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Ross Goodson of Senior Helpers of the Treasure Coast: “The people matter, nothing else does”

For seniors, solutions to loneliness are deeper rooted than for younger populations. The act of aging is very isolating. There are several simple ways to reduce the depression that comes from isolation. At Senior Helpers, we strive to incorporate activities back into the everyday lives of our clients. We don’t see ourselves as care providers, […]

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For seniors, solutions to loneliness are deeper rooted than for younger populations. The act of aging is very isolating. There are several simple ways to reduce the depression that comes from isolation. At Senior Helpers, we strive to incorporate activities back into the everyday lives of our clients. We don’t see ourselves as care providers, rather, we see ourselves as “independence providers”.Additional ways to solve the Loneliness Epidemic include social stimulation, educational stimulation, and virtual stimulation, among others. Seniors who stay active both mentally and physically typically live longer more fulfilled lives.


As a part of my interview series about the ‘5 Things We Can Each Do Help Solve The Loneliness Epidemic’, I had the pleasure to interview Ross Goodson, Founder and Vice President of Senior Helpers of the Treasure Coast. He graduated from Southwestern University in Austin, Texas. In addition to his work in the healthcare field, Ross is also involved in community organizations such as United Way and Caring for Camo. Visit seniorhelpers.com for more information.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us? What was it that led you to your eventual career choice?

In 2008, my grandmother started receiving in-home care. I noticed the impact that this caregiver had on my grandmother, grandfather, and my parents. The help our family received allowed my grandfather to be her husband (not her care provider), my parents to be her kids (not her care provider), and my grandmother to be herself (not inhibited by her limitations). This impactful assistance showed me a whole new way to care for our loved ones. It left an indelible mark and led me to my career in home health care.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Providing care to seniors opens the doors to our world’s history. The most interesting stories come from those clients that fought in wars, were captains of industry, and even survivors of the Holocaust. Every client has a story to share and no matter how young or old, I feel like it is important for them to be heard.

Can you share a story about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting?

As a young businessman, I found myself trying to accommodate everyone and everything in my life. I can recall a busy workday that required me to drop paperwork off to a client, run to a meeting, jump on a conference call, and talk to a family regarding care, all within about an hour. On my first stop of the day, the client started talking and I quickly knew he was in no hurry for me to leave. When I prompted him with my busy schedule, he said to me, “Ross, if you go too fast, you’ll miss the view.” He proceeded to tell me a story about fighting at the Battle of the Bulge and his amazing life experiences. He told me not to get hung up on meetings and deadlines, but rather focus on the personal interactions. He said, “The people matter, nothing else does.” Humorous or not, it taught me very early on that in business, people come first. That has stuck with me.

Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that?

I learned that just because someone is a client of our business or a name on our roster, at the core they are just like me. It taught me a great deal about perspective.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Senior Helpers has developed a new process for assessing and providing care called the Life Profile. This process focuses on the details of someone’s care needs. This assessment and care plan tool is far more advanced than any other in the home care landscape. This not only identifies what someone’s care need is, but also what resources are going to help address those needs. It is a true game-changer for families concerned about their loved ones as they age.

Can you share with our readers a bit why you are an authority about the topic of the Loneliness Epidemic?

In the senior care industry, we see clients and families struggle with the transitions of aging. If a client moves from their home into a new environment, the social aspects of their transition are many times more important to address than the physical aspects. The root of solving loneliness is to help stimulate the mind, body, and soul. At Senior Helpers, we pride ourselves on providing a higher level of care than others in the industry.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. According to this story in Forbes, loneliness is becoming an increasing health threat not just in the US , but across the world. Can you articulate for our readers 3 reasons why being lonely and isolated can harm one’s health?

Socialization is extremely impactful on the cognition of people as we age. Isolation can result in lack cognitive stimulation, which can lead to disorientation and further risk of physical issues. Loneliness can reduce or eliminate the ability for seniors to get the proper amount of physical exercise. Like most muscle function, lack of muscle use can result in atrophy, which again can lead to physical and cognitive deterioration. Overall, the connectedness between the mind and the body show the importance of not only treating someone’s physical care needs, but also their emotional care needs. The fact of the matter is that growing old is isolating. Add in the current state of the world and it can multiply the impact of isolation times ten. Having a good support system is crucial to the development of the aging brain.

On a broader societal level, in which way is loneliness harming our communities and society?

In relation to our seniors, loneliness in many ways can be a death sentence. Folks at their most vulnerable, plus isolation and removal of support systems, equals depression, anxiety, disorientation, and potentially harm.

The irony of having a loneliness epidemic is glaring. We are living in a time where more people are connected to each other than ever before in history. Our technology has the power to connect billions of people in one network, in a way that was never possible. Yet despite this, so many people are lonely. Why is this? Can you share 3 of the main reasons why we are facing a loneliness epidemic today? Please give a story or an example for each.

Our senior population is the world’s highest risk during these times. Many believe, and rightfully so, that isolating them is the best way to protect them. While this fundamentally is true, it is also vital for our seniors to have to be cognitively stimulated. Therefore, the way we are protecting them is also potentially killing them. Now more than ever is it crucial to find ways to connect with our seniors.

Ok. it is not enough to talk about problems without offering possible solutions. In your experience, what are the 5 things each of us can do to help solve the Loneliness Epidemic. Please give a story or an example for each.

For seniors, solutions to loneliness are deeper rooted than for younger populations. The act of aging is very isolating. There are several simple ways to reduce the depression that comes from isolation. At Senior Helpers, we strive to incorporate activities back into the everyday lives of our clients. We don’t see ourselves as care providers, rather, we see ourselves as “independence providers”.Additional ways to solve the Loneliness Epidemic include social stimulation, educational stimulation, and virtual stimulation, among others. Seniors who stay active both mentally and physically typically live longer more fulfilled lives.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Our senior population is the root of our historical greatness. We have so much knowledge as a society from our seniors. I think that the youth of our country could learn so much from our aging population. I have often thought that connecting our youth to our seniors would provide some great perspective to the younger generations. A mentorship type program with seniors would provide the younger generations with a mentor and the younger person would provide a feeling of community with the senior population therefore, reducing or eliminating loneliness in the seniors.

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Warren Buffet was first person the popped in my head for a multitude of reasons, however, sitting down with Mark Cuban would be fascinating. His passion for business and life seems infectious. I get the sense that spending five minutes with him would be life changing.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@rgoodson (on Twitter)

https://www.facebook.com/SeniorHelpersTreasureCoast

Thank you so much for these insights. This was so inspiring, and so important!

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