The Future Leaders Awards program is brought to you in partnership with PointClickCare. The program is designed to recognize up-and-coming industry members who are shaping the next decade of senior housing, skilled nursing, home health and hospice care. To see this year’s future leaders, visit Future Leaders online.
Rachael Laudano, executive director at Masonicare, has been named a 2023 Future Leader by Senior Housing News.
To become a Future Leader, an individual is nominated by their peers. The candidate must be a high-performing employee who is 40-years-old or younger, a passionate worker who knows how to put vision into action, and an advocate for seniors and the committed professionals who ensure their well-being.
Laudano sat down with Senior Housing News to talk about how she got her start in the industry, starting with growing up with her grandmother in independent living, advice that she would give to other future leaders in the industry and how she is seeing the industry prepare for the future.
What drew you to this industry to get you started in senior housing?
I had grown up with my grandmother living in an independent living setting. So I’m very familiar with the lifestyle and all of the opportunities that are brought to seniors as they age in place. I always was kind of just interested in it as well. I had the opportunity to take part in this industry throughout the years, so I’m in year 17. I have valued my time, either growing and learning more about the industry as it has evolved. There are changes that have taken place over the years. But I always look and value the opportunity of what we can provide to seniors as they age in place.
What’s your biggest lesson that you’ve learned since starting to work in this industry?
I would say patience. Just trying to understand where residents are at that moment, and then trying to help them, whatever it may be. It could just be listening or providing a resource at the time, but I would just say it’s practicing the pause.
If you could change one thing with an eye toward the future of senior housing, what would it be?
I would just say, the opportunity [for] the socialism, anything that I could provide to provide opportunities to the residents, whether it be through social atmosphere, opportunities, bringing more to the community, but just really having more resources available to those living in the senior industry.
What do you foresee as being different about the senior housing industry looking ahead to 2024?
I would say that having this been endemic now, and what we’ve learned over the past three years, we will only be able to provide more opportunities to those we serve. Taking into credit some of the infection prevention standards that have taken place, I think we do those so much more often now, not realizing that we even do them. And then valued relationships with vendors and providers, to provide additional resources to those, whether it be just relationships through vaccine vendors, or even partnerships with providers, those types of things, I think we look at it with a different set of eyes at this time just because we’ve lived through a different time having gone through a pandemic.
In a word, how would you describe the future of senior housing?
What quality must all future leaders possess?
The first one is you have to have humor, and you have to not take everything so literal. And I would say the second one is that everything evolves. Everything comes in waves and it’s just a moment in time. I do often say that to myself now even coming into my role as an executive director. What I know now as to what I did know, or thought I knew, I would say that everything comes in waves and so it will pass even the hardest days and even your best days.