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.
Clyde McGraw, vice president of real estate at Sunrise Senior Living, 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.
McGraw caught up with SHN to talk about the opportunity in senior living as he sees it and how he believes the industry’s future lies partly in elevating hospitality.
What drew you to this industry?
Initially it was the demographic changes that were coming with the significant growth of the senior population. It seemed like a great opportunity to combine my background in real estate development and investment with the growing need for senior housing. However, I quickly discovered that beyond the growing need and my existing skillset, were all of the wonderful people I met at Sunrise and in the industry at large that have so much passion for providing fantastic housing options for seniors. I could tell it would be great area for me to focus my career on.
What’s your biggest lesson learned since starting to work in this industry?
My biggest lesson learned is just how deep the opportunity is to grow and evolve the senior housing space. Senior housing is not one size fits all or most, and with more seniors aging everyday we need to continue looking at opportunities to expand and grown senior housing options whether through new development, building conversions, or redevelopment/renovation of existing communities.
If you could change one thing with an eye toward the future of senior living, what would it be?
It would be the further education of the public at large of what modern senior housing really looks and feels like and all of the great services it provides. Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what senior housing is, and we as an industry need to do a better job of educating the public on the different options, qualities, and spectrums of care that senior housing can provide.
What do you foresee as being different about the senior living industry looking ahead to 2023?
I think the senior living industry will continue to evolve with a greater emphasis on hospitality. Although the senior population is growing, many of these seniors are not at the point of needing high levels of care that assisted living and memory care provide, and that’s where a greater lifestyle focus with limited or no care provided as a compliment to AL/MC can provide a further growth engine to expand senior living options to more residents.
In a word, how would you describe the future of senior living?
What quality must all future leaders possess?
The desire to constantly be learning. There is so much continual evolution in the senior living space, I think it’s critical for future leaders to have the mindset that there are always opportunities to learn and grow.