance Becnel

Of. The only thing I’ll say is thank you again for allowing me the privilege of going on this ride with both of you. It’s something I’m very passionate about. And to all of you out there who are potentially interested in seeing whether or not either one of these two facilities could be of value to you, I’ll make you this one promise that in the event your loved one happens to be admitted to either one of our two locations, that we will do everything humanly possible to help improve your loved one’s life, your life, and to exceed your expectation to the way will be literally would be trying to blow your socks off.

 

Heather Sandison, ND

I’ve lived it. Thank you, Chance. It’s such a pleasure, you guys. Thank you so much. And again, it’s MaramaExperience.com. If you have any further inquiries. We can’t wait to hear from you. Take care.

 

Chance Becnel

Thanks, everyone.

 

Matt Lillie

Thank you.

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