Mike Peacock: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Cosmic Soup. You know one of the things that we here at 3rdThird and the Culinary Coach like to do is research. After all, we’re not creating programs and communications just for ourselves but, rather, specific niches of the population.
With that in mind, we have a very special guest for you today who is the perfect profile of a potential community resident. Upscale in nature and income and, full disclosure, also happens to be Cynthia’s mother-in-law. We’re going to talk to her today about her preferences when it comes to food, lifestyle, and how she lives as she ages. Please welcome to Cosmic Soup, Jackie Heal. Jackie, thank you so much for joining us today on the show.
Jackie Heal: Well, thank you for asking me. I think I’m going to enjoy this.
Mike: I think we’re all going to enjoy this. We’re going to have a blast; I promise you. We’re also going to be talking to Cynthia a little later on in the show, as well as our social media director Anna Rose Warren. She wants to pick your brain about a couple of things too.
Before we get to all that, Jackie, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Jackie: Okay. Well, I am 80 years old. I will be 81 in June. I live alone with my dog. I have a son that lives on the property. I’m pretty active as a senior. I have a big house and a big yard, but I’m loving every bit of it.
Right now, I’m not ready to slow down too much but I’m looking at the future. That’s why I’m interested in what you do.
Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome. it sounds like life is treating you pretty well. You’ve got an amazing house, a great yard, plenty of things to do. You’re keeping busy. What kind of activities do you like to do?
Jackie: I play golf. Yeah, I shop a lot.
Mike: [Laughter] Nice.
Jackie: Let’s see. I love to go to plays and I haven’t done that in a while but I like to do that, go to plays and concerts. Yes, go to the farmers market.
Mike: Oh, awesome. We love the farmers’ markets.
Jackie: Yes, we do. [Laughter]
Mike: You know I forgot to ask you earlier, but where do you currently live?
Jackie: I am in Chico, California.
Mike: Oh, cool.
Jackie: It’s a university town, so there’s a lot going on. It’s a busy town. Not right now it isn’t, but it’s a beautiful town: trees and parks. It’s just gorgeous.
I just came from downtown. There’s no traffic and it was wonderful. It’s beautiful.
Mike: So, you were out there by your lonesome just walking around.
Jackie: Yeah, it was back to the small town that I knew 27 years ago when I moved here.
Mike: It’s like a trip back in time.
Mike: What does a typical day look like for you?
Jackie: A normal day?
Jackie: Oh, my goodness. I’ll have to start thinking about that. Usually, two or three times a week, I play golf, like I say, so I’m up and out like at 8 o’clock in the morning. Then on my at-home days, I’m maybe watering and doing a little yard work, grocery shopping, and those kinds of things, washing and ironing. Yeah.
Mike: What about the dining experience? Do you like to go out to eat at restaurants or do you like to stay home and cook for yourself? What do you like to do?
Jackie: I like to go out to lunch with my friends. That’s a fun thing for me too. I love to go out with my friends. I cook for myself and my son who lives here. Yeah, I like to do both. I love to cook but I love to go out to eat. I’m a social eater.
Mike: For you, mealtime is not just eating for eating’s sake. It’s actually a full-on social event for you.
Jackie: Yes. Yes. Yes, it is. It is.
Mike: What kinds of food do you like to eat and cook for yourself?
Jackie: I love Italian food, you know, the pastas and all that. I like the old comfort stuff: the soups and the mac and cheese. You know, to tell you the truth, there’s not much I don’t like.
Jackie: I love food. [Laughter] I really am not a picky eater.
Mike: Awesome. That makes two of us. It sounds like we’re in the same club there. With all of the crazy stuff going on in the world right now with COVID-19 and the new Coronavirus, how has this all affected your lifestyle?
Jackie: Well, my dog and I spend a lot of time together.
Jackie: I watch a lot of TV. I putter a lot around the house, finding little projects. I’m not really into doing some major projects because I’m in the house, so it’s been tough but I’m also learning to enjoy my house.
Mike: You’re learning to enjoy your house just now?
Jackie: Well, it’s a new learning. It’s like appreciate – appreciate. Yes, that’s the word: appreciate. I love my house, but I’m learning to appreciate where I am.
Mike: Ah, got it.
Mike: Well, you know, everybody is going to deal with this situation in their own way. It sounds to me like you’re just staying positive, keeping busy, trying to be constructive, spending some quality time with your dog, and making the best of the situation. I think that’s awesome. Definitely nothing wrong with that.
Jackie: Yes, and I’m on Facetime a lot with a group of ladies that I know and I text all my family daily just to touch base.
Mike: Oh, that’s cool, so you’re still staying social.
Mike: Awesome. Well, I wanted to ask you then. Even though you’ve got a pretty sweet deal going on with your current living situation, have you ever thought about yourself living in a community?
Jackie: I think, in the future. Yes, I’ve thought about it. There are a lot of nice places around here.
Jackie: I’m not quite ready yet.
Jackie: But, yes, I have thought about it and where I would want to go and what I would want it to be because that time will come.
Mike: Sure. When you think about a typical community, what is your perception about what that kind of a life would look like for you?
Jackie: I would hope that it would be a very good social life, busy, but I don’t know. A lot of these, they do all of the things that I like to do, only they do it as a group, so going to concerts and things like that, plays. Yeah, that and just be a good social group.
Mike: Yeah, awesome. When you think about kind of how people’s perception changes over the years, how do you think your perception of what that lifestyle would be like for you? If you thought about it 20 years ago versus thinking about it now, do you have the same perception of it that you did a while ago?
Jackie: Probably not. Probably now I’m thinking more personal. I mean I thought about it years ago, but it’s one of those things that you don’t know when it’s going to happen. I don’t know. I know a lot of people that have gone into those places and they’re really, really happy.
Jackie: They have a good time and a lot of the ladies from our golf club, they’re too old to play golf now. Heaven forbid we do get too old to play golf. We see them every year. They come to our annual brunch and they’re just a happy lot of people.
Mike: Oh, that’s really cool to hear.
Mike: Let me ask you this then. When you see advertisements about communities that are geared towards people in your age group, how does that make you feel? Do those ads resonate with you? Do they draw any kind of an emotional response from you? Do you think those images are doing a good job delivering that message that says, “This place looks really cool. I’d like to go live in one of these communities”? Do you feel like those images that you see represent who you are and what you believe?
Jackie: I look at them as, “This place would suit me and this wouldn’t.” That, you know, and in order to suit me, I’m not – it’s hard to figure out. I like a place that has good food. [Laughter] Like I say, I love food. But I’d also like a very social life.
Mike: Okay, so maybe some of the ads resonated with you and some not so much. You’ve mentioned you love food and you love activities. What elements would a community absolutely have to have for you to be comfortable enough to leave your home and transition into a new, permanent style of living? What would it take to make you happy and comfortable?
Jackie: Well, it would be nice to have an exercise room. It would be nice to have a walking area. It would be nice – I basically would like a nice place to live, you know, with a nice little apartment. A busy place. Comfortable. A comfortable apartment where I can go and be alone when I want to be.
Jackie: Then a nice area where I can choose to be with whoever I want, but I do – I’ve not taken up too many crafts or arts, but who knows. I might do it. But it would be nice to be available.
Mike: You’re talking about, like, classes?
Jackie: Classes. Classes is what I’m trying to say, yeah.
Mike: Yeah, I think that would definitely be cool.
Jackie: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Mike: Okay. Well, with the knowledge that you have, what do you think are some things that are actually missing from a lot of communities that could be better implemented to keep people engaged and excited about day-to-day life there?
Jackie: You know the only thing that I think about is the people in there learning how to be current with our technology.
Mike: Like technology?
Jackie: With what’s going on in the world, you know, like having someone there that’ll walk us through how to get on these kinds of things. That. I mean I think that’s really important to keep us in touch with the world.
Mike: So, not only from a current events standpoint but also from a technological standpoint. Now, I think I heard that you’re an active user of social media. Is that true?
Jackie: Yes. Facebook is my main activity now. Right now, I don’t usually watch that much but I do Facebook. I haven’t got on Instagram or any of them because it’s something new and I don’t know how to do it. That’s why I’m saying it would be nice.
I mean my grandchildren will come in and instantly put me on there, so that will work, but I want to learn how to get on these different things and find out information.
Mike: Awesome. Well, this is actually Anna Rose’s cup of tea. AR, did you want to chime in on this for a second?
Anna Rose Warren: Oh, hey. I’m out here.
Anna Rose: It sounds like you might not be a rabid Facebook user all the time but maybe, during these unprecedented times, you’re on it more frequently. Is that every day?
Jackie: I am every day because I’m part of a group and the group started out with local friends that I knew and it grew to 500 people. But I get on there every day because the girl that started it asks questions and we all step in and give our feelings. But it’s just so much fun. Not fun – interesting to see how everybody is thinking. We all have different lives but we’re all in this together and we’re sharing it. That, to me, is just something I love.
Anna Rose: When you say you’re making those connections, is that just between people you know IRL, in real life, or do you think you’re making connections with some folks that you might not have ever met in the real world?
Jackie: I probably haven’t met quite a few of them and they’ll respond to what I wrote and I’ll respond to what they wrote, but we’re all part of this one group and so it feels comfortable to me. Yeah, I don’t know their life history. I just see a name and it has an answer, so I get on and answer them.
Anna Rose: Are you posting as well as responding and commenting and reacting to other people’s posts? Are you creating some of your own content within that group?
Jackie: Yes, I am. Every once in awhile when something good happens, I’ll post it. I found a wonderful catering service and I posted that to everybody that lives here in Chico. Yes, if something really excites me, I will post it. Yes.
Anna Rose: Very cool. My only other question on that topic was, do you engage with ads? Something we really believe in is Facebook advertising. I was wondering if you click on ads, if you’d write a common on them, or if you’re just like, “Ugh. Advertising, I don’t want to see that.”
Jackie: It really depends. If it’s something I’m interested in, sometimes I will click it on. If it’s something that I want to find out about. Just regular ads, I don’t usually answer them, no.
Anna Rose: That makes sense. Thank you for sharing. Those were my main questions.
Jackie: Sure. Sure. Glad to.
Mike: Of course, we have Cynthia here with us as well. Cynthia, did you have anything that you wanted to add to that?
Cynthia Thurlow Cruver: Well, hi, Jackie. Thank you for doing this with us.
Jackie: You’re very welcome.
Cynthia: Jackie is, I think, the quintessential independent living resident candidate, not that you want to move to a community because your home is beautiful. Jackie’s home is paradise there. It’s sunny, big yard, swimming pool – just really nice.
But you are, I think, a perfect research candidate because of your lifestyle. You golf. You lunch with your girlfriends. You also cook for yourself. You make wonderful meals with a glass of wine and they’re very thoughtfully put together. You clearly are a lifestyle appreciator. [Laughter]
When it comes to social media, I’m curious. What kinds of things are you interested in? When Anna Rose was talking about advertisements, you said, “Well, only things I’m interested in but, other than that, it’s a pass.” Have you ever clicked on any senior living advertisements in Facebook?
Jackie: I haven’t seen any.
Cynthia: Okay, so you’re not being targeted.
Jackie: I haven’t seen any in mine. No, I guess they don’t know I’m a senior. I haven’t seen any and, yes, I would click on those if they targeted me.
Jackie: Just to check them out. Tomorrow, I’m going to go out and check on those that you sent me to check on.
Cynthia: Okay, well, those were just to see. Overall, there’s a creative style that communities have, and so the question is, do they resonate with you personally? I know you, obviously, personally, and I think I know what would resonate with you, so I was just curious, objectively, what is appealing.
If you think about it, a lot of the senior living advertising uses images of people who have gray hair and they’re doing stuff, but it’s people rather than settings. If you had to weigh which kind of advertising you would be more prone to be interested in, would it be a photo of a beautiful courtyard with a pool or would it be a photo of three women with gray hair laughing and having a glass of wine?
Jackie: [Laughter] I think that would be my photo. Yes. No, I would be more interested in – I mean I say I want a nice place. I do. I want a nice place. They’re all different, but I also would have to try them out because a social feeling, a feeling of people accepting each other.
Jackie: A group that lives together. We’re there and we’re here for a reason and this is what we do. I think there are some of those and that’s what I’d like. Yeah.
Who knows, by the time I go to one, I may not want to do much. But I want to be in a friendly group. I like friendly people.
Cynthia: Yeah, so people who you have something, at least personality-wise, in common with, you can kind of relate to them and hang out with them.
Jackie: Yes. Yes.
Jackie: Yes, that. Yes.
Cynthia: Very cool. We could just keep talking and talking because I think you’re a wealth of information. Another demographic profile on Jackie, she was the original liberated woman in the ’80s. In the ’70s and ’80s, she was a professional real estate agent.
Jackie: Oh. [Laughter]
Cynthia: Well, to me. When I was growing up, my mom didn’t work, and so when I looked at you and I’m like, “Wow! She’s professional.” That was so cool for me to see somebody, a woman who works full time and has a career. It was really cool. I think that also is telling for your age group that there are many women who were trailblazers in the professional world and you’re one of them.
Jackie: Oh, well, I don’t think I was. I think I consider myself a professional mother, a stay-at-home for years and years, because I needed to be and I was a professional mother. I did take up real estate. Yeah, I think if you had asked me what I was the most proud of, I think it was being a mother.
Cynthia: And a good one.
Jackie: Well, you didn’t live with me. Hey, hey, there’s a boy back there that could chime in.
Cynthia: Well, I think that we’ve got a lot of really great information. Anna Rose is out there, the director of social media. Anna Rose digs deep into the preferences and the psychology of people who are in the age bracket of maybe considering a community and so it’s always fun for us to hear directly from potential residents what their preferences are. Mike, I hand it back to you.
Mike: Well, thank you. I think that’s an awesome way to kind of wind this down. Actually, Cynthia, since you’re on such a role, why don’t you close this out, bring us home, with your now infamous favorite question?
Cynthia: Oh, okay. Jackie, we ask everybody this question, every guest. The idea is, if you could wave a magic wand and, poof, you create the absolute perfect community for yourself where you would love to live, what kind of features would it have, like design style? What kind of activities specifically would it have? What kind of amenities? What would the food be like? What specific kind of food would they be serving and would they have wine or cocktails? Just kind of describe your absolute perfect community.
Jackie: Wow. That’s a tough one. Well, let’s start with the food. I would like my food to be – like I said, I like everything. I’ll try almost anything. I don’t mind trying new things. I want it to be good and clean. Well, just good, clean food. I love food.
And changes. I don’t want to go to the same thing every day. I’m not in a rut. I change my meals three times a day. I don’t do the same thing. That’s what I would like. I want to come down to breakfast and go, “Oh, I think I’ll have that today.” That I like, a variety of foods.
Social interaction, like I said, a gym maybe, walking areas, places to just sit quietly and read if you’d like to. I love to read. I love books. I’d like a library.
I love music. I’d like to have music. I love music and to have people come in and play music would be fun.
But I want to be a part of a community that takes their people out so we aren’t always inside. We go to a concert. We go to a play. We go to a movie. I like that and that’s what I would like in the future.
Yeah, have I covered it yet? Have I answered all the questions? I want a beautiful place to go to when it’s all over and close my door and say, “I’ll see you, world.”
Jackie: With my glass of wine. Yes. Yes, that’s it. That’s it.
Cynthia: What kind of design and architecture would you like? If you think about the different kinds of designs that exist, there’s anywhere from modern to maybe traditional. Is there any kind of vibe that you would be looking for?
Jackie: No, I pretty much like them all. That’s another thing. I like to watch the home improvement shows so I could fix anything I have in here if I didn’t like it and change it. But I think traditional is mostly what I like. Comfortable. Comfortable is number one.
Cynthia: Okay. Well, very good. Well, you certainly remodel your house when you feel like it.
Jackie: I did do that and I will do it again when I feel like it again.
Cynthia: Well, thank you so much. I love that you are willing to do this. We really appreciate it. Cosmic Soup, you’ve been floating around in the Cosmic Soup.
Jackie: Thank you. Thank you for including me. Thank you for asking me all this. I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody sit me down and ask me a whole lot of questions and, some of them, I didn’t answer quite well, but I tried.
Mike: Well, I think you did just fine. It’s been an absolute honor having you on the show. We had a blast with you. You’ve been an outstanding guest.
Jackie: Oh, thank you. I hope to meet you personally.
Jackie: I was up there last year and I will be again. I will be there soon.
Mike: Awesome. Well, we can definitely make that happen and I will make sure to save you some home remodeling projects so that you can help my wife and I get the house fixed up.
Jackie: Oh, I could do that or you could take me to lunch.
Mike: [Laughter] Yeah, we can do that.
Jackie: Yeah. Yeah, I would like to go to lunch. Thank you.
Mike: Thank you, Jackie.
Cynthia: Wow. That was so fun to talk to Jackie. I think it was really interesting to me because she’s 80 years old. I was hearing, for the first time, she’s now using gourmet food service, delivery service. Then she also told me that she’s ordering groceries online too. Anna Rose, what did you think about Jackie?
Anna Rose: Yeah, I think we’re really seeing that the outbreak is encouraging older adults to dive into technology. We see that happening especially on Facebook because that’s what they’re more comfortable with. Now, for some of them, for the first time, they’re not just engaging with their family and their grandchildren, but they’re reaching out and joining these groups about positivity and things you can do at home while you’re stuck at home, all of that stuff. It’s great to see that our target audience is really on this platform right now in a way that they haven’t been in the past.
Cynthia: Yeah, it’s really cool. I’m excited to see where this goes. I think, in the future, it bodes well for digital marketing to the 80-plus-year-olds.
Mike: Well, that’s some pretty awesome insight from both of you. Thank you so much. Jackie really was super fun to have on. I think that maybe, in the future, we check back with her after all this is said and done. We’ll have her back on the show and pick her brain for some more awesomeness. What do you think?
Cynthia: Yeah, we’ll check in with her.
Mike: Definitely. Thanks again to Jackie, Cynthia, and Anna Rose for hanging out with us today on Cosmic Soup. Thank you to everybody who is listening.
For you out there in podcast land, please send us your questions. Send us your comments to [email protected] We’ll provide those answers on our upcoming mailbag episodes. Don’t forget to follow the show on social media as well.
Anna Rose, how do they find us in social media land?
Anna Rose: We’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, @3rdThirdMarketing, and on Twitter, @3rdThird_Mktg. That Twitter handle is way too much to say out loud, so that one might change. If you follow us, we’ll let you know exactly what it changes to.
Mike: Awesome. Thanks, AR. Now, you all know how to stalk us on social media, so please like the pages, share the pages, subscribe to the show, and we’ll talk to you again real soon on Cosmic Soup.